Endocrine Disruption and Human Health

Endocrine Disruption and Human Health

1st Edition - March 21, 2015

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  • Editor: Philippa Darbre
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128011201
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128011393

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Endocrine Disruption and Human Health starts with an overview of what endocrine disruptors are, the issues surrounding them, and the source of these chemicals in the ecosystem. This is followed by an overview of the mechanisms of action and assay systems. The third section includes chapters written by specialists on different aspects of concern for the effects of endocrine disruption on human health. Finally, the authors consider the risk assessment of endocrine disruptors and the pertinent regulation developed by the EU, the US FDA, as well as REACH and NGOs. The book has been written for researchers and research clinicians interested in learning about the actions of endocrine disruptors and current evidence justifying concerns for human health but is useful for those approaching the subject for the first time, graduate students, and advanced undergraduate students.

Key Features

  • Provides readers with access to a range of information from the basic mechanisms and assays to cutting-edge research investigating concerns for human health
  • Presents a comprehensive, translational look at all aspects of endocrine disruption and its effects on human health
  • Offers guidance on the risk assessment of endocrine disruptors and current relevant regulatory considerations


Biomedical researchers and graduate students new to endocrine disruptors and the effects of endocrine disruption on human health, across the fields of toxicology, endocrinology, and cancer research

Table of Contents

    • List of Contributors
    • Preface
    • Section 1: Overview and Scope
      • Chapter 1. What Are Endocrine Disrupters and Where Are They Found?
        • 1.1 Introduction
        • 1.2 Historical Background
        • 1.3 Evidence for Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife Populations and How This May Predict Effects on Human Health
        • 1.4 Which Hormones Are Disrupted by EDCs?
        • 1.5 How Do EDCs Disrupt Hormone Action?
        • 1.6 Which Chemicals Are Sources of Human Exposure to Endocrine Disrupters?
        • References
      • Chapter 2. How Could Endocrine Disrupters Affect Human Health?
        • 2.1 Introduction
        • 2.2 Entry into Human Tissues
        • 2.3 Can EDCs Be Absorbed from Dermal Application?
        • 2.4 Tissue Measurements
        • 2.5 Role of Metabolism in Biological Activity of EDCs
        • 2.6 Biological Availability
        • 2.7 Dose-Response Considerations
        • 2.8 Effect of Exposure to Mixtures of Chemicals
        • 2.9 Effect of Timing of Exposure
        • 2.10 Transgenerational Effects
        • 2.11 EDCs Do Not Have the Same Effect in All Tissues
        • 2.12 EDCs Do Not Have the Same Effects in Every Individual: The Interaction of Genetics with Environment
        • References
    • Section 2: Mechanisms and Assay Systems
      • Chapter 3. Disrupters of Estrogen Action and Synthesis
        • 3.1 Physiological Actions of Estrogen and Implications of Disruption
        • 3.2 Molecular Actions of Estrogen and Mechanisms of Disruption
        • 3.3 Synthesis of Endogenous Estrogens and Disruption of Necessary Enzymatic Activities
        • 3.4 Assay Systems
        • 3.5 Environmental Estrogens
        • References
      • Chapter 4. Disruptors of Androgen Action and Synthesis
        • 4.1 Physiological Actions of Androgens
        • 4.2 Androgen Biosynthesis and Metabolism
        • 4.3 Androgen Receptor
        • 4.4 Role of Androgens and the AR in Human DiseaseS
        • 4.5 Antiandrogens
        • 4.6 Bioassays for the Evaluation of Disruptors of Androgenic Action
        • 4.7 Environmental Disruptors of Androgenic Action
        • References
      • Chapter 5. Disrupters of Thyroid Hormone Action and Synthesis
        • 5.1 The Importance of the Thyroid Hormonal System for Human Health
        • 5.2 Disruption of the Thyroid Hormonal System
        • 5.3 Conclusions
        • References
      • Chapter 6. Disruption of Other Receptor Systems: Progesterone and Glucocorticoid Receptors, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors, Pregnane X Receptor, and Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor
        • 6.1 Introduction
        • 6.2 Progesterone Receptor
        • 6.3 Glucocorticoid Receptor
        • 6.4 Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
        • 6.5 Pregnane X Receptor
        • 6.6 Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor
        • 6.7 Prostaglandins
        • 6.8 How Many Other Receptors May Be Disrupted?
        • References
      • Chapter 7. Nonmonotonic Responses in Endocrine Disruption
        • 7.1 Introduction
        • 7.2 What Is Nonmonotonicity?
        • 7.3 Nonmonotonicity in Pharmacology, Endocrinology, and Nutrition
        • 7.4 Mechanisms for Nonmonotonicity
        • 7.5 Nonmonotonicity for EDCs
        • 7.6 Ongoing Debate on EDCs and Nonmonotonicity
        • 7.7 How Does Nonmonotonicity Influence Chemical Safety Assessments?
        • 7.8 Low Dose, a Related Issue
        • 7.9 Conclusions
        • References
    • Section 3: Concerns for Human Health
      • Chapter 8. Endocrine Disruption and Female Reproductive Health
        • 8.1 Introduction
        • 8.2 Major Targets of Endocrine Disruption for Female Reproductive Health
        • 8.3 Sources of Endocrine Disruption for Female Reproductive Health
