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Keywords:

  • endocrine disruptors;
  • phthalates;
  • organochlorines;
  • phenols;
  • toxicology

Abstract: During the past 10 years, there has been a worldwide decline in the use and human exposure to many chemicals, including pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). However, a new generation of chemicals that have endocrine disrupting (ED) potential have emerged. Their presence in the environment and concomitant levels in humans are prevalent, although the sources of these contemporary-use industrial chemicals are not entirely identified. They include the phthalates, alkylphenols, brominated diphenyl ethers, and perfluorinated organics (PFOCs). The alkylphenols, especially bisphenol A, are potent EDs. Levels vary by geography, race/ethnicity, age and gender, and human health effects are just beginning to be assessed. This article discusses the toxicology, human exposure, and potential health effects of EDs that are likely to be important in the 21st century.