Endocrine Disrupting Compounds EDCs

Meaning, Term, and Glossary Definition - What is Endocrine Disrupting Compounds EDCs?

Endocrine disruptors are exogenous substances that act like hormones in the endocrine system and disrupt the physiologic function of endogenous hormones.

Endocrine disrupting compounds encompass a variety of chemical classes, including hormones, plant constituents, pesticides, compounds used in the plastics industry and in consumer products, and other industrial by-products and pollutants. Some are pervasive and widely dispersed in the environment. Some are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and can be transported long distances across national boundaries and have been found in virtually all regions of the world. Others are rapidly degraded in the environment or human body or may be present for only short periods of time. Health effects attributed to endocrine disrupting compounds include a range of reproductive problems, including reduced fertility, male and female reproductive tract abnormalities, and skewed male/female sex ratios, menstruation changes, changes in hormone levels, early puberty, brain and behavior problems, impaired immune functions, and various cancers.

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Related glossary terms:

Semivolatile Organic Compounds   Tentatively Identified Compounds TICs   
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