What are Endocrine Disruptors?

By Paul Goettlich 16 June 2001  (rev.8aug2006)

This is an expanded version of that which was published in
Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology
Edited by Dr Friedman Michael.
CCNM Press (2005)  ISBN 1-897025-02-5

8 Aug 2006

People must stop thinking of bodily systems as individual entities that are neatly divided, and think of the whole body as a system that is infinitely interconnected within itself, as well as to all matter on earth — living or otherwise. As each infinitely small part or function is disabled, we lose a little more of the viability of our species and that of all others. Just because an effect is unseen by human observers — science — means little in the long run. I am quite certain that something big is happening to our health. Of course we all know someone or have a relative who has had cancer, which goes without saying. But today, it’s becoming just as prevalent that we all know someone who has trouble with conceiving a child. And then when they are successful after partaking in some form of medical intervention, the children have problems. Modern medicine is not capable of dealing with the problems that have been created by our flagrant misuse of science. There will never be a cure for cancer by adding more layers of scientific mumbo-jumbo.

Nothing is static. All life is dynamic. So too is the environment.  If this seems a bit vague, then you’re catching on.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s novel in which life was created by cutting and pasting body parts was supposed to enlighten and frighten us away from such disasters. But instead, today’s science is just as amazingly simple, myopic and fundamentally flawed.

Corporately-funded academic research functions more by not asking questions than by asking them. In fact it avoids asking questions so as to not find unwanted and cumbersome answers. In order to make studies simple, it must exclude most of life in order to reduce the variables. I’ve been told by prominent scientists that this focus on the smallest of things is required. But at the same time, they tell me that the information must be placed into context of the system, at least the living organism as a whole, but hopefully the environment it lives in as well. The more encompassing the view, the better.

However, what has happened to the university — pretty much any university — is the near total commercialization of academia by corporate America, which has displayed a wanton disregard for honesty and truth. Nothing matters to these people but the bottom line. Just as with their corporate masters, fame and return on investment is primary to the masters of the university.

The second piece of advice I’d like to offer to the reader is to use instinct and common sense. If something seems unhealthy, most likely it is. Learn to read scientific jargon so well that you know when the wool is being pulled over your eyes. Learn to tell the difference between a so-called honest scientist and a corporate scientist, because there can be little honesty in a corporation. The corporation lives for one thing — profit at any cost. Those profits come at the expense of society and the environment. And it’s easy to see that the finely-tuned environment that we utterly depend upon fading away before our eyes. So to is the viability of the human species fading. Understand that and do not forget it.

Before continuing to read this somewhat lengthy article, know that you need to make connections — as many connections as your mind can handle. It is through multiple connections that you’ll begin to understand quite a bit. Today, the university is generally not a place to make connections, nor is industry. The subject of endocrine disruptors is not about one chemical or even multiple chemicals. It is about so much more. It needs to include ionizing and nonionizing radiation, heat, light and humidity, as well as all environmental factors.

But alas, science is not ready for such complexity. And indeed it is headed in the other direction. We are in a very dark scientific and social time where university professors are fired for telling the truth and rewarded for lying. One very hard fact that is typically ignored is that there are too many people doing far too much each day that disturbs the balance of nature. There is no way to avoid the population problem. We are too many.

Finally, you must realize that you are almost entirely on your own in your search for honesty. It is a very rare commodity.

Please continue . . .

What are Endocrine Disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors are man-made synthetic chemicals and natural phytoestrogens (naturally occurring plant- or fungal metabolite-derived estrogen) that act on the endocrine systems of humans and animals by mimicking, blocking and/or interfering in some manner with the natural instructions of hormones to cells.

        An exogenous* agent that interferes with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body which are responsible for the maintenance of homeostasis, reproduction, development, and/or behavior. R.J. Kavlock et al

        Webster’s defines exogenous as something which is introduced from or produced outside the organism or system; specifically : not synthesized within the organism or system.

The bodies of humans and other animals depend upon a complexly integrated and timed series of events, of which the delivery of hormones to various organs is vital. When the delivery timing and/or amount of a hormone are upset the results can be devastating and permanent.

The disruption can take place as an inappropriate quantity or timing of a response to a stimulus; the blocking of hormonal effects in parts of the body normally sensitive to it; and the stimulation or inhibition of the endocrine system that could produce an inappropriate quantity of hormones — too much, too little or none at all. Any combination of these interferences on the endocrine system can affect physical development, sex, reproduction, brain development, behavior, temperature regulation and more. An endocrine disruptor can injure or destroy an organ that has the task of supplying hormones.

The Endocrine System

Endocrine System Illustration from Our Stolen Future (1996)

The endocrine system is made up of glands, hormones and receptors found in numerous places in the body. It is the link between the nervous system and reproduction, immunity, metabolism and behavior. Internal secretions are released directly into the circulatory system, as well as others that are not released to the bloodstream, affect metabolism and other body processes. It includes organs such as hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, thymus, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, pancreas, paraganglia, suprarenal glands, pineal body, intestines, and specialized regions of the brain. Endocrine glands are ductless organs that secrete specific substances “hormones” that are released directly into the circulatory system and influence metabolism and other body processes.

Almost all multicellular animals have two main systems for controlling and coordinating internal bodily processes. Compared to the endocrine system, the nervous system responds very quickly with electrical signals via the nerves to particular organs or tissues. The endocrine system is a slower system based on chemical messengers—hormones, which can reach all of points in the body. The two work together to control all bodily functions and processes. Receptors are molecular structures within or on the surface of cells that selectively bind with, in this case, hormones. Feedback processes between organs and glands control the production and levels that are circulated and maintain the homeostasis of the body.

Just a few of the processes of the endocrine system are: the hypothalamus produces releasing hormones that stimulate pituitary activity; the pituitary produces trophic hormones (stimulating) that stimulate thyroid, adrenal, gonadal and pancreatic activity; the thyroid produces thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, behavior and puberty; the adrenal gland produces corticosteroid hormones and catecholamines to regulate metabolism and behavior; the pancreas produces insulin and glucagon that regulate blood sugar levels; the gonads produce sex steroid hormones that regulate development & growth, reproduction, immunity, onset of (androgens and estrogens) puberty and behavior.

In short, this is a nearly all-inclusive system that deals with most bodily functions. Without it, we would not live. Without it functioning within some range of normalcy, we would function rather poorly. It is a vital system.

Creation of EDs

The creation of EDs can be intentional and/or a byproduct of industrial processes such as the paper and pulp bleaching, emissions from steel foundries and motor vehicles, and the incineration of chlorine containing products such as PVC in incinerators, residential backyard barrels, or building fires.

The most insidious EDs are man-made synthetic chemicals. We are routinely exposed to them in most areas of our daily lives at home, work and play. Known and suspected EDs come in products we have been led to believe have been thoroughly tested for the safety of our health and the environment. The list includes; health and beauty aids (cosmetics, sunscreens, perfumes, soaps); pharmaceuticals (birth control pills); dental sealants; solvents; surfactants; pesticides (Monsanto’s Roundup® [1] and many others); and plastics (PVC [2], polystyrene aka Styrofoam®, and others). See the list of chemicals below. Endocrine disrupting compounds have a wide range of molecular size, volume, and potency. The potency depends upon the target organ or cell and specific end point.


Concentrations of EDs are magnified through the process of bioaccumulation up the food chain. Phytoplankton must collect its food from a large amount of water because its required nutrients are in very low concentrations in the water. EDs accompany the nutrients in the form of synthetic man-made chemicals. At this stage, their concentrations are extremely difficult to measure. The chemicals accumulate in the phytoplankton and reach levels that are much higher than the surrounding water. Small fish and zooplankton eat the phytoplankton, further concentrating the levels of EDs, which are in turn eaten by other animals.

This process of increasing bioaccumulation is repeated until the concentrations of EDs in the top predators reach levels high enough to cause physical deformities, reductions in fertility, and death. The accumulations in the lipid tissues of these animals at the top of the food chain can be millions of times higher than the concentration of the water it first came to rest in.

