The effects of environmental contaminants on human hormone levels

June 26,Silent Spring Institute Credit: Silent Spring Institute A new analysis shows that septic systems in the United States routinely discharge pharmaceuticals, consumer product chemicals, and other potentially hazardous chemicals into the environment. Known as contaminants of emerging concern CECsthese types of pollutants are frequently detected in U.

The effects of environmental contaminants on human hormone levels

Pollution of the environment and food supply by estrogenic chemicals is getting increased attention. Early in the study of estrogens, it was noticed that soot, containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, was both estrogenic and carcinogenic.

Since then, it has been found that phenolics and chlorinated hydrocarbons are significantly estrogenic, and that many estrogenic herbicides, pesticides, and industrial by-products persist in the environment, causing infertility, deformed reproductive organs, tumors, and other biological defects, including immunodeficiency.

In the Columbia River, a recent study found that about 25 percent of the otters and muskrats were anatomically deformed.

Estrogenic pollution kills birds, panthers, alligators, old men, young women, fish, seals, babies, and ecosystems. Some of these chemicals are sprayed on forests by the U.

Department of Agriculture, where they enter lakes, underwater aquifers, rivers, and oceans. Private businesses spray them on farms and orchards, or put them into the air as smoke or vapors, or dump them directly into rivers.

Homeowners put them on their lawns and gardens. Many Home Depot stores run free videos extolling the safety of these xenoestrogens for your visiting relatives, kids and pets!

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Natural estrogens, from human urine, enter the rivers from sewage. Many tons of synthetic and pharmaceutical estrogens, administered to menopausal women in quantities much larger than their bodies ever produced metabolically, are being added to the rivers.

In the same way that weak estrogens in the environment may become hundreds of times more estrogenic by synergistic interactions J.

In Novemberan international conference was held to study the problem of "Environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals," and to devise strategies for increasing public awareness of the seriousness of the problem.

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Their "Statement from the work session" says "New evidence is especially worrisome, because it underscores the exquisite sensitivity of the developing nervous system to chemical perturbations that result in functional abnormalities.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can undermine neurological and behavioral development and subsequent potential of individuals Man-made endocrine-disrupting chemicals range across all continents and oceans. They are found in native populations from the Arctic to the tropics, and, because of their persistence in the body, can be passed from generation to generation.

The effects of environmental contaminants on human hormone levels

Many endocrine-disrupting contaminants, even if less potent than the natural products, are present in living tissue at concentrations millions of times higher than the natural hormones. The developing brain exhibits specific and often narrow windows during which exposure to endocrine disruptors can produce permanent changes in its structure and function.

In spite of this increased exposure to estrogens, there is a new wave of advertising of estrogenic substances, based on the idea that weak estrogens will provide protection against strong estrogens.

The environmental background of estrogenic pollution already provides a continuous estrogenic exposure. In the s, Alexander Lipshuts demonstrated that a continuous, weak estrogenic stimulus was immensely effective in producing, first fibromas, then cancer, in one organ after another, and the effect was not limited to the reproductive system.

How is it possible that the idea of "protection" from a weak estrogen seems convincing to so many? DES diethyl stilbestrol is one of the most notorious estrogens, because studies in humans revealed that its use during pregnancy not only caused cancer, miscarriages, blood clots, etc.

But those transgenerational effects are not unique to it. Besides the absurd use of DES to prevent miscarriages, around it was also used to treat vulvovaginitis in little girls, for menstrual irregularity at puberty, to treat sterility, dysfunctional bleeding, endometriosis, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, migraine headaches, nausea and vomiting, and painful breast engorgement or severe bleeding after childbirth.

Many boomer children of these women are sterile or "fertility challenged" because of this exposure in utero. Pills formerly contained from 5 to mg.

The PDR lists doses for hypogonadism and ovarian failure as 0. In general, dosage of estrogens decreased by a factor of after the s. An aggressively stupid editorial by Alvin H. Follingstad, from the Jan. It argues that women who secrete larger amounts of estriol are resistant to cancer.

When estriol was placed in the uterus of a rabbit, only 1. The anti-progestational activity of estriol and estradiol are approximately the same. Tamotsu and Pincus, When 5 mg. Given orally, 8 mg. These quick systemic effects of a "weak estrogen" are essentially those of a strong estrogen, except for the size of the dose.

Another indication of the strength of an estrogen is its ability to cause the uterus to enlarge. Estriol is slightly weaker, in terms of milligrams required to cause a certain rate of uterine enlargement, than estradiol.

The effects of environmental contaminants on human hormone levels

When added to long-term culture of human breast cancer cells, estriol stimulated their growth, and overcame the antiestrogenic effects of tamoxifen, even at concentrations hundreds of times lower than that of tamoxifen.Before scientists became aware of the toxic effects of mercury—it poisons the kidneys and nervous system—this seemingly magical metal was widely used in medicine, cosmetics, and industries.

The endocrine system of the body is made up of glands that secrete pancreas, for example, is an endocrine organ that secretes the hormone hormone/endocrine system is one system of communication within the body.

Certain cells release hormones as a result of some signal (e.g., the beta cells in the pancreas release insulin when they sense that glucose levels .

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The sleek, cleaner layout is designed to enhance our readers’ ability to navigate site and article content. Jul 04,  · When hormones go haywire, so do the animals when their sex drive, metabolism, energy levels, and brain functions are compromised or redirected.

While the effects of such chemicals on behavior have been known to biologists for many years, more recent findings indicate a greater effect on gender in animals through interference with the sex organs.

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Women who drink water contaminated with low levels of the weed-killer atrazine may be more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels, scientists concluded in a new study.

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