A path forward in the debate over health impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals
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Several recent publications reflect debate on the issue of "endocrine disrupting chemicals" (EDCs), indicating that two seemingly mutually exclusive perspectives are being articulated separately and independently. Considering this, a group of scientists with expertise in basic science, medicine and risk assessment reviewed the various aspects of the debate to identify the most significant areas of dispute and to propose a path forward. We identified four areas of debate. The first is about the definitions for terms such as "endocrine disrupting chemical", "adverse effects", and "endocrine system". The second is focused on elements of hormone action including "potency", "endpoints", "timing", "dose" and "thresholds". The third addresses the information needed to establish sufficient evidence of harm. Finally, the fourth focuses on the need to develop and the characteristics of transparent, systematic methods to review the EDC literature. Herein we identify areas of general consensus and propose resolutions for these four areas that would allow the field to move beyond the current and, in our opinion, ineffective debate.
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