Regulatory decisions on endocrine disrupting chemicals should be based on the principles of endocrinology

Laura N. Vandenberg, Theo Colborn, Tyrone B. Hayes, Jerrold J. Heindel, David R. Jacobs, Duk Hee Lee, John Peterson Myers, Toshi Shioda, Ana M. Soto, Frederick S. vom Saal, Wade V. Welshons, R. Thomas Zoeller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


For years, scientists from various disciplines have studied the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the health and wellbeing of humans and wildlife. Some studies have specifically focused on the effects of low doses, i.e. those in the range that are thought to be safe for humans and/or animals. Others have focused on the existence of non-monotonic dose-response curves. These concepts challenge the way that chemical risk assessment is performed for EDCs. Continued discussions have clarified exactly what controversies and challenges remain. We address several of these issues, including why the study and regulation of EDCs should incorporate endocrine principles; what level of consensus there is for low dose effects; challenges to our understanding of non-monotonicity; and whether EDCs have been demonstrated to produce adverse effects. This discussion should result in a better understanding of these issues, and allow for additional dialog on their impact on risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalReproductive Toxicology
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the following funding sources: NIH grants GM 087107 (to LNV), ES 08314 (to AMS), ES 010026 (to RTZ), ES 018764 (to FSvS), HL 53560 (to DRJ), UMC MO-VMFC0018 (to WVW), a Susan G. Komen for Cure grant FAS0703860 (to TS), grants from the Mitchell Kapor Foundation , the Cornell-Douglas Foundation , and the Wallace Global Fund (to TBH) and a grant from the Kendeda Foundation (to JPM). The funders had no role in the preparation of this manuscript.


  • Adaptive effect
  • Epidemiology
  • Flare
  • Hormesis
  • Human exposure
  • Organizational
  • Weight of evidence


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