|Topic:||Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment|
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Commission on Life Sciences
Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Wednesday, October 6, 1999 -- 10:00 a.m.
Room HC-7 The Capitol
HORMONALLY ACTIVE AGENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
JOHN J. STEGEMAN, Senior Scientist, Department of Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and Member, Committee on Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment
LESLIE A. REAL, Professor, Department of Biology, Emory University, and Member, Committee on Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment
CHARLES J. GROSSMAN, Professor and Chairman, Department of Biology, Xavier University, and Member, Committee on Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment
HORMONALLY ACTIVE AGENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT, a recently released report of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Research Council, examines what is known about effects on human and wildlife health from environmental contaminants designated as hormonally active agents (HAAs), and widely known as "endocrine disruptors."
The study found evidence that prenatal exposure to HAAs could adversely affect the developing nervous system, as evidenced by epidemiology studies of populations exposed to certain HAAs, but could not attribute these effects to the hormonal activity of the compounds. The report did not find convincing evidence that HAAs cause cancer or adverse effects on the reproductive or immune systems; although it did call for more studies tracking exposed groups of people at key developmental stages to address scientific uncertainties about potential delayed effects. The study also found that environmental HAAs have probably contributed to the declines in some wildlife populations, including fish and birds of the Great Lakes and alligators of Lake Apopka, Florida, and possibly to some wildlife diseases and deformities, such as intersexing found in fish near sewage treatment plant effluents; but more research is needed to determine
clear causal relationships and mechanistic actions.
This briefing was for Members of Congress and Congressional Staff only. The report was publicly released on August 3, 1999 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.