Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 273–287 | Cite as

Using systematic reviews for hazard and risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals

  • Anna Beronius
  • Laura N. Vandenberg


The possibility that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in our environment contribute to hormonally related effects and diseases observed in human and wildlife populations has caused concern among decision makers and researchers alike. EDCs challenge principles traditionally applied in chemical risk assessment and the identification and assessment of these compounds has been a much debated topic during the last decade. State of the science reports and risk assessments of potential EDCs have been criticized for not using systematic and transparent approaches in the evaluation of evidence. In the fields of medicine and health care, systematic review methodologies have been developed and used to enable objectivity and transparency in the evaluation of scientific evidence for decision making. Lately, such approaches have also been promoted for use in the environmental health sciences and risk assessment of chemicals. Systematic review approaches could provide a tool for improving the evaluation of evidence for decision making regarding EDCs, e.g. by enabling systematic and transparent use of academic research data in this process. In this review we discuss the advantages and challenges of applying systematic review methodology in the identification and assessment of EDCs.


(4–6): endocrine disruptor Guideline endpoint Hazard assessment Low dose Study evaluation Threshold 



LNV was supported by start-up funds from the University of Massachusetts and Award Number K22ES025811 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors thank many colleagues for helpful discussions about systematic reviews and EDCs.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

LNV has been reimbursed for travel expenses by numerous organizations including SweTox, Israel Environment Fund, the Mexican Endocrine Society, Advancing Green Chemistry, ShiftCon, US EPA, CropLife America, the World Federation of Scientists, BeautyCounter, and many universities, to speak about endocrine disrupting chemicals.

AB has no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and Analytical ChemistryStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health SciencesAmherstUSA

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