In a strange twist on bioaccumulation, Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation skimmed the surface of the North Pacific Gyre using a fine-mesh net device over an area of more than 100 kilometers. He found six times more plastic by weight than naturally occurring zooplankton. Other researchers found that the plastic bits absorb and concentrate toxins such as PCB and DDE up to a million times their levels in ambient seawater. Birds and fish are ingesting the plastic because they mistake for zooplankton. Because the plastic is a PCB/DDE “magnet,” the animals consuming it are getting massive doses of EDs.[3]

Being at the top of the food chain, humans have some of the highest EDs concentrations. The human fetus and infant are at an even higher level. EDs can cross the placenta into the fetus. They are also fed to the suckling infant via the mother’s breast milk. It should be noted that recent studies have indicated breast-feeding to be the preferred method, as opposed to formulas.[4] Reduced risk of childhood acute leukemia has been associated with breastfeeding. [5]


The combination of more than one chemical can have the synergistic effect of increasing the toxicity many times above that of each chemical separately. Roundup®, the herbicide by Monsanto, is an excellent example of synergy. Its surfactant is more acutely toxic than glyphosate and the combination of the two is yet more toxic. [6] Combinations of two weak environmental estrogens, such as dieldrin, endosulfan, or toxaphene, are 1000 times as potent as each separately.[7]

In The Dark

Existing technology is exceedingly incapable of even a rough assessment of the health effects of real world multiple chemical exposures, and will it be unable to do so at any time in the foreseeable future. The magnitude of variables involved in human chemical exposure on a daily basis is infinite.

ASCI White, the world’s largest and most up-to-date computer, is a good example of how limited our capacity to understand sets of infinite variables. In mid-August of 2001, ASCI White was delivered to Livermore in 28 tractor-trailers. It can perform 12.3 trillion calculations a second, is roughly as powerful as 50,000 desktop computers, and can store 300 million books, or six Libraries of Congress. It has 8,192 microprocessors linked together by 83 miles of wiring in a room the size of two basketball courts.[7a] But the point to this example is that ASCI White took 15 days (360 hours) to calculate the movements of a mere 600 atoms for 1-trillionth of a second.[7b]

The number of variables involved in an infant’s exposure to toxicants is many orders of magnitude [7c] higher than the number of atoms that ASCI White tracked. There are 6 billion people on Earth, each might possess up of up to 153,478 unique genes, about 100 trillion cells, and enough DNA to reach the Sun and back more than 600.[7d] Each year, thousands of new chemicals are added to the existing 75,000, many of them work together synergistically, significantly multiplying the toxicity.

Human Exposure

While a few sources of human exposure to EDs are natural, the overwhelming majority is from thousands of manmade synthetic products. It is inaccurate to place blame on one chemical since exposure is through multiple paths and substances, each contributing to the cumulative total. In spite of present regulations being aimed at each chemical individually, real world combinations are infinite and have unpredictable effects.

A significant exposure to EDs is from plastic, which is displacing natural products at an ever-increasing pace. Less than 50 years ago plastic products were considered inferior and people lived healthy, productive lives without them. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) probably contributes the greatest exposure to EDs of all plastics. It is toxic during production, use, and when it is disposed of.

World production capacity of PVC in 1998 was 27 million tons.[8] It is made into residential and municipal water pipes, toys, food wrap, clothing, raincoats, shoes, building products such as windows, siding, roofing, flooring, and medical equipment such as hospital blood bags, IV bags, tubing and many other devices.

Besides containing phthalates, the creation of dioxin during its manufacture is unavoidable. The PVC industry readily accepts this ceaseless creation of dioxin as a necessary evil. For decades, PVC industry workers[9] have had the greatest toxic exposure because of VCM (vinyl chloride monomer). But as consumers, they add as much exposure to it as the general population normally receives.

Food and bodily contact with PVC is hazardous because of the various plasticizers and additives utilized in it. BPA (Bisphenol-A) is the most common plasticizer in PVC. BPA leaches into liquid and fatty products packaged in it. Flexible PVC products can be more than half plasticizers by weight, but the constituent chemicals vary between products and manufacturers. Plasticizers account for more than half the weight of some flexible PVC products. About 95% of phthalates are used in PVC.[10]

PVC is generally not recycled. Since a great deal of PVC is disposed of by incineration, dioxin is created again. Ironically, this is called recycling by the plastics industry, and is included in official recycling statistics.[11] The incinerated PVC creates dioxin. Again, industry readily accepts the cancers, endocrine system dysfunction, and environmental pollution because the costs have been externalized.

According to a study by Barry Commoner at Queens College, CUNY, dioxin concentrations in Inuit mothers’ milk are twice the levels observed in southern Quebec, even though no significant sources of dioxin are located in the Canadian polar territory of Nunavut or within 500 kilometers of its boundaries. The alarmingly high rate is due to the deposition of air-borne dioxin transported from distant sources chiefly located in the United States, to a lesser extent in Canada, and marginally in Mexico.[12]

Polystyrene is made into food containers for meats, fish, cheeses, yogurt, foam and clear clamshell containers, foam and rigid plates, clear bakery containers, packaging “peanuts”, foam packaging, audiocassette housings, CD cases, disposable cutlery. Testing has shown that styrene monomer leaches in hot and cold water, and a 50% ethanol-water mixture.[13] Many cities have banned the use of foamed polystyrene by fast-food vendors.[14]

Oil refining, and the burning coal and oil for energy, all auto and truck exhaust[15], cigarette smoke[16] create EDs. The use of synthetic lawn chemicals, household cleaners, paints, solvents, waxes, and thousands of commonly used products put people, animals, and the environment into direct contact with EDs.

Health Effects of Endocrine Disruptors

A few of the possible health effects include; birth defects; alterations in sexual and functional development[17]; neurologic disorders, diabetes mellitus[18], immunologic disorders,[19],[20] early puberty in young girls,[21],[22] cancers: breast,[23],[24] colon, vaginal, endometriosis, cervix, testicular[25], sexual differentiation of the brain and other estrogen target tissues,[26] structural abnormalities of the oviduct, uterus, cervix and vagina, a contributing factor to subfertility,[27] non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,[28],[29], [30] reduced physical stamina,[31] genital birth defects: hypospadias & cryptorchidism,[32] altered anogenital distance in male,[33] reduced sperm counts,[34] and enlargement/reduction of prostate,[35] developmental, behavioral and mental disorders,[36] anger, inattention, decreased mental capacity, learning disabilities,[37] dyslexia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),[38] autism, propensity to violence,[39] reduced motor skills, and gross and fine eye-hand coordination.

The incidence of all cancers among infants less than one year old, both sexes, age adjusted, has risen 36% when comparing the years 1976-1984 to 1986-1994. The incidence for germ cell cancers in that same group has increased 124%. The increases were lower for older children, but still, they were increases.


Paracelsus, born Theophrastus von Hohenheim, was a Swiss physician, alchemist, lay theologian, and philosopher of the German Renaissance. (1493-1541)

When 16th century alchemist Paracelsus wrote, “[s]olely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison,”[39a] (meaning the higher the dose, the stronger the poison) he was at the edge of science. It is repeated today by most toxicologists. They are unaware that doses as low as one part per trillion, applied at specific times in development, can yield countless permanent physical and mental abnormalities that may not be recognized until after puberty. Less than half of the 38,000 high production volume chemicals [39b] have been tested for toxicity. Very few of the 87,000 chemicals in commercial use have been tested at all. And almost none of the more than 3 million registered chemicals have been tested. And less than that have been tested in combinations found in our everyday lives. [39c]

These toxic chemicals can mutate the DNA in our bodies, disturbing the normal nucleotide sequence. The body has an emergency response team, enzymes to straighten out the mess made by the environmental toxins. They usually manage to repair the mutated DNA. Then there are times when the DNA cannot be repaired. From this lack of repair, abnormal cells are proliferated that can lead to cancer.


All mothers have had many years of exposures. Many of the chemicals accumulate faster than they are cleared and are attracted to the fatty cells of the body. When pregnant, these stored toxins can affect the embryo in a number of ways. It used to be said that the placenta protects the embryo from all harm. While, the placenta is an efficient barrier to bacteria, it does not block most synthetic chemicals. Some cross the placenta with ease, some are changed into even more toxic chemicals called metabolites, and others damage the functioning of the placenta.[39d]

Dioxin is one toxin that crosses the placenta with ease. It has no commercial value and is extremely toxic, long-lived and ubiquitous. PVC[39e], also known as vinyl, is the single largest source of dioxin. Other chlorine-containing products such as paper have some of the same toxic characteristics. The production and incineration of many materials containing chlorine such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC, vinyl) and paper. Its largest source is the incineration of municipal and medical waste, which contains a great deal of chlorine-containing products.[39f] The PVC industry has known for decades that dioxin is an unavoidable byproduct of PVC production.[39g] Therefore, it is an intentional action placing profits above people. It is just one of hundreds of contaminants stored in the mother’s fat, is consumed by nursing infants at a rate of 35-100 pg/kg (picograms per kilogram of body weight per day. A picogram is one-trillionth of a gram). The World Health Organization’s acceptable daily intake of dioxin is 1-4 pg/kg. The EPA “Risk Specific Dose” is 0.01 pg/kg,[39h] which is 10,000 times lower than that the nursing child receives.


