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Endocrine Disruptors

Properties, Effects, and Removal Processes
  • Nazih K. Shammas
Part of the Handbook of Environmental Engineering book series (HEE, volume 5)

Abstract

Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are defined as “chemicals that either mimic endogenous hormones, interfere with pharmacokinetics, or act by other mechanisms” (1). Adverse effects such as compromised reproductive fitness, functional or morphological birth defects, cancer, and altered immune functions, among others have been reported in the scientific literature (1, 2, 3). The term “endocrine disruptors” is used to describe substances that are not produced in the body but act by mimicking or antagonizing natural hormones. It is thought that EDCs may be responsible for some reproductive problems in both women and men as well as for the increases in the frequency of certain types of cancer. EDCs have also been linked to developmental deficiencies and learning disabilities in children. Because hormone receptor systems are similar in humans and animals, effects observed in wildlife species raise concerns of potential human health effects. During fetal development and early childhood, low-dose exposure to EDCs may have profound effects not observed in adults, such as reduced mental capacity and genital malformations. Evaluating potential low-dose effects of environmental estrogenic compounds has been identified as a major research priority.

Keywords

Endocrine Disruptor Powdered Activate Carbon Maximum Contaminant Level Endosulfan Sulfate Diethyl Phthalate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nazih K. Shammas
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Lenox Institute of Water TechnologyLenox
  2. 2.Krofta Engineering CorporationLenox

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