Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nature editorial ‘exploits public anxiety’ on endocrine disruptors


In December 2016, the European Union member states will vote on proposed legislation that would mandate an ambitious program to identify and regulate “endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment. On November 22, the journal Nature carried an editorial entitled “Stand firm on hormone disruptors” by NYU pediatrician Leonardo Trasande. Rather than laying out the scientific issues relevant to consideration of the problem of chemicals in the environment and their effects on the general population, the editorial indulges in far-reaching speculation.

In his second sentence, referring to EDCs, Trasande writes, “These chemicals are everywhere – in food, personal-care products, electronics and furniture – and are widely detected in human blood and urine at levels known to affect health.”  He then goes on to state that the proposed regulation resulting in “removal of these pesticides could prevent autism and loss of cognition, which have been linked to exposure in utero.” And he claims that the annual costs associated with health effects from exposure to EDCs are in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. and Europe.

What is the evidence for Trasande’s and other advocates’ claim that EDCs are having detectable and widespread effects on public health from maladies of unknown etiology?  Rather than engaging in speculation, a number of crucial points need to be made.......To Read More....

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