Dioxin is also stored in the father’s fatty tissues. Dioxin is what made Agent Orange such a nightmare for Vietnam vets and their offspring. Its legacy continues today in US veterans and Vietnamese citizens decades after its use.[39i] It and many other contaminants can cause problems related to his sperm that are passed on to the child. Both the quantity and quality of sperm can be reduced, the DNA carried by the sperm can be damaged, the sperm can be coated in toxins, and the semen entering the vagina can carry the toxicants that are flowing throughout the body of the father.[39j] His own sperm production could have been limited while he was an embryo. Decreasing sperm counts in many industrialized nations are about 1.5% annually.[39k]

Children are at Greater Risk

Children are at greater risk because they play close to the ground, regularly have their hands in their mouths, eyes or noses, and have unique diets. They absorb more pesticides from their environment than adults and are less able to detoxify and excrete pesticides.

They are exposed in their homes, schools, day-care centers, parks and gardens. Approximately 90% of American households use pesticides, purchasing of an estimated 74 million pounds of the pesticides used in 1995. Diet, including drinking water, is a second important source of children’s pesticide exposure.[40] In addition to those sources of EDs, one must consider exposure to plastics, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicle exhausts, shampoos, etc., and the synergistic affect of all sources combined.

All children, without exception, are exposed to toxic synthetic chemicals before birth and continuing through the rest of their lives. Much of their time is spent crawling on lawns or carpeting where toxins accumulate. When children mouth toys, any accumulated toxins are ingested. Playing with pets that have been rolling in the neighbor’s pesticide-ridden lawn, or are wearing flea collars also transfers those pesticides directly into the child’s body. Because of their size, children are biologically more vulnerable than adults. Proportionately, they receive a larger exposure and are therefore at higher risk.[40a]

Much of what children eat, drink, breathe, and touch is toxic. Some of this exposure is avoidable, some is difficult to avoid, and the rest is unavoidable. Normal, everyday consumer products are not at all harmless and should be avoided. A short list to limit a child’s exposure to includes; lawn and garden chemicals, paints, health and beauty products, scented products, glues, solvents, gas and diesel motor vehicle exhaust, plastics, sunlight, various pharmaceuticals, including many methods of birth control, and more.

Review of a Child’s Typical Day

Infants sleep in cribs made of plastic, covered with synthetic sheets that are treated with fire-retardant, and washed in harsh detergents containing many toxic synthetic chemicals. Sheets are dried at high temperature creating dioxin from the chlorine bleach residue.[40b] The mattress cover’s flexibility is from plasticizers and it’s treated with an antibacterial agent. The room’s new synthetic carpeting and freshly painted walls offgass toxins. Snugly fitting disposable diapers contain toxic ingredients such sodium polyacrylates, and ethylvinylacetate-based glues, resins, softening agents and antioxidants.[40c] The lotion their precious bottoms are covered with contains phthalates, which are known to mimic hormones. A fluoride supplement is prescribed if drinking water is from a well. The water itself could be high in nitrates and coliform.[40d]

Their food has been drenched in a variety of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, then wrapped in plastics, coated with sealants, or canned. It’s heated in, eaten from and eaten with plastic. Warm leftovers are saved in plastic and refrigerated.[40e] The health effects of few of the constituent chemicals of plastics are known, but their collective effect is completely unknown. The FDA interestingly calls chemicals that migrate from plastic into food “indirect food additives.” Regulations governing the use of plastic in contact with food offer only limited protection.[40f]

While being driven about town, the child sits in a car seat made of several types of plastic in a car that has that new car smell, which is off-gassing of plastics. Dry-cleaned clothes, perfume, hand cream, deodorant, hairspray, nail polish, lipstick, and cigarette smoke are also part the car’s air. Driving behind a diesel truck, fine particulate matter carrying carcinogens and endocrine disruptors are forced deep into the child’s lungs.

They drive through factory fumes to pick up the father, where he works in PVC or pesticide production. He could be smoking, wearing after-shave lotion, or his clothes carry the residue a toxic chemical that he worked with. If he’s a dentist, he just finished filling a cavity with mercury. If he does auto body repair, he just finished using paints and plastic filler.

On the way home, they stop off to fill up the car’s gas tank and the fumes flow through the open window along with the odor of the degreaser the mechanic uses. During the summer ozone levels are high and smog is thick. In the winter, oil, gas, coal, and/or wood combustion byproducts permeate the air, depending upon the locality.

A few years later, when the child goes to school carrying a plastic lunch box on a bus. Diesel fumes will fill the bus. Even a nonsmoking diesel bus could be exposing the child to dangerous levels of exhaust. A child riding a school bus may be exposed to 23 to 46 times the cancer risk considered “significant” by EPA and under federal environmental laws.[40g] The air in rural areas will be laced with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, dust, diesel fumes, and anything else that drifts out of the urban areas. Jets fly overhead, sometimes dumping jet fuel at high altitudes, which vaporizes before reaching the ground.

At school, the child will sit at plastic desk, on a synthetic floor covering, within walls covered with a vinyl material, under vinyl covered ceiling tiles and fluorescent lighting. The school has air conditioning with no fresh air supply, recycling stagnant air through dusty, damp, mold ridden ducts. The teacher’s perfume mixes with the accelerants of the whiteboard markers. Pesticides are used regularly throughout the school, whether needed or not. Many surfaces will be treated with bleach and antibacterial liquids. The halls are filled with the smell of the vinyl flooring. The grounds are covered with pesticides herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers that can contain just about any kind of toxic waste.

For lunch, the child eats and drinks highly processed, pesticide-ridden, irradiated foods with synthetic preservatives, colorings, and a score of unnamed substances whose only purpose is to extend the food’s shelf life. The food is often prepared at another location miles away, transported in plastic, served on, and eaten with plates and utensils made of polystyrene. Before eating the child’s hands are washed using a soap that is antibacterial/antimicrobial, using chlorinated/fluoridated water.

It’s All Quite Legal

All of the things enumerated on the toxic tour of a child’s day should be avoided if possible. Many of the chemicals in pesticides are common to plastics, cosmetics, and paints. Alone, these chemicals can mimic the hormones of our bodies. Combinations of them can create a synergy, increasing the toxicity by multiples rather than an additive formula, creating a significantly more powerful toxin.

Most people assume that products they use daily have been thoroughly tested and are safe. Our deep-seated trust in the safety of these products is misplaced and has allowed the fox to enter the henhouse. There is no pre-market safety testing or approval required under any federal law for the hundreds of items infants come in contact with daily. Industrial trade secrets, allowed by law, keep consumers from knowing what is in most products that are chewed on, sucked on, eaten, breathed, or played with by our children. The industries claim that the secrets protect “commercially sensitive information.”[40h] Realization of these facts is crucial. It would be wrong to mistrust everyone, but a healthy dose of skepticism is strongly recommended.[40i] By educating ourselves, we will become part of the process that our government is charged with.

Currently, if a product being marketed is defective or toxic, the consumer is saddled with the burden of proof. Industry must be made to prove the safety of a product before it is marketed. By the same token, they must be made responsible for damages to the environment and our health.

Parts Per Trillion

For a medical student to read that estradiol must be measured in parts per trillion (ppt), should be nothing new. Now, try visualizing what 1 ppt looks like. Imagine one drop of water in 660 rail tank cars. That’s a train six miles long![41] It is not possible to see six miles as one sees a yardstick or a milliliter, or even a single cell. But the difference of a few parts per trillion of a hormone can mean a world of difference during ones whole life.

Behavioural and reproductive differences in mice can be predicted to a remarkable degree by their position, which is related to hormone exposure, in the womb.

Frederick vom Saal’s postgraduate work at the University of Texas exemplifies the power of hormones. He showed that the womb-mate of mouse permanently affected its adult characteristics in terms of aggression, sexuality, and reproduction. If a female mouse’s womb position was between two males, it has a greater chance of being aggressive, producing less sex-attracting pheromones, matured more slowly, and came into heat less frequently than one that was located between two females. [42] Other researchers found that the womb position also determines the sex ratio of that mouse fetus’ future litters.[43]

The result of these findings is that it is no longer adequate to consider cancer as the most important or only end point.

Why Haven’t I Heard of Endocrine Disruptors?

