Detecting Estrogenic Endocrine Disruptors in Personal Care Products and Supplements

Sep 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: John D. Gordon, PhD, and Andrew Chu, Research Triangle Park, NC USA
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Title: Detecting Estrogenic Endocrine Disruptors in Personal Care Products and Supplements
endocrine disruptorsx estrogenicx personal care productsx supplementsx sunscreensx
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Keywords: endocrine disruptors | estrogenic | personal care products | supplements | sunscreens

Abstract: Endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) are a class of chemicals that has raised alarm for being linked to a wide variety of detrimental effects on human and wildlife populations, e.g., cancers, precocious puberty and obesity. Thus, there is a need to test personal care products and supplements for EDCs, which can be accomplished using the validated bioassay described here.

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JD Gordon and A Chu, Detecting estrogenic endocrine disruptors in personal care products and supplements, Cosm & Toil 127(9) 666-670 (Sep 2012)

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The association between the exposure and bioaccumulation of endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) and their adverse effects on human and wildlife populations has raised concern worldwide. Regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) in the United States; the European Commission for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) in the European Union; and the Japanese Commission for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM) in Japan have conducted studies to validate new test methods for EDCs. This concern has also reached producers such as the Campbell Soup Company, which is phasing bisphenol A (BPA) out of its product containers.

Estrogenic EDCs can alter the normal levels of the hormone estrogen in humans and wildlife populations. Altering hormonal levels is particularly problematic in developing fetuses and young children, as altering their hormonal levels can alter their life course. The greatest concern is the early onset of cancers, e.g., breast and prostate. Other issues of concern are precocious puberty and childhood obesity. According to one article published in 2010, puberty starts as much as two years earlier now than it did for children born 10 to 30 years ago, which may lead to the early onset of several forms of cancer. There have also been recent studies linking EDCs to adult and childhood obesity.

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Figure 1. ICCVAM proposed guidelines

Figure 1. ICCVAM proposed guidelines

ICCVAM proposed guidelines for interpreting data using the internationally approved agonist protocol

Figure 2. Data collected from three sunscreen products

Figure 2. Data collected from three sunscreen products

Data collected from three sunscreen products; all results expressed as ng/g 17 ß-estradiol equivalence score; green bar = results from each product tested; blue bar = non-detect limits for each sample; red bar = ICCVAM proposed 20% 17 ß-estradiol activity score

Figure 3. Three cosmetic products analyzed

Figure 3. Three cosmetic products analyzed

Three cosmetic products analyzed; green bar = results from each product tested; blue bar = non-detect limits for each sample; red bar = ICCVAM proposed 20% 17 ß-estradiol activity score.

Figure 4. Five nutritional supplements tested

Figure 4. Five nutritional supplements tested

Five nutritional supplements tested using the BG1-ER assay system; green bar = results from each product tested; blue bar = non-detect limits for each sample; red bar = ICCVAM proposed 20% 17 β-estradiol activity score.

Footnotes [Gordon 127(9)]

a The Berthold Luminometer is manufactured by Titertek.

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