A recent series of studies published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals contributes to diseases and disabilities, estimated to cost an average of €157 billion (US$209 billion) per year, but could cost up to €270 billion (US$359 billion) per year in the European Union.
Adverse health effects when humans are exposed to these hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as endocrine disrupters or EDCs, include infertility, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The authors presented the findings on March 5 at ENDO 2015, the Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting & Expo in San Diego, CA and in Brussels, Belgium.
“Although this analysis was limited to the European Union, the disease and cost burden of exposure is likely to be on the same order of magnitude in the United States and elsewhere in the world,” said Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine & Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Trasande also reported that data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that exposure to EDCs in the U.S. are in many cases equal if not higher than those in the EU.
The study concluded thirteen chronic conditions have strong evidence for causation by EDCs. Limiting exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals such as pesticides, plastics with BPA, flame retardants, and arsenic could reduce economic cost, according to the authors.
"This approach has the potential to inform decision-making in the environmental health arena. We are hoping to bring the latest endocrine science to the attention of policymakers as they weigh how to regulate these toxic chemicals,” Philippe Grandjean, MD, PhD, Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark and Adjunct Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health told The Endocrine Society.
For more information, the series of studies include:
• “Estimating Burden and Disease Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union”
• “Male Reproductive Disorders, Diseases and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union”
• “Obesity, Diabetes and Associated Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union”
• “Neurobehavioral Deficits, Diseases and Associated Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union”