The reasons are many, but the lack of awareness is caused by our educational, regulatory, and economic systems. Each plays a part in maintaining the status quo. Scientific communication is greatly reduced by divisions into increasingly smaller fields of study. Corporate funding of academic research and political campaigns further reduces open communication. The health care system thrives on cures rather than prevention, and profit rather than healing.

Through their own research, chemical manufacturers have known for a decades about the dangers of the chemicals they produce. In spite of incessant warnings by scientists and organizations, they not only refuse to adequately test them before marketing them, but have also organized into action groups, spending many millions of dollars on public media campaigns to disinform us. Profit is the sole reason.

In March 26, 2001, PBS aired a Bill Moyers’ special exposing the conspiracy of the PVC industry in concealing the toxicity of VCM (vinyl chloride monomer) from many thousands of workers. Labeling it a conspiracy is far from exaggeration. The program, Trade Secrets, was inspired by years of research into hundreds of thousands of documents obtained through lawsuits and the Freedom of Information Act. Many of the documents are freely accessible on the Environmental Working Group’s website. Guilt-ridden industry people are coming forward with even more as this book goes to print. It is an abundant source of industry records detailing the long-running history of illicit actions to compromise the health and trust of the PVC industry workers. [44]

What do the Chemical Manufacturers Have to Say? Chemical manufacturers claim that scientists who urge precaution with regards to EDs are but hysterical sensationalists. They warn that thousands of workers would be needlessly unemployed if production of these toxic chemicals were halted without absolute proof of harm. They also say that because only animal tests have been done, no proof exists that humans are being affected as other animals are. But through studies of industrial accidents and inadequately tested or prescribed pharmaceuticals, enough has been learned to strongly connect the effect of EDs to humans.

These are a few examples of cases illustrating the connection between EDs and humans: DES (diethylstilbestrol) was used to treat up to 4 million women for pregnancy-related problems;[45] the 1976 chemical factory explosion in Seveso, Italy exposed thousands of people to dioxin; [46] thousands of people living around the Minimata Bay in Japan developed methylmercury poisoning through the consumption of fish contaminated by the intentional dumping of tons of mercury into by Chisso Corporation; and the effects of Agent Orange, the ubiquitous defoliant used during the Vietnam War during the 1960’s, are still being felt to this day in the US, Vietnam and many other countries.[47]

When industry is threatened, they debunk low-dose toxicity as “junk science” or that it is the message of a Luddite. Toxicologists are paraded in front of the media declaring “the dose makes the poison,” or that there is a “no-effect level for all chemicals.” But when one asks the wrong questions, errors are inevitable. Tests can and have been designed by industry to eliminate or avoid finding results detrimental to profits.[48]

The estrogenic properties of bisphenol-A, (BPA) were known as early as 1936, yet children now have their teeth coated with plastic containing BPA[49]. The American Dental Association (ADA) denies any problem and goes on coating teeth[50]. Food and drink cans are lined with it. Some plastic baby bottles contain it and other plasticizers. And it’s all done with the approval of the FDA.

In April 1999, Consumer Reports Special Report advised parents to dispose of soft vinyl teethers and toys that infants sometimes suck or chew, and all clear, shiny plastic baby bottles, unless the manufacturer tells you they’re not made of polycarbonate, which leaches BPA. They also advised parents to replace the bottles with those made of glass or an opaque, less-shiny plastic (the plastic bottles are often colored). Shortly thereafter, in conjunction with American Council on Health and Science (ACSH), an industry-funded front group, “family doctor” C. Everett Koop, stated that there is no problem. His strongly stated press release claims that polycarbonate bottles are safe and that the public should not listen to the “junk science” of the people that brought us the alar scare. Not only was alar proven to be as toxic as claimed, but Koop’s argument in favor of polycarbonate bottles is wrought with contradictions. [51]

Isn’t the government watching out for our safety?

Less than half of the 38,000 high production volume chemicals* have been tested for their toxicity, and few of the 75,000 chemicals on the market have been tested for combinations found in our everyday lives.

        * High production volume (HPV) chemicals are those which are manufactured in or imported into the United States in amounts equal to or greater than one million pounds per year.

The government relies upon tests conducted by or paid for by the manufacturers. Antiquated regulations and laws govern the production and use of most chemicals and products on the market today. In many cases the regulations were written by the regulated industry itself. Each attempt at protective and precautionary legislation is thwarted by industry using the influence of its substantial accumulation of money.

The Endocrine Disruptors Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC) which convened between 1997 and 1998, was established to advise the EPA on a strategy for screening and testing new and existing chemicals for their potential to disrupt endocrine functions in humans and wildlife. Some of the EDSTAC recommendations are that EPA considers screening and testing 87,000 chemicals, to address environmental impacts, and focus on both human and ecological health. Sadly, congress grossly under-funded the EPA for this project, and it hasn’t a hope of progressing. In 1998, a rough estimate of its cost was $50 million. But EPA got only $3.2 million in FY 1999. Industry has not offered to pay for any testing in spite of the fact that these highly suspect chemicals are all industry-produced.[52]

Pesticides are a good example of regulations that were written — in complete disregard for public health– with only industry profits in mind. Without any testing at all, many pesticides are “grandfathered in”, or approved for use because they were created before regulations. Pesticide testing is done by manufacturers and/or paid for by manufacturers. Even then, they are not tested as the final product sold in stores or to farmers. Only the “active ingredient’ of a pesticide is tested, without its “inert ingredients,” which can be as much as 99.99% of the product. Inerts can be significantly more toxic than the actives. The mixture of active and inerts can have a synergistic effect of multiplying the toxicity many times beyond that of each part.[53] By definition, an inert is any substance other than an active ingredient.[54] Many inerts are on restricted use lists, but as part of a “registered” pesticide they are permitted. To be registered means only that they are registered and guarantees no safety or testing. In fact, it is illegal to claim a pesticide is safe.[55] All of this would be comedy, if not for the willful destruction of our health and future, and that of our environment — all in the name of profit. Most inerts are proprietary, meaning that consumers do not have the right to know.[56] The GW Bush administration is working hard at reducing our right to know and further protecting industry profits.

Precautionary Principal

Under the present risk assessment regulatory scheme, industry is allowed to produce potentially damaging chemicals until absolute proof of human harm exists. Costs and benefits of chemicals must be accounted for in the process. Essentially, it dictates how many people may be killed or maimed before a chemical is restricted or banned. Far too much importance is given to theoretical models of risk that are significantly less complex than the real world where everyone is regularly exposed to an infinite combination of chemicals interacting in unknown ways with unknown outcomes. Risk assessment is also extremely inadequate in dealing with extremely low-dose exposure, where EDs can be most active.

According to the well-established scientific method, scientists can support a hypothesis, but never absolutely prove it. Therefore, industry’s demand of absolute proof that EDs can injure humans at extremely low levels is not possible. It is right that scientists observe the rules of scientific method in order to maintain standardization, but our legislators must consider the consequences of not taking action protective of public health. Inaction is similar to action in that both are intentional decisions with somewhat predictable outcomes. A chemical should be considered guilty until proven innocent, putting the burden of proof on the manufacturer rather than on the public. Safety testing should be completely independent of the manufacturer, but the cost of testing should be borne by the manufacturer.

Many scientists believe that enough evidence of harm to humans, animals and the environment already exists for scores of chemicals that the “Precautionary Principle” be employed. Key elements of the principle include taking precaution in the face of scientific uncertainty; exploring alternatives to possibly harmful actions; placing the burden of proof on proponents of an activity rather than on victims or potential victims of the activity; and using democratic processes to carry out and enforce the principle-including the public right to informed consent.

The precautionary principle states that, “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” [57] Accordingly, the manufacturer, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.

Avoiding Endocrine Disruptors

Women suffer the greater extent of damage from toxicants and stand a greater chance of passing them on to the future generations. However, men shouldn’t feel immune to this problem because the fetus is not nourished from within their bodies. Genetic mutation and low fertility in men can be passed on as well. And the chemicals a man works with are carried home to his family on his clothing and body.

To make a blanket statement, short paper or even a book that would cover all that you need to do to avoid endocrine disruptors would be an arduous task. Purchase less, consume less, and waste less. Unlearn the lessons taught to us by industry and just use less stuff. Learn how to read labels. And above all, be skeptical of safety claims made by industry or industry-funded research.

Always question yourself before buying, “Do I really need this product?” If you really need it, then ask, “What can I use that’s less toxic?” Nine times out of ten, you’ll come up with something less toxic and less expensive at the same time.

