The Role of Environmental Disruptor Chemicals in the Development of Non Communicable Disease

  • Maryam ZareanEmail author
  • Parinaz Poursafa
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1121)


The increasing prevalence of non communicable diseases (NCDs) poses main challenges to global public health. Various environmental exposures to different chemicals and pollutants might interact with genetic and epigenetic mechanisms resulting in the development of NCDs. Among these environmental exposures, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) consist of a group of compounds with potential adverse health effects and the interference with the endocrine system. They are mostly used in food constituents, packaging industries and pesticides. Growing number of in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies documented the link of EDC exposure with obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, which are the underlying factors for development of NCDs. Prevention of exposure to EDCs and reduction of their production should be underscored in strategies for primordial prevention of NCDs.


Endocrine disruptors Non communicable diseases Environment Metabolic disorder Obesity Diabetes 


  1. 1.
    Erkekoglu P, Kocer-Gumusel B (2016) Environmental effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals: a special focus on phthalates and bisphenol A. Environmental health risk-hazardous factors to living species. InTechGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Besbelli N, Zastenskaya I (2014) Identification of risks from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals at the country level. World health organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Birnbaum LS (2013) When environmental chemicals act like uncontrolled medicine. Trends Endocrinol Metab 24(7):321–323PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Moosa A, Shu H, Sarachana T, Hu VW (2017) Are endocrine disrupting compounds environmental risk factors for autism spectrum disorder? Horm Behav 101:13–21PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Giulivo M, de Alda ML, Capri E, Barceló D (2016) Human exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds: their role in reproductive systems, metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. A review. Environ Res 151:251–264PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Teitelbaum SL, Mervish N, Moshier EL, Vangeepuram N, Galvez MP, Calafat AM et al (2012) Associations between phthalate metabolite urinary concentrations and body size measures in New York City children. Environ Res 112:186–193PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Botton J, Kadawathagedara M, de Lauzon-Guillain B (eds) (2017) Endocrine disrupting chemicals and growth of children. Annales d’endocrinologie, ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    WHO (2014) Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014: attaining the nine global noncommunicable diseases targets; a shared responsability. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014: attaining the nine global noncommunicable diseases targets; a shared responsabilityGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hanson M, Godfrey KM, Lillycrop KA, Burdge GC, Gluckman PD (2011) Developmental plasticity and developmental origins of non-communicable disease: theoretical considerations and epigenetic mechanisms. Prog Biophys Mol Biol 106(1):272–280PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    World Health Organization (WHO) (2017) Preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by reducing environmental risk factors. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Walls KL, Boulic M, Boddy JW (2016) The built environment – a missing “cause of the causes” of non-communicable diseases. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13(10):956PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Godfrey KM, Gluckman PD, Hanson MA (2010) Developmental origins of metabolic disease: life course and intergenerational perspectives. Trends Endocrinol Metab 21(4):199–205PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Piler P, Kandrnal V, Bláha L (2017) Critical assessment of the research outcomes of European birth cohorts: linking environmental factors with non-communicable diseases. Public Health 145:136–145PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pirard C, Compere S, Firquet K, Charlier C (2018) The current environmental levels of endocrine disruptors (mercury, cadmium, organochlorine pesticides and PCBs) in a Belgian adult population and their predictors of exposure. Int J Hyg Environ Health 221(2):211–222PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Xue J, Wu Q, Sakthivel S, Pavithran PV, Vasukutty JR, Kannan K (2015) Urinary levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including bisphenols, bisphenol A diglycidyl ethers, benzophenones, parabens, and triclosan in obese and non-obese Indian children. Environ Res 137:120–128PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Helaleh M, Diboun I, Altamimi N, Al-Sulaiti H, Al Emadi M, Madani A et al (2018) Association of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in two fat compartments with increased risk of insulin resistance in obese individuals. Chemosphere 209:268–276PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heindel JJ, Blumberg B, Cave M, Machtinger R, Mantovani A, Mendez MA et al (2017) Metabolism disrupting chemicals and metabolic disorders. Reprod Toxicol 68:3–33PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Committee ES (2013) Scientific opinion on the hazard assessment of endocrine disruptors: scientific criteria for identification of endocrine disruptors and appropriateness of existing test methods for assessing effects mediated by these substances on human health and the environment. EFSA J 11(3):3132Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tapia-Orozco N, Santiago-Toledo G, Barrón V, Espinosa-García AM, García-García JA, García-Arrazola R (2017) Environmental epigenomics: current approaches to assess epigenetic effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC’s) on human health. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 51:94–99PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Govarts E, Iszatt N, Trnovec T, de Cock M, Eggesbø M, Murinova LP et al (2018) Prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and risk of being born small for gestational age: pooled analysis of seven European birth cohorts. Environ Int 115:267–278PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Commission E. Avalaible from:
  22. 22.
    Khalil N, Chen A, Lee M (2014) Endocrine disruptive compounds and cardio-metabolic risk factors in children. Curr Opin Pharmacol 19:120–124PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Duan Y, Wang L, Han L, Wang B, Sun H, Chen L et al (2017) Exposure to phthalates in patients with diabetes and its association with oxidative stress, adiponectin, and inflammatory cytokines. Environ Int 109:53–63PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zarean M, Keikha M, Poursafa P, Khalighinejad P, Amin M, Kelishadi R (2016) A systematic review on the adverse health effects of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23(24):24642–24693Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Braun JM, Sathyanarayana S, Hauser R (2013) Phthalate exposure and children’s health. Curr Opin Pediatr 25(2):247–254PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dong R, Zhou T, Zhao S, Zhang H, Zhang M, Chen J et al (2017) Food consumption survey of Shanghai adults in 2012 and its associations with phthalate metabolites in urine. Environ Int 101:80–88PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Katsikantami I, Sifakis S, Tzatzarakis MN, Vakonaki E, Kalantzi O-I, Tsatsakis AM et al (2016) A global assessment of phthalates burden and related links to health effects. Environ Int 97:212–236PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Chen S-Y, Hwang J-S, Sung F-C, Lin C-Y, Hsieh C-J, Chen P-C et al (2017) Mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate associated with insulin resistance and lower testosterone levels in a young population. Environ Pollut 225:112–117PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Veiga-Lopez A, Pu Y, Gingrich J, Padmanabhan V (2018) Obesogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals: identifying knowledge gaps. Trends Endocrinol Metab 29:607–625PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Windham GC, Zhang L, Gunier R, Croen LA, Grether JK (2006) Autism spectrum disorders in relation to distribution of hazardous air pollutants in the San Francisco Bay area. Environ Health Perspect 114(9):1438–1444PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Braun JM, Hauser R (2011) Bisphenol a and children’s health. Curr Opin Pediatr 23(2):233–239PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sabanayagam C, Teppala S, Shankar A (2013) Relationship between urinary bisphenol A levels and prediabetes among subjects free of diabetes. Acta Diabetol 50(4):625–631PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Khalil N, Ebert JR, Wang L, Belcher S, Lee M, Czerwinski SA et al (2014) Bisphenol A and cardiometabolic risk factors in obese children. Sci Total Environ 470:726–732PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Barraza L (2013) A new approach for regulating bisphenol A for the protection of the public's health. J Law Med Ethics 41:9–12PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Annamalai J, Namasivayam V (2015) Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the atmosphere: their effects on humans and wildlife. Environ Int 76:78–97PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Li L, Arnot J, Wania F (2018) Revisiting the contributions of far-and near-field routes to aggregate human exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Environ Sci Technol 52:6974–6984PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Louis C, Tinant G, Mignolet E, Thomé J-P, Debier C (2014) PCB-153 shows different dynamics of mobilisation from differentiated rat adipocytes during lipolysis in comparison with PCB-28 and PCB-118. PLoS One 