The Director of the U.S. National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Linda Birnbaum published an editorial in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives where she comments on the WHO/UNEP report issued last month. She states that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) play a major role in global increases in chronic disease and points again to the fact that sensitive time windows in development are of particular importance to the understanding of the impact of EDCs. Her third point is that EDCs are difficult to identify, as they are not uniform in their origin, properties and fate, which makes it even more challenging to manage exposures. While so far several hundred EDCs have been measured in humans and wildlife, this is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg according to the report and Birnbaum. Finally, the NIEHS director states that the WHO report on EDCs should be a mandatory reading for anyone active in the field of public health.

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Environmental Factor


Birnbaum, L. (2013). State of the Science of Endocrine Disruptors. Environ Health Perspect 121:a107-a107.

WHO (World Health Organization)/UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) 2013. “The State-of-the-Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – 2012 (Bergman, Å., Heindel, J.J., Jobling S., Kidd K.A., Zoeller R.T., eds)”. Geneva:UNEP/WHO.