Next, considering that our protective agencies are not what they claim to be, everyone must educate themselves on the environmental hazards that are right in their own homes. In spite of the fact that they already know about endocrine disruptors, industry prefers to keep us all ignorant of the harm caused by the many products we use in every area of our houses, properties, and workplaces. They range from cleaning products, paints and glues, lawn care products and pet supplies to auto products, art supplies, cosmetics and foods. Especially vulnerable to these toxic products are the unborn, those in the womb and those of future generations.


Don’t be overwhelmed by this list. Take one step at a time. The task is to undo a lifetime of misconceptions and disinformation.

  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
    Especially if you’re a man or a woman who is planning to have children! It can cause permanent damage to the reproductive systems of both men and women. A man’s sperm can be damaged genetically and be coated with the toxicant, and a woman’s ovum can be damaged in the same way. Your unborn child, and those in subsequent generations may suffer because of your indiscretion. Women who had smoke the same number of cigarettes as men have twice the amount of DNA damage to their lungs. Men, beware as well. Smoking contaminates a man’s sperm, as well as decreasing its quality and quantity. The toxins can coat the outside and be contained within it.
  • Don’t use lawn chemicals or any pesticides.
    Especially if you’re a man or a woman who is planning to have children! Don’t even think of being near them. Lawns, humans, and animals will be healthier without them.
  • Don’t use makeup, hair sprays & coloring products or nail polish.
    Especially if you’re a man or a woman who is planning to have children! Enjoy your own body and not the image that the media says you should want.
  • Avoid using strong chemicals, glues, paints, nail polish and remover, floor & carpet cleaners.
    Get rid of all those name brands and use earth friendly products sparingly. If you must use chemicals then wear industrial quality, gloves, eye protection and a mask with filters approved for each chemical being used. Once again… Definitely NOT if you’re planning to have children!
  • Don’t heat food or eat hot food in plastic containers, even the ones frozen dinners now come in.
    This includes Teflon coated cookware. Chemicals from the plastic can be ingested with the food and could cause great problems for the unborn and you.
  • Purchase fresh organic produce, meats and milk free from rBGH.
    Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, or rBGH, is a hormone to increase milk production in cows. It causes mastitis requiring lots of antibiotics in cows that can be passed on to humans, which in turn, can create new incurable diseases.
  • Eat lower on the food chain.
    Eat more organic fruits and vegetables. Meat, dairy and fish contain more toxic bioaccumulative chemicals. Even if it is organically raised and processed, it contains dioxin.
  • Eat deep-water fish.
    Avoid swordfish, tuna and shark because of mercury. Avoid all farm-raised fish, They are fed animal parts, given antibiotics to prevent disease caused by overcrowding, given hormones to stimulate growth and to encourage lethargy, and their pens are coated with toxic paint to discourage marine growth on the mesh. Especially beware of fishing in bays polluted by mercury, PCBs, dioxin, and other synthetic chemicals. Did you know that there’s greater than 6 times more plastic than zooplankton floating in the Pacific Ocean, as well as many other oceans? Not only is the plastic toxic, it attracts the breakdown products—known as metabolites—of DDT in the form of DDE and other dioxin-like chemicals at a rate of up to 1 million times what’s found in the ocean.
  • Buy produce at your local Farmers’ Market or join a buying club.
    Purchase local organic produce in season. Vegetarians have far fewer endocrine disruptors found in their blood than people that consume meat. This is because incinerators that are as near as your back yard or as far away as thousands of miles release dioxin into the air when they burn chlorine containing materials like PVC plastic or pesticides[58]. The dioxin falls on the grass that cows and cattle eat and accumulates in their fat and milk. Because of their longer life, dioxin accumulation is more critical in milk cows and beef cattle than chickens or other animals. Being at the top of the food chain, humans accumulate even more dioxin in their blood than the animals they eat. Taking that one step further, infants are at an even higher plane of the food chain because they consume the milk of their mothers’. While this is a major health concern, recent studies have shown that it is still better to breast feed than any of the alternatives.
  • Use fewer processed, prepackaged foods whenever possible.
    Eat more fresh food, you’ll get more nutritional value from your diet. And you’ll be sure of what’s in it! In general, you’ll get a much better value in terms of cost by purchasing whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Avoid canned goods unless absolutely a must.
    The nutritional value is lower and some of the interior can coatings are endocrine disruptors. For more on this topic please read “Get Plastic Out Of Your Diet” (16nov03).
  • Avoid products with hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated fats and oelestra (a synthetic fat substitute).
    While these types of fats and fat substitutes are not currently thought to be EDs, they are found in snack foods or processed foods and can be bad for your health in both the short- and long-term. Hydrogenated fats, even when made from polyunsaturated fats, can actually increase your LDL (bad cholesterol). Hydrogenated fats give snacks the feel of butter on your tongue and increase the shelf life of the product. Be on the lookout for hydrogenated fats on ingredient lists. Many junkfood makers are dropping them in favor of other fats such as palm oil. The substitutes, while better, are many times only marginally so. Best to avoid all processed foods if possible. Don’t let your children get near this stuff, or else they’ll develop a taste for it, and consequently, a hard to break habit.
  • Don’t stay in places that smell of chemicals.
    Get out quickly. Don’t wait to ask if the smell is safe. Probably the people around you know even less.
  • In general, substitute natural products for synthetic products whenever possible.
    That’s not an easy task. I’ve tried it myself. Do it one step at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Maybe pick out one thing a month to switch over to a more natural product. Seek out the metal, wooden, ceramic and glass cook wear like your grandmother had. There are a lot of people that have been injured by synthetic chemicals during their production, use, and disposal, and/or by just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Protect our future generations by making it your business to be one of the well-informed people.
  • Don’t go to war or join any branch of the Armed Forces
    And don ‘t allow your children to do so either. The commands of all branches of armed forces have no respect for human life. For an extremely detailed lecture that covers this subject pretty well, please read The US Army’s Use of Depleted Uranium – US Army Major Doug Rokke 21apr03.

Some of my “alternatives”

    I cringe a bit when write the word alternatives because the way it’s used in the typical environmental organization is to designate natural materials as replacements to the fake (synthetic) ones. I grew up in a world where these bastardizations where just gaining a foothold in society as a result of the war-time materials of WWII — plastics, pesticides and medicine. We know now that most of it is a hoax and have gone on to replace it all with yet worse materials. It seems to me that one of the first things that one needs to do in order to accomplish the goal of living a cleaner life is to unplug the televisions and radios as well as stop all print subscriptions, for there’s really nothing much to learn from these sources. Go to a library if you must read a paper or magazine. But stop killing trees to print nonsense.

I am constantly looking for another way to disconnect from the world of consumerism, which generally means to use less of something. For instance, rather than purchase a commercial toothpaste I make my own dry powder out of baking powder and salt (3 parts baking soda to 1 part salt). I get it in bulk and carry it home in used bags or glass jars. For a kitchen cleanser I soak things in baking soda and vinegar, then use a scouring pad if required. That removes most cook-on food. The less toxic chemicals that get on your hands, in your lungs the better, or down the drain the better. If something can’t be done without using a harsh chemical, I try not to do it at all. Of course this means you need to change you life style. There’s no way around it unless you don’t care to clean up your life. But know that what goes into the parent, goes into the child. In one way or another, the children are affected by our actions. Nothing magically disappears when it goes down the drain or is put out at the curb for a garbage or recycling truck to haul away. Without question, it all comes back at us.

List of Endocrine Disruptors

Note (20 Aug 2020) This list is greatly expanded since this article was written. I promise to update as time allows.