        • 8.4 Exposure to DES and Consequences for Female Reproductive Health
        • 8.5 Pubertal Development
        • 8.6 Disorders of the Ovary
        • 8.7 Uterine Disorders
        • 8.8 Benign Breast Disease
        • 8.9 Final Comments
        • References
      • Chapter 9. Endocrine Disruption and Male Reproductive Health
        • 9.1 Introduction
        • 9.2 What Are the Endocrine Targets for Disruption of Male Reproductive Health?
        • 9.3 Sources and Timing of Endocrine Disruption for Male Reproductive Health
        • 9.4 Exposure to DES in Utero and Fetal Origin of Endocrine Dysfunction in Men
        • 9.5 Exposure to EDCs in Adult Life and Gynecomastia
        • 9.6 Urogenital Tract Malformations
        • 9.7 Sperm Counts and Sperm Quality as Indicators of Fertility
        • 9.8 Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome
        • 9.9 Pubertal Development
        • 9.10 Prostatic Hyperplasia
        • 9.11 Gender Identity
        • 9.12 Final Comments
        • References
      • Chapter 10. Endocrine Disruption and Cancer of Reproductive Tissues
        • 10.1 Introduction: How Could Endocrine Disruption Affect Cancer?
        • 10.2 Cancers in Female Reproductive Tissues
        • 10.3 Cancers in Male Reproductive Tissues
        • 10.4 Final Comments
        • References
      • Chapter 11. Endocrine Disruption of Thyroid Function: Chemicals, Mechanisms, and Toxicopathology
        • 11.1 Endocrinology of the HPT Axis
        • 11.2 Examples of Chemical Disrupters of Thyroid Function
        • 11.3 Characteristic Toxicopathology of the Thyroid Gland
        • 11.4 Regulatory Considerations and Toxicology Strategy for Examining Thyroid Functional Disruption
        • 11.5 Evidence of Environmentally Mediated Thyroid Endocrine Disruption: Relevance to Human Health
        • References
      • Chapter 12. Endocrine Disruption of Adrenocortical Function
        • 12.1 Endocrinology of the HPA Axis and Physiological Actions of Adrenocortical Steroids
        • 12.2 Steroidogenic Pathway and Examples of Chemical Disrupters
        • 12.3 Toxicology Strategy for Examining Adrenocortical Functional Disruption
        • 12.4 Factors Predisposing the Adrenal Cortex to Toxicity
        • 12.5 Evidence of Environmentally Mediated Adrenal Endocrine Disruption: Relevance to Human Health
        • References
      • Chapter 13. Endocrine Disruption of Developmental Pathways and Children’s Health
        • 13.1 Overview
        • 13.2 Developmental End Points of Concern (Figure 13.1)
        • 13.3 Conclusions
        • References
      • Chapter 14. Effects of Endocrine Disrupters on Immune Function and Inflammation
        • 14.1 Introduction
        • 14.2 Immune and Inflammatory Alterations Associated with the “Dirty Dozen” EDCs
        • 14.3 Information on Other EDCs
        • 14.4 Conclusions
        • Acknowledgments
        • References
      • Chapter 15. Endocrine Disruption and Disorders of Energy Metabolism
        • 15.1 Introduction
        • 15.2 EDCs and Obesity
        • 15.3 EDCs and Metabolic Syndrome
        • 15.4 EDCs and Type 2 Diabetes
        • 15.5 EDCs and CVD
        • 15.6 Final Comments on Obesogens and Disease
        • References
    • Section 4: Public Policy and Regulatory Considerations
      • Chapter 16. An Introduction to the Challenges for Risk Assessment of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
        • 16.1 Introduction
        • 16.2 Risk Assessment for EDCs
        • 16.3 Value and Limitations of Different Types of Evidence
        • 16.4 How Is Regulation Brought About in Different Countries?
        • 16.5 Role of Nongovernmental Organizations
        • 16.6 Role of the Mass Media and Citizen Responsibility
        • 16.7 Precautionary Principle
        • References
      • Chapter 17. Regulatory Considerations for Endocrine Disrupters in Food
        • 17.1 Introduction
        • 17.2 Manufactured Food Contaminants
        • 17.3 Naturally Occurring Food Contaminants
        • 17.4 Natural Food Constituents
        • 17.5 Assay Models for Endocrine Disruptive Activity
        • 17.6 Conclusion and Future Directions
        • Acknowledgment
        • References
      • Chapter 18. Considerations of Endocrine Disrupters in Drinking Water
        • 18.1 Introduction
        • 18.2 Standards and Guidelines
        • 18.3 Overview of Sewage Treatment
        • 18.4 Fate of SEs During Sewage Treatment
        • 18.5 Removal of EDCs During Sewage Treatment
        • 18.6 Overview of Drinking Water Treatment
        • 18.7 Removal of EDCs During Drinking Water Treatment
        • 18.8 Occurrence of EDCs in Drinking Water
        • 18.9 Conclusions
        • Acknowledgments
        • References
      • Chapter 19. Regulatory Considerations for Dermal Application of Endocrine Disrupters in Personal Care Products
        • 19.1 Introduction
        • 19.2 Where Are EDCs Found in PCPs?
        • 19.3 Evidence That EDCs Can Be Absorbed from Dermal Application of Cosmetics
        • 19.4 Reported Cases Where Absorption of EDCs from PCPs Has Affected Human Endocrine Health
        • 19.5 Dermal Exposure and Measurement in Human Tissue
        • 19.6 The Potential for Placental Transfer and Exposure in Utero from Dermally Applied Cosmetics
        • 19.7 Regulatory Considerations for Cosmetic Products
        • References
    • Appendix
      • List of Abbreviations
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 390
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: March 21, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128011201
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128011393

