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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 11-12, pp. 2099-2123

Critical evaluation of observed adverse effects of endocrine active substances on reproduction and development, the immune system, and the nervous system

J. C. O'Connor and R. E. Chapin

DuPont Haskell Laboratory for Health and Environmental Sciences, P.O.Box 50, Elkton Road, Newark, DE 19714, USA; Pfizer, Inc., Drug Safety Evaluation, MS 8274-1336, Eastern Point Road, Groton, CT 06340-8014, USA

Abstract: The last 40 years have seen many reports that man-made chemicals and environmental pollutants cause adverse effects in humans and wildlife; however, actually linking an exposure with a mechanism and an effect has yet to be done for endocrine disruption. Certainly, studies in experimental animals have shown that sufficient doses of select compounds can disrupt the endocrine system and produce the attendant adverse outcomes. The purpose of this contribution is to evaluate some of the recent reports of the adverse effects on reproduction and development, the immune system, and the nervous system that have been observed in experimental animals after treatment with man-made chemicals and environmental pollutants. Space limitations prevent us from presenting a comprehensive review of all reported endocrine active chemicals and their effects. Instead, we have focused on drawing conclusions as to the scope and etiology of the adverse effects in experimental animals using examples from the scientific literature, and on suggesting a path forward for further work.