Many natural and synthetic compounds found in the environment have a variety of negative effects on the exposed organisms, resulting in endocrine disruption. A decrease in reproductive success and neurobehavioral impairment are well-documented signs of endocrine disruption in animals and humans. Phthalates are a large class of chemicals that have a wide range of industrial applications, including plastics manufacturing, food packaging, children’s toys, medical equipments, cosmetics and personal care products. The presence of phthalates and their metabolites in serum, urine, semen, and breast milk have been widely reported. Studies in human and animal populations have proved that phthalates may induce changes in puberty, the development of testicular dysgenesis syndrome, neurodevelopmental and neurobehvioral abnormalities, cancer, and fertility disorders in both males and females. To inhibit microbial growth and extend product shelf life, parabens are frequently used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and as food additives. Studies have confirmed that the ubiquitous presence of parabens may be linked to infertility, neurodevelopmental disorders, carcinogenesis, spermatogenesis, and pregnancy. At the hormonal level, these chemicals can disrupt the release of hypothalamic, pituitary, and peripheral hormones. At the intracellular level, they can interfere with nuclear receptors, membrane receptors, intracellular signaling pathways, and modulate gene expression. In this review we provide an overview of phthalate and paraben toxicity, as well as recent progress in knowledge about their impact on the human endocrine system, emphasizing the reproductive and neuro behavioral abnormalities in both animals and humans.
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We would like to thank technical support provided by the Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, China.
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Yesumanipreethi, S., Nirmal Magadalenal, N. & Moses Inbaraj, R. Impact of Phthalates and Parabens on the Neurobehavioral and Reproductive Function: A Review. Proc Zool Soc 74, 572–590 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12595-021-00408-z