About the Editor

Philippa Darbre

Philippa Darbre
Professor Philippa Darbre is Professor Emeritus in Oncology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading in the UK. She is an academic scientist who has been carrying out research into estrogen action in breast cancer for over 40 years and has been investigating the role of estrogen-mimicking chemicals since before the term “endocrine disruption” came into being in the early 1990s. She trained as a biochemist and holds the degrees of BScHons from the University of Birmingham, UK (1973) and PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK (1977). Her postdoctoral research began at the Molecular Medicine Institute at the University of Oxford where she held the first Nuffield Medical Research Fellowship of the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellowship at St Hugh’s College. In 1981, she moved to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories in central London (now Cancer Research UK) where she became Head of the Cellular Endocrinology Laboratory. In 1991, she moved to the University of Reading and retired to Emeritus status in 2017. From retirement, she continues research into the role of endocrine disrupting chemicals in breast cancer together with some teaching of undergraduates in endocrinology and cancer. She continues to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, is patron of the charity “Canceractive” and is a member of the science panel of the charity, BreastCancer UK. She has written two books on molecular biology methods, has guest-edited a previous journal volume on endocrine disrupters, has published 150 peer-reviewed research papers, and served as founding editor of the first edition of the book, Endocrine Disruption and Human Health.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Emeritus of Oncology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK

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