In an article published on March 22, 2016 the Endocrine Society reports on a new study estimating the health costs arising from female reproductive health problems associated with exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the EU. The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and conducted by researchers Patricia A. Hunt and colleagues from Washington State University, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington, and New York University (all U.S.), as well as the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The researchers focused on the female reproductive disorders uterine fibroids – attributed to diphenyldichloroethene (DDE) exposure – and endometriosis – attributed to phthalate exposure. They calculated the cost of disease in direct costs (e.g. treatment) and indirect costs (e.g. loss of worker productivity). Hunt and colleagues estimated that 56,700 cases of uterine fibroids and 145,000 cases of endometriosis could be attributed to EDC exposure, with an economic burden of €163 million and €1.25 billion, respectively. These costs should be considered by the EU when deciding on regulatory action on EDCs, the authors state.

This study is part of a series of economic analyses investigating the impact of EDC exposure in the EU. Previous studies, examining the costs arising from infertility, male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders, have estimated the economic burden on the EU to amount to over €150 billion (FPF reported).

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Endocrine Society (March 22, 2016). “Chemical exposure linked to 1.4 billion Euros in women’s health care costs.

Carina Storrs (March 22, 2016). “Common chemicals linked to endometriosis, fibroids — and healthcare costs.CNN

Health and Environment Alliance (March 23, 2016). “Women’s reproductive problems from hormone disrupting chemicals costs Europe 1.4 billion Euros per year.

Luke Buxton (March 24, 2016). “Endocrine Society says reproductive disorders due to EDCs cost EU €1.4bn.Chemical Watch


Hunt, P.A. et al. (2016). “Female reproductive disorders, diseases, and costs of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the European Union.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (published online March 22, 2016).