Endocrine Disruptors

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The harmful effects of exposure to environmental pollutants on reproduction and development in wildlife populations have been acknowledged and reported in the scientific literature for many years. Some reported reproductive disorders in wildlife have included morphologic abnormalities, eggshell thinning, population declines, impaired viability of offspring, altered hormone concentrations and changes in socio-sexual behaviour.


These chemicals have been found to act as estrogens, anti-estrogens, androgens, anti-androgens, or to interfere with thyroid hormone, cortisol, insulin, or growth regulators. Moreover, since animals and human foetal development is primarily dependent on hormonal levels at various phases of development, the effects of these endocrine disrupting chemicals on the endocrine, reproductive, neurological, and immune systems have been found to be very serious, if not catastrophic (Windham, 2000).
TCDD dioxin is the most toxic of a class of organochlorine chemicals including chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDDs), dibinzofurans (CDFs), polychlorinated biphenals (PCBs), brominated dibenzo-p-dioxins (BDDs), brominated dibenzofurans (BDFs), and polychlorinated pesticides etc. These groups of chemicals have been shown to exert hormonal effects that disrupt the endocrine system of wildlife resulting in adverse effects on reproductive system development and hormones, foetal development, and the immune system at extremely low levels of exposure (Windham, 2000; Are Environmental Hormones Emasculating Wildlife, 1994). ...
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