Persistent Organohalogens:
Dioxins and furans, PBBs, PCBs, Hexachlorobenzene, Octachlorostyrene, Pentachlorophenol

2,4,5-T, 2,4-D, alachlor, aldicarb, d-trans allethrin, amitrole, atrazine, benomyl, beta-HCH, carbaryl, chlordane, chlozolinate, -cyhalothrin, cis-nonachlor, cypermethrin, DBCP, DDT, DDT metabolites, dicofol, dieldrin, endosulfan, esfenvalerate, ethylparathion, fenvalerate, glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), h-epoxide, heptachlor, iprodione, kelthane, kepone, ketoconazole, lindane, linurone, malathion, mancozeb, maneb, methomyl, methoxychlor, metiram, metribuzin, mirex, nitrofen, oxychlordane, permethrin, procymidone, sumithrin, synthetic pyrethroids, toxaphene, trans-nonachlor, tributyltin oxide, trifluralin, vinclozolin, zineb, ziram

Di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), Di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPP), Di-hexyl phthalate (DHP), Di-propyl phthalate (DprP), Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP), Diethyl phthalate (DEP),

Penta- to Nonyl-Phenols, Bisphenol A, Bisphenol F, Styrene dimers and trimers, Benzo(a)pyrene, ethane dimethane, sulphonate, tris-4-(chlorophenyl), methane, tris-4-(chlorophenyl), methanol, Benzophenone, N-butyl benzene, 4-nitrotoluene, 2,4-dichlorophenol, Cyanazine, Diethylhexyl adipate, DES (diethylstilbestrol)

Arsenic, Cadmium, Depleted Uranium (Uranium)*, Lead, Mercury. * http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/#DU

drug estrogens – birth control pills, DES, cimetidine

More EDs: ), heavy metals (arsenic[59], cadmium[60], lead[61], mercury[62]), 209 PCBs[63], [64] (polychlorinated biphenyl), 75 dioxins[65],[66], and 135 furans[67], exhaust from all motor vehicles, cigarette smoke, ordinary household products (breakdowns products of detergents and associated surfactants, including nonylphenol and octylphenol

Other references

    Kaufman, RH, E Adam, EE Hatch, K Noller, A Herbst, JR Palmer and RN Hoover. 2000. Continued follow-up of pregnancy outcomes in diethylstilbestrol-exposed offspring. Obstetrics & Gynecology 96(4):483-489.

    Mulvihill K. Agricultural pesticides linked to fetal death. Reuters Health 13feb01

    Anon. Scientists Link Sterility with High Dioxin Levels The Yomiuri Shimbun 12nov99

    Brown D. Herbicides, Diabetes Linked in New Study. Washington Post 12oct00

    Legler JM, et al. Brain and Other Central Nervous System Cancers: Recent Trends in Incidence and Mortality Journal of the National Cancer Institute, v.91, n.16, 1382-1390, 18aug99

    Buckley JD, et al. Pesticide exposures in children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Cancer v.89, i11, 6dec00

    Anon. Child’s Exposure To Pesticides Hikes Lymphoma Risk UniSci 30nov00

    IDRC Study Shows High Exposure to Insecticides Affects Mental Capacity. Learning Disabilities Association of Canada 6feb01

    Anon. What is a Pesticide? U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs 14feb97


    Silent Spring Rachel Carson 1962 – “What happens in nature is not allowed to happen in the modern, chemical-drenched world,” she writes, “where spraying destroys not only the insects but also their principal enemy, the birds. When later there is a resurgence of the insect population, as almost always happens, the birds are not there to keep their numbers in check.” –Rachel Carson

    Chemical Exposure and Disease: Diagnostic and Investigative Techniques by Janette Sherman, MD, provides investigative and diagnostic techniques for the lay reader as well as the medical and legal community. It is easy to understand and gives case studies for all body systems. (1988)

    Chemical Deception: The Toxic Threat to Health and the Environment Marc Lappé 1991 (Out of Print) – Lappé charts both individual and global episodes of toxicity and discusses the myths that have perpetuated them: that the risk from cancer-causing agents is remote; that tap water is safe; that the body’s defenses can handle food, air, and water contaminants; that a fetus is protected from dangerous substances; that the environment is resilient; and so on.

    Dying From Dioxin: A Citizen’s Guide to Reclaiming Our Health and Rebuilding Democracy Lois Gibbs 1995 – Gibbs, one of the original activists from the contaminated neighborhoods at Love Canal, explains what dioxin is and describes how it affects human health, summarizing the September 1994 EPA draft report on dioxin and important reports published since the EPA report. She reviews the politics surrounding the history of dioxin, and offers step-by-step instructions for grass-roots organizing, creating a coalition, identifying sources of contamination in the community, and shutting down an incinerator. Contains appendices on the chemistry of dioxin, conversion charts, sample ordinances, agreements and resolutions, and a declaration of principles of environmental justice.

    Our Stolen Future Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, John P. Myers 1996 – This book sent chills up and down my spine. It explains endocrine disruption in a way that does not require any previous knowledge of the theory, showing the interconnectedness of the world. This one book is responsible for fanning the flames of my environmental activism.

    Toxic Deception Dan Fagin, Marianne Lavelle, Center for Public Integrety 1996 – The authors suggest one industry method for prosperity: nearly half the top officials who left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the last 15 years now work for these companies, directly or indirectly–which might explain why the industry is essentially responsible for testing the toxic effects of its own chemicals and then reporting the results to the EPA.

    Living Downstream Sandra Steingraber 1997 – biologist and poet Sandra Steingraber writes eloquently and impassionately of an intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the integrity of our air, land, and water. “By skillfully weaving a strong personal drama with thorough scientific research, Steingraber tells a compelling story….Well worth reading.”–Washington Post

    Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment Ted Schettler, Gina Solomon, MD, Maria Valenti, Annette Huddle 1999 – compelling evidence that human exposure to some toxic chemicals can have lifelong and even intergenerational effects on human reproduction and development.

    Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer by Janette Sherman, MD, defines and documents known causes of breast cancer, and emphasizes the means of prevention. (2000)

    Hormonal Chaos: The Scientific and Social Origins of the Environmental Endocrine Hypothesis Sheldon Krimsky 2000 – This is not a quick read but an engrossing read. Sheldon has proven a link between environmental toxins and endocrine disease. He offers not only a credible theory for endocrine failure through environmental toxins but documents it with scientifically sound data.

    Pandora’s Poison Joe Thornton 2000 – Thornton, a former Greenpeace scientist, describes the “global health hazard” organochlorines represent; suggests that adding chlorine to organic substances is intrinsically dangerous because the substances it produces are more toxic, fat soluble, persistent, reactive, and/or bioaccumulative; and outlines how a “chlorine sunset” could be implemented.

    Trust Us We’re Experts Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber Dec 2000 – a gripping exposé of the public relations industry and the scientists who back their business-funded, anti-consumer-safety agendas. There are two kinds of “experts” in question–the PR spin doctors behind the scenes and the “independent” experts paraded before the public, scientists who have been hand-selected, cultivated, and paid handsomely to promote the views of corporations involved in controversial actions. Other books they wrote that you should see Toxic Sludge Is Good for You! and Mad Cow U.S.A.

    Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood. Sandra Steingraber 2oct01 Perseus Books – has vital information about fetal development. Illustrates why we need to take more action as a society to protect our children, the most vulnerable among us. This book explains many concepts in depth for all audiences, not just women. I heard her read a couple sections from this book at the San Francisco Law School when the book came out. She describes everything from breast feeding to birthing without hesitation. Rather than getting scared and upset at what is going on… get active! This book is an excellent reference book as well.


        [1] Walsh, L.P., C.McCormick, C.Martin, D.M.Stoccol. Roundup Inhibits Steroidogenesis by Disrupting Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory (StAR) Protein Expression Expression Environmental Health Perspectives v.108, n.8 Aug00 Note: Roundup is also linked to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. See [29]

        [2] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service National Toxicology Program. Vinyl Chloride CAS No.75-01-4. 9th Report on Carcinogens rev. Jan01

        [3] Mato, Y., T.Isobe, H.Takada, H.Kahnehiro, C.Ohtake, T.Kaminuma. Plastic Resin Pellets as a Transport Medium for Toxic Chemicals in the Marine Environment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2001, 35, 318-324

        [4] Personal conversation with Barry Commoner at the Peoples’ Dioxin Action Summit, UC Berkeley, Summer 2000.

        [5] Shu, X.O., M.S.Linet, M.Steinbuch, W.Q.Wen, J.D.Buckley, J.P.Neglia, J.D.Potter, G.H.Reaman, L.L.Robison. Breast-Feeding and Risk of Childhood Acute Leukemia. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 91, No. 20, 1765-1772, 20oct99 and Hardell, L., and A.C.Dreifaldt. Breast-feeding duration and the risk of malignant diseases in childhood in Sweden. Eur.Jour.Clin.Nut. (2001) 55, 179-185

        [6] C.Cox. Glyphosate Factsheet in Journal of Pesticide Reform v.108, n.3 Fall98 rev.Oct00 (There is a great disparity between this paper by C.Cox and Roundup® MSDS sheets.)                 More on Monsanto

        [7] Arnold, S., D.Klotz, B.Collins, P.Vonier, L.Guillette Jr., J.McLachlan. Synergistic Activation of Estrogen Receptor with Combinations of Environmental Chemicals. Science v.272 7jun96

        [7a] Bergstein, B. “Livermore Lab Unveils Supercomputer.” AP 15aug01

        [7b] ASCI White, the most powerful computer on earth. Science News v.160 25aug01

        [7c] An order of magnitude is an exponential change of plus-or-minus 1 in the value of a quantity or unit. An increase of one order of magnitude is the same as multiplying a quantity by 10. Example: 100 is one order of magnitude larger than 10.

