Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and children’s health

Problems in epidemiological studies

2006 Study Abstract

Most endocrine disrupting chemicals are characterized by their properties to induce marked phenotypic changes in offspring such as congenital anomalies and neurodevelopmental dysfunctions. Although an increase in the prevalence of hypospadias or cryptorchidism has been reported in various countries, improvement in diagnostic techniques and more attention to the features of the diseases have also been emphasized.

Although there have been a few reports that hypospadias or cryptorchidism had been associated with diethylstilbestrol (DES), pesticides and so on, the associations between these diseases and endocrine disrupting chemicals remain unclear.

Recently, the association between maternal metabolic polymorphism or paternal smoking during pregnancy and these diseases has been reported.

There are also variable clinical features in children’s neurobehavioral development, and thyroid and immune functions in relation to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins.

Only a few Dutch studies have suggested that perinatal exposure to background level of PCB/dioxin confers immunity to allergy development. Genetic susceptibility to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals may be related to adverse pregnancy outcomes.

It is suggested that well-designed epidemiological studies such as prospective cohort studies should be performed to elucidate this association.


  • Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and children’s health: problems in epidemiological studies, Japanese journal of hygiene, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 16506651, 2006 Jan.
  • Featured image Ban Yido.

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