How Common Chemicals Could Hurt Your Health

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to diabetes and obesity, among other health problems

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) They're in water bottles, cans, cosmetics and shopping receipts — they're called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and mounting evidence ties them to a host of health problems, most recently obesity and diabetes.

A new scientific statement from the Endocrine Society highlights the link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and diabetes and obesity.

EDCs are thought to interfere with the body's hormones. Altering the body's natural hormonal processes could lead to a wide range of health problems, experts say.

"The evidence is more definitive than ever before — EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health," said lead statement author Dr. Andrea C. Gore, professor and Vacek chair of pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin, in a press release. "Hundreds of studies are pointing to the same conclusion, whether they are long-term epidemiological studies in humans, basic research in animals and cells, or research into groups of people with known occupational exposure to specific chemicals."

To reach the conclusions drawn in the current statement, Endocrine Society researchers examined recent research on EDCs.

The idea that EDCs can harm health is not a new one. A 2009 statement from the Endocrine Society took an in-depth look at this issue, and many studies have linked EDCs to health problems like neurological disorders, certain cancers and infertility. These findings were echoed in the current statement.

"It is clear we need to take action to minimize further exposure," Dr. Gore said. "With more chemicals being introduced into the marketplace all the time, better safety testing is needed to identify new EDCs and ensure they are kept out of household goods."

The authors of the new statement called for more research on EDCs and health, stricter regulation on EDCs and further education for the public.

This statement was published Sept. 28 in Endocrine Reviews. Information on funding sources and conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
September 28, 2015
Last Updated:
October 5, 2015