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Article
February 9, 1994

Environmental Estrogenic Agents Area of Concern

JAMA. 1994;271(6):414-416. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510300008003

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Abstract

ESTROGEN and agents that mimic it appear to be more pervasive and problematic than ever suspected.

Estrogen has long been implicated in diseases like breast cancer and endometriosis that primarily affect women.

New evidence suggests that estrogenic chemicals also limit the sexual development of males in animal experiments and may be responsible for increasing testicular cancer rates and decreasing sperm counts in men worldwide.

In addition, estrogenic agents, marked by an ability to elicit mitotic stimulation of genital tract cell proliferation, are turning up in unexpected places, including culture media and plastic laboratory flasks where they may be confounding experimental results, according to reports presented at a meeting in Washington, DC, Estrogens in the Environment, sponsored by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, NC.

Some Good, Some Bad  Some estrogens may be beneficial, like those in certain foods. Isoflavones in soy protein, for example, appear

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