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Medical News & Perspectives
August 25, 1999

Hormonally Active Agents Throughout the Environment

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JAMA. 1999;282(8):722. doi:10.1001/jama.282.8.722-JMN0825-3-1

Washington—The possibility that some environmental chemical contaminants may interfere with endocrine system function and adversely affect human health should be investigated, concludes Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment, a new report from the National Research Council.

The agents involved include a wide variety of chemicals that mimic the actions of hormones. They include substances such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (DDE), and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF). Exposure to these agents has been shown to have adverse reproductive and developmental effects in humans, wildlife, and laboratory animals.