The ED/TEG Indicator for the Identification of Endocrine Disrupting or Toxic Effects on Endocrine Glands of Crop Protection Products Used in Organic and Conventional Agriculture in France

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 27;18(7):3477. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18073477.


Studying the human health impacts of pesticides and their endocrine disruptor (ED) effects is a public health concern. The aim of this study is to identify phytopharmaceutical active substances (PAS) that are an ED or are toxic on endocrine glands (TEG), and to propose an ED/TEG effect indicator. Five international official databases were analyzed to identify the occurrence of health outcomes for 458 PAS. Health outcomes targeting seven endocrine systems were selected. For each substance, the level of evidence of the collected information and the number of outcomes were used to affect a level of concern about ED/TEG effects. Among the substances studied, 10% had a global ED/TEG effect classified as 'high concern', 55% as 'medium concern', 9% as 'low concern', and 26% as 'unknown'. Ten of the high ED/TEG concern substances and 170 medium or low concern substances were licensed in 2018 in France. The outcomes were mainly on the reproductive organs, thyroid, and adrenal glands. Eight of the 41 biocontrol products studied were classified: 5 were 'high' or 'medium concern' and 3 had 'unknown effect'. Although the proposed ED/TEG indicator is not an official classification, it can be used as an epidemiological tool for classifying the occupational and environmental risks of substances in retrospective population studies and be useful for occupational health physicians.

Keywords: agriculture; endocrine disruptors; endocrine organ; occupational exposure; pesticide.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Crop Protection
  • Endocrine Disruptors* / toxicity
  • Endocrine Glands*
  • Endocrine System
  • France
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Endocrine Disruptors