Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that, at certain doses, can interfere with the hormone system. This can potentially disrupt a very large number of organs and functions. Endocrine disruptors have been associated with gross deformations and cancers, as well as more subtle effects, such as learning disabilities and psychiatric disorders. The developing fetus/child is particularly vulnerable.
Well-known endocrine disruptors include DDT and PCBs, but there are many other chemicals with known or suspected endocrine disrupting effects and there are hundreds of thousands of synthetic chemicals in existence, most of which have not been tested. There are also natural endocrine disruptors, such as phytoestrogens, produced by some plants. Humans are exposed to endocrine disruptors through ingestion of food, dust and water, via inhalation of gases and particles in the air, and through uptake through the skin.
While there are many environmental toxins and other environmental problems that may be or more or less important for society in general, endocrine disruptors are particularly interesting from a pro-European perspective:
- Endocrine disruptors are associated with reduced fertility which is a problem for many White populations.
- Endocrine disruptors may cause feminizing of males and masculinizing of females which have various negative effects as well as possibly being associated with homosexuality and transsexualism.
- Endocrine disruptors and associated negative effects may be particularly prevalent in industrialized nations.
- Endocrine disruptors a potentially very important cause of many problems has strong support within the scientific community.
2012 World Health Organization report
A 2012 World Health Organization report expressed great concern regarding endocrine disruptors and their potentially very large scale effects on human and animal health.
The report stated that many endocrine-related diseases and disorders were on the rise, that large proportions of young men in some countries have low semen quality which reduced their ability to father children, that the incidence of genital malformation in baby boys has increased over time or leveled off at unfavorably high rates, that the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and low birth weight has increased in many countries, neurobehavioral disorders associated with hormone disruption affect a high proportion of children in some countries and have increased over past decades, global rates of endocrine-related cancers have been increasing over the past 40–50 years, there is a trend towards earlier onset of breast development in young girls in all countries where this has been studied which is a risk factor for breast cancer, and that the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes has dramatically increased worldwide over the last 40 years.
In certain parts of the world, there has been a significant decrease in human fertility rates, which occurred during one generation. There is also a notable rise in the use of assisted reproductive services.
The report also stated endocrine disruptors may have an important role in the general population declines of, disrupted reproduction in, and extinction of many non-human species