Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment

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National Academies Press, Feb 3, 2000 - Science - 452 pages
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Some investigators have hypothesized that estrogens and other hormonally active agents found in the environment might be involved in breast cancer increases and sperm count declines in humans as well as deformities and reproductive problems seen in wildlife.

This book looks in detail at the science behind the ominous prospect of "estrogen mimics" threatening health and well-being, from the level of ecosystems and populations to individual people and animals. The committee identifies research needs and offers specific recommendations to decisionmakers.

This authoritative volume:

  • Critically evaluates the literature on hormonally active agents in the environment and identifies known and suspected toxicologic mechanisms and effects of fish, wildlife, and humans.
  • Examines whether and how exposure to hormonally active agents occurs--in diet, in pharmaceuticals, from industrial releases into the environment--and why the debate centers on estrogens.
  • Identifies significant uncertainties, limitations of knowledge, and weaknesses in the scientific literature.

The book presents a wealth of information and investigates a wide range of examples across the spectrum of life that might be related to these agents.

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