9(9):e106495PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ejaz S, Akram W, Lim CW, Lee JJ, Hussain I (2004) Endocrine disrupting pesticides: a leading cause of cancer among rural people in Pakistan. Exp Oncol 26(2):98–105PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Diggs DL, Huderson AC, Harris KL, Myers JN, Banks LD, Rekhadevi PV et al (2011) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and digestive tract cancers: a perspective. J Environ Sci Health C 29(4):324–357Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tairova ZM, Giessing AM, Hansen R, Andersen O (2009) 1-Hydroxypyrene as a biomarker of PAH exposure in the marine polychaete Nereis diversicolor. Mar Environ Res 67(1):38–46PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Morville S, Delhomme O, Millet M (2011) Seasonal and diurnal variations of atmospheric PAH concentrations between rural, suburban and urban areas. Atmos Pollut Res 2(3):366–373Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Maqbool F, Mostafalou S, Bahadar H, Abdollahi M (2016) Review of endocrine disorders associated with environmental toxicants and possible involved mechanisms. Life Sci 145:265–273PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Duyzer J (2003) Pesticide concentrations in air and precipitation in the Netherlands. J Environ Monit 5(4):77N–80NPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sifakis S, Androutsopoulos VP, Tsatsakis AM, Spandidos DA (2017) Human exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals: effects on the male and female reproductive systems. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 51:56–70PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Frye CA (2014) Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: elucidating our understanding of their role in sex and gender-relevant end points. Vitamins & Hormones, vol 94.: Elsevier, pp 41–98Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Schug TT, Janesick A, Blumberg B, Heindel JJ (2011) Endocrine disrupting chemicals and disease susceptibility. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 127(3–5):204–215PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Casals-Casas C, Desvergne B (2011) Endocrine disruptors: from endocrine to metabolic disruption. Annu Rev Physiol 73:135–162PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Kelishadi R (2007) Childhood overweight, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome in developing countries. Epidemiol Rev 29(1):62–76PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Heindel JJ, Newbold R, Schug TT (2015) Endocrine disruptors and obesity. Nat Rev Endocrinol 11(11):653–661PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Shafei AE, Ramzy MM, Hegazy AI, Husseny AK, EL-hadary UG, Taha MM et al (2018) The molecular mechanisms of action of the endocrine disrupting chemical bisphenol A in the development of cancer. Gene 647:235–243PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Tabák AG, Herder C, Rathmann W, Brunner EJ, Kivimäki M (2012) Prediabetes: a high-risk state for diabetes development. Lancet 379(9833):2279–2290PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Rancière F, Lyons JG, Loh VH, Botton J, Galloway T, Wang T et al (2015) Bisphenol A and the risk of cardiometabolic disorders: a systematic review with meta-analysis of the epidemiological evidence. Environ Health 14(1):46PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Alberti K, Eckel RH, Grundy SM, Zimmet PZ, Cleeman JI, Donato KA et al (2009) Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the international diabetes federation task force on epidemiology and prevention; national heart, lung, and blood institute; American heart association; world heart federation; international atherosclerosis society; and international association for the study of obesity. Circulation 120(16):1640–1645PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    WHO. Cardiovascular diseases. Available from: http://www.whoint/nmh/publications/fact_sheet_cardiovascular_en.pdf
  55. 55.
    Liu C, Xu X, Huo X (2014) Anogenital distance and its application in environmental health research. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21(8):5457–5464Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Zarean M, Keikha M, Feizi A, Kazemitabaee M, Kelishadi R (2019) The role of exposure to phthalates in variations of anogenital distance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Pollut 247:172–179PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
  58. 58.
  59. 59.
    Norman RE, Carpenter DO, Scott J, Brune MN, Sly PD (2013) Environmental exposures: an underrecognized contribution to noncommunicable diseases. Rev Environ Health 28(1):59–65PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Neel BA, Sargis RM (2011) The paradox of progress: environmental disruption of metabolism and the diabetes epidemic. Diabetes 60(7):1838–1848PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Health Department, Environment Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non Communicable DiseaseIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran

Personalised recommendations