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.1, 2 This concern has also reached producers such as the Campbell Soup Company, which is phasing bisphenol A (BPA) out of its product containers.3
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.4–10 The greatest concern is the early onset of cancers, e.g., breast and prostate.6–8 Other issues of concern are precocious puberty and childhood obesity. According to one article published in 2010,9 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.9 There have also been recent studies linking EDCs to adult and childhood obesity.10
Read the complete article in our September 2012 digital edition of Cosmetics & Toiletries.