We’ve known for decades that exposure to certain hormone-disrupting chemicals are dangerous to humans and other creatures, and that they can cause cancer, infertility, obesity and other diseases. But some experts have remained on the fence as to whether very low doses of known endocrine disruptors, like Bisphenol A, which is used in hard plastics and tin can lining, are harmful. Last week, a team of 12 scientists led by Tufts University’s Laura Vandenberg published a report that concludes that even tiny doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals can be harmful.

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The authors of the study assert that endocrine disruptors challenge one of the central concepts of toxicology, that “the dose makes the poison,” arguing that hormone disruptors don’t necessarily act that way. On the contrary, exposure to tiny amounts of hormone disrupting chemicals can sometimes cause serious health problems. For example, the drug tamoxifen “provides an excellent example for how high-dose testing cannot be used to predict the effects of low doses,” according to the report, because it stimulates breast cancer growth at low doses and inhibits it at high doses.

The study, which was published in the journal Endocrine Reviews, looks at 800 different scientific studies involving endocrine disrupting chemicals. “This is the first time anyone’s tried to synthesize this whole field and show that this is not a single chemical issue,” Vandenberg told Yale 360. Despite the evidence, some scientists in the field, including regulatory and industry scientists, still believe that known endocrine disruptors are still safe in very low doses, which is why Vandenberg and her co-authors argue that “fundamental changes in chemical testing and safety determination are needed to protect human health.”

Via Yale 360

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