        [7d] Briggs, H. Dispute over number of human genes. BBC 7jul01

        [8] Kielhorn, J., C.Melber, U.Wahnschaffe, A.Aitio, and I.Mangelsdorf. Vinyl Chloride: Still a Cause for Concern. Environmental Health Perspectives v.108, n.7, July 2000

        [9] Ohlson, C., L.Hardell. Testicular cancer and occupational exposures with a focus on xenoestrogens in polyvinyl chloride plastics. Chemosphere 40(9-11):1277-82 2000.

        [10] C.Cray. Experimenting On Children in Rachels Environment & Health Weekly n.603, 18jun98 Environmental Research Foundation

        [11] Berkeley Plastics Task Force. Report of the Berkeley Plastics Task Force. Ecology Center, Berkeley, CA. 8apr96

        [12] Commoner, B., P.W.Bartlett, H.Eisl, K.Couchot. Long-range Air Transport of Dioxin from North American Sources to Ecologically Vulnerable Receptors in Nunavut, Arctic Canada Barry Commoner CBNS Final Report to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation. Center for the Biology of Natural Systems (CBNS), Queens College, CUNY Sep00

        [13] Withey, J.R. Quantitative Analysis of Styrene Monomer in Polystyrene and Foods Including Some Preliminary Studies of the Uptake and Pharmacodynamics of the Monomer in Rats. Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 17, pp. 125-1.53, 1976

        [14] City of Berkeley Code Chapter 11.60 Polystyrene Foam, Degradable and Recyclable Food Packaging Effective 1jan90

        [15] Watanabe, Nobue, M.Kurita. The Masculinization of the Fetus During Pregnancy Due to Inhalation of Diesel Exhaust. Environmental Health Perspectives v.109, n.2, Feb01

        [16] H. Muto, Y. Takazawa. Dioxins in Cigarette Smoke. Archives of Environmental Health, Pg. 44 (3) : 171-4 May/Jun89

        [17] Thomas, K and T Colborn. 1992. Organochlorine Endocrine Disruptors in Human Tissue in Chemically Induced Alterations in Sexual and Functional Development: The Wildlife/Human Connection. eds, T Colborn and C Clement, Princeton Scientific Publishing Co, NJ, 1992.

        [18] Kaltreider, R.C., A.M. Davis, J.P. Lariviere, and J.W. Hamilton 2001. Arsenic Alters the Function of the Glucocorticoid Receptor as a Transcription Factor. Environmental Health Perspectives 109:245-251. See Higgins, M. Heavy metal: Arsenic is an endocrine disruptor. Environmental News Network 5mar01

        [19] Smoger, G, P Kahn, G Rodgers, S Suffin, and P McConnachie. 1993. In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to 2,3.7,8-TCDD in Times Beach, Missouri: 1. Immunological Effects: Lymphocyte Phenotype Frequencies. Dioxin ’93, 13th International Symposium on Chlorinated Dioxins and Related Compounds, Vienna.

        [20] Weisglas-Kuperus N, Patandin S, Berbers G, Sas T, Mulder P, Sauer P, Hooijkaas H. Immunologic Effects of Background Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Dioxins in Dutch Preschool Children. Environmental Health Perspectives v.108, n. 12, Dec00

        [21] Colón, I., D.Caro, C.J.Bourdony, and O.Rosario. Identification of Phthalate Esters in the Serum of Young Puerto Rican Girls with Premature Breast Development. Environmental Health Perspectives v.108, n.9, Sep00

        [22] Zacharias, L., RJ.Wurtman, and M.Schatzoff. 1970. Sexual Maturation in Contemporary American Girls. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 108: 833-846.

        [23] Wolff, M, P Toniolo, E Lee, M Rivera and N Dubin. 1993. Blood Levels of Organochlorine Residues and Risk of Breast Cancer”, Journal of the National Cancer Institute 85(8):648-652, 1993.

        [24] Steingraber, Sandra, Women’s Community Cancer Project, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mechanisms, Proof, and Unmet Needs: The Perspective of a Cancer Activist. Environmental Health Perspectives v.105, n.3 Suppliment March 1997

        [25] Crisp, T.M., E.D.Clegg, R.L.Cooper, W.P.Wood, D.G.Anderson, K.P.Baetcke, J.L.Hoffmann, M.S.Morrow, D.J.Rodier, J.E.Schaeffer, L.W.Touart, M.G.Zeeman, and Y.M.Patel. Environmental Endocrine Disruption: An Effects Assessment and Analysis, A U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Project. Environmental Health Perspectives 106, Supplement 1, February 1998

        [26] Montano, MM , WV.Welshons and FS.vom Saal. Free estradiol in serum and brain uptake of estradiol during fetal and neonatal sexual differentiation in female rats. Biology of Reproduction, Vol 53, 1198-1207

        [27] Newbold, Retha. Cellular and Molecular Effects of Developmental Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol: Implications for Other Environmental Estrogens. Environmental Health Perspectives 103, Supplement 7, October 1995

        [28] Buckley, J.D., A.T.Meadows, M.E.Kadin, M.M.LeBeau, S.Siegel, L.L.Robison. Pesticide exposures in children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma Cancer v.89, i11, 6dec00

        [29] Hardell, L., M.Eriksson. A case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and exposure to pesticides Cancer v.85, i.6 12mar99

        [30] Hardell, L., M.Eriksson, G.Lindstrom, B.vanBavel, A.Linde, M.Carlberg, and G.Liljegren. Case-Control Study on Concentrations of Organohalogen Compounds and Titers of Antibodies to Epstein-Barr Virus Antigens in the Etiology of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Leukemia and Lymphoma. 2001, v.00.

        [31] Guillette, EA, MM Meza, MG Aquilar, AD Soto, and IE Garcia. 1998. An Anthropological Approach to the Evaluation of Preschool Children Exposed to Pesticides in Mexico. Environmental Health Perspectives 106:347-353.

        [32] Weidner, I.S., H.Møller, T.K.Jensen, N.E.Skakkebæk. Cryptorchidism and Hypospadias in Sons of Gardeners and Farmers. Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 106, Number 12, Dec98

        [33] Gupta, Chhanda. 2000. Reproductive malformation of the male offspring following maternal exposure to estrogenic chemicals. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 224:61-68.

        [34] Graph of Sperm Count 1938 to 1990 from

        Toppari, J., J. Larsen, P. Christiansen, A. Giwercman, P Grandjean, L.J. Guillette Jr., B. Jegou, T.K. Jensen, P. Jouannet, N. Keiding, H. Leffers, J.A. McLachlan, O. Meyer, J. Muller, E. Rajpert-De Meyts, Thomas Scheike, R. Sharpe, J. Sumpter, and N.E. Skakkebaek. 1996. Male Reproductive Health and Environmental Xenoestrogens. Environmental Health Perspectives 104(Suppl 4):741-803.

        [35] vom Saal, F.S., B.G.Timms, M.M.Montano, P.Palanza, K.A.Thayer, S.C.Nagel, M.D.Dhar, V.K.Ganjam, S.Parmigiani, and W.V.Welshons. Prostate enlargement in mice due to fetal exposure to low doses of estradiol or diethylstilbestrol and opposite effects at high doses. Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences v.94, pp.2056-61 Mar97

        [36] Weiss, B. 1997. Pesticides as a source of developmental disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 3: 246-256.

        [37] Yu, M., C-C.Hsu, Y.Guo, T.Lai, S.Chen and J.Luo. Disordered Behavior in the Early-Born Taiwan Yucheng Children. Chemosphere 29(9-11):2413-2422.

        [38] Hauser, P, A.Zametkin, P.Martinez, B.Vitello, J.Matochik, A.Mixson, and B.Weinstraub. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder in People with Generalized Resistance to Thyroid Hormone. New England Journal of Medicine 328(14):997-1001 1993

        [39] vom Saal, F, S Nagel, P Palanza, M Boechler, S Parmigiani and W Welshons. 1995. Estrogenic Pesticides: Binding Relative to Estradiol in MCF-7 Cells and Effects of Exposure During Fetal Life on Subsequent Territorial Behavior in Male Mice. Toxicology Letter, in press, 1995.

        [39a] Borzelleca J. Paracelsus: herald of modern toxicology. Toxicological Sciences, 2000, 53: 2-4.

        [39b] High production volume (HPV) chemicals are those which are manufactured in or imported into the United States in amounts equal to or greater than one million pounds per year.

        [39c] Moyers, B., S.Jones. Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report. Television documentary PBS aired on 26mar01 http://www.pbs.org/tradesecrets/transcript.html

        [39d] Steingraber, S. Having Faith. Cambridge, MA: Persius Publishing, 2001. p.34

        [39e] Goettlich, P.  PVC: A Health Hazard From Production through Disposal – 25oct01         www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Polyvinylchloride/PVC-Health-HazardPWG25oct01.htm

        [39f] US EPA. Exposure and Human Health Reassessment of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) and Related Compounds. May 2000 Draft Final. http://www.epa.gov/ncea

        [39g] Moyers, B., S.Jones. Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report. Television documentary PBS aired on 26mar01 http://www.pbs.org/tradesecrets/transcript.html

        [39h] Schecter, A. Personal notes from his presentation at the People’s Dioxin Action Summit, UC Berkeley 10aug00

        [39i] Schecter, A., et al. Recent Dioxin Contamination From Agent Orange in Residents of a Southern Vietnam City Journal of Occupational Medicine 43:5, pp 435-443 May01 http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/Dioxin-Agent-Orange-S-V.htm

        [39j] Schettler, T., Solomon, G., Valenti, M., and Huddle, A. Generations at Risk. Cambridge; MIT Press, 1999.

        [39k] Swan, SH., Elkin, EP., and Fenster, L. The Question of Declining Sperm Density Revisited: An Analysis of 101 Studies Published 1934-1996. (Abstract) Environmental Health Perspectives v.108, n.10, Oct00

        [40] Landrigan, P., L.Claudio, S.Markowitz, G.Berkowitz, B.Brenner, H.Romero, J.Wetmur, T.Matte, A.Gore, J.Godbold, and M.Wolff. Pesticides and Inner-City Children- Exposures, Risks, and Prevention Environmental Health Perspectives v.107, Supp.3 Jun99

        [40a] Landrigan, PJ, et al. The Unique Vulnerability of Infants and Children to Pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives v.107, Supp.3 Jun99

        [40b] Clean Water World Initiative (CWWI ) 2010 Pleasant Hollow Drive, Plainsboro, New Jersey, USA 08536, Tel: 609-716-6716, Fax: 609-716-0041, email: world@cosmo-environment.com, http://home.hawaii.rr.com/willi/cwwi/ NOTE: Makoto kohobu1@soseiworld.co.jp is sending the document “A Study of Dry Cleaning Solvents and Clothing : Source of Dioxin Exposure?”

        [40c] Karlberg, A-T., and Magnusson, K. Rosin components identified in diapers. Contact Dermatitis, 34, 176-180 1996.

        [40d] A well’s proximity to any septic fields in the area, the weather and the soil type have a direct bearing on the levels of nitrates and coliform.

        [40e] Consumer Reports. Hormone Mimics (Endocrine Disruptors): They’re in Our Food Should We Worry? Jun98

        [40f] Sheftel, VO., Indirect Food Additives and Polymers: Migration and Toxicology. Boca Raton; CRC Press, 2000.

        [40g] Solomon GM, Campbell TR, Feuer GR, Masters J, Samkian A, Paul KA. No Breathing in the Aisles also see: Diesel Exhaust Inside School Buses. Natural Resources Defense Council / Coalition for Clean Air Jan01

        [40h] Aventis Takes Legal Action Vs UK Govt Over Pesticide. Dow Jones Newswires 7sep01

        [40i] Baker, DM. Presentation at 2001 commencement ceremony of College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley 20may01

        [41] Colborn, T., D.Dumanoski, J.P.Myers Our Stolen Future 1996 Chapter 3 Chemical Messengers.

        [42] Colborn

        [43] Vandenberg, J. Regulation of Puberty and Its Consequences on Population Dynamics of Mice. American Zoologist 27:891-98 (1987).

        [44] Moyers, B., Jones, S. Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report. Television documentary PBS aired on 26mar01 and Environmental Working Group. Chemical Industry Archives. Internal documents from the chemical industry and from its national trade associations. Most of these documents were obtained in connection with legal proceedings against the chemical industry. http://www.pbs.org/tradesecrets

        [45] Noller KL, Fish CR. Diethylstilbestrol usage: its interesting past, important present and questionable future. Med Clin North Am 58(4):793-810(1974).

        [46] Bertazzi, P., et.al. Cancer Incidence in a Population Accidentally Exposed to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin. Epidemiology 4(5):398-406 1993

        Also see: Bertazzi, P., et al. Health Effects of Dioxin Exposure- A 20-Year Mortality Study. American Journal of Epidemiology v.153, n.11 1jun01

        [47] Schecter, A., et al. Recent Dioxin Contamination in Vietnam Residents of a South Vietnam City. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. v.43, n.5, May 2001

        [48] D.Fagan, M.Lavelle, and the Center for Public Integrity. Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health. Birch Lane Publishing Group 1996

        [49] Pulgar, R., M.F.Olea-Serrano, A.Novillo-Fertrell, A.Rivas, P.Pazos, V.Pedraza, J-M.Navajas, and N.Olea. Determination of Bisphenol A and Related Aromatic Compounds Released from Bis-GMA-Based Composites and Sealants by High Performance Liquid Chromatography Environmental Health Perspectives V.108, N.1, Jan00

        Also see: Bisphenol-A (BPA) For Doctors and Dentists

        [50] American Dental Association (ADA) Statement on Bisphenol A Leaching From Dental Sealants 4aug98 rev.30may01

        [51] American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). Clean Bill of Health for Vinyl Toys and Medical Devices Blue-Ribbon Panel Chaired by Dr. C. Everett Koop Concludes- Flexible Plastics “Not Harmful” Press Release 22jun99

        [52] Baltz, D. Recent developments of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC), including a summary of EDSTAC’s final report. Commonweal, Bolinas CA. 28aug98

        Also see: Baltz, D. EDSTAC Review Commonweal 6may00

        [53] Payne, Joachim , N.Rajapakse, M.Wilkins, and A.Kortenkamp. Prediction and Assessment of the Effects of Mixtures of Four Xenoestrogens. Environmental Health Perspectives v.108, n.10, Oct00

        [54] U.S. Code Title 7 Agriculture, Chapter 6 Insecticides and Environmental Pesticide Control § 136 Definitions (m).

        [55] FIFRA § 12(a)(1)(B)

        [56] U.S. Code Title 7 Agriculture, Chapter 6 Insecticides and Environmental Pesticide Control Control § 136.

        [57] “Wingspread Statement” – Statement from the Work Session on Environmentally Induced Alterations in Development: A Focus on Wildlife Wingspread Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin, 10-12dec93

        Kavlock, RJ, et al. Research Needs for the Risk Assessment of Health and Environmental Effects of Endocrine Disruptors: A Report of the U.S. EPA-sponsored Workshop Environmental Health Perspectives, v.104, s.4, Aug96

        Also see mindfully.org Precautionary Principal files

        [58] Commoner

        [59] Wang, L. Arsenic Pollution Disrupts Hormones. Science News v.159, n.11, 17mar01 Note: A form of arsenic is used to pressure treat wood.

        [60] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Toxicological Profile for Cadmium CAS# 7440-43-9 Jul99

        See other ToxFAQs at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html

        [61] Kitman, J.L. The Secret History of Lead in The Nation 20mar00

        [62] Schmidt, C.W. Poisoning Young Minds Environmental Health Perspectives V.107, N.6, Jun99 

        [63] Carpenter, D.O., M.D. Studies Link PCBs to Human Cancer in Wall Street Journal 4jan01 

        [64] U.S. Public Health Service, The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Public Health Implications of Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PBCs). rev.2feb99  

        [65] Hertsgaard, M. Dioxin Study is a Political Hot Potato for EPA Dioxin has gone from being a `possible’ to a `known’ human carcinogen in San Francisco Chronicle 12mar01

        [66] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service National Toxicology Program. 2,3,7,8-Tetracblorodibenzo p-Dioxin (TCDD); DIOXIN CAS No.1746-01-6 9th Report on Carcinogens rev. Jan01

        [67] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service National Toxicology Program. Furan CAS No. 110-00-9. 9th Report on Carcinogens rev. Jan01

3 thoughts on “What are Endocrine Disruptors?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: