Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC): a short update



Chemsafe, Colleretto Giacosa (TO), Italy


In general terms, the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) is a wide family of substances, indeed not yet well defined, that may induce harmful effects to the organisms (human and/or animals) acting through an interference action within the hormonal (endocrine) system. The Endocrine System is found in most animals, including mammals, non-mammalian vertebrates (such as birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles), and invertebrates (such as snails and insects).

The endocrine system consists of a set of glands, such as the thyroid, gonads, adrenal and pituitary glands, and the hormones they produce, such as thyroxine, oestrogen, testosterone and adrenaline, which help guide and regulate the development, growth, reproduction and behaviour of animals, including human beings. Hormones are signal molecules which move through the bloodstream and elicit responses in other parts of the body. The definition of an ED is still different  as follows:

European Commission: Endocrine disrupters are exogenous substances that alter function(s) of the endocrine ... ...