News from CRIS: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - Overview

December 3, 2020

What is an endocrine disrupting chemical?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are compounds that can interfere with maintaining the appropriate balance of our hormones by altering the amount of hormone being made and transported, degrading the hormone quality, or by mimicking the biological action of a hormone.

Are all endocrine disrupting chemicals harmful?

No, endocrine disrupting chemicals, like many other chemicals, can be harmful, helpful, or neutral depending on the situation.  
Endocrine disrupting chemicals like the kind found in prescribed pharmaceuticals can be incredibly beneficial to the recipient.  In fact, in this context, the term endocrine disrupting is misleading and would be more appropriately termed “endocrine acting”.
However, endocrine disrupting chemicals such as contaminants found in large enough quantities that are not prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional have the potential to cause harm to the body and we can face a number of adverse health outcomes such as reproductive health issues, cognitive deficits, obesity, and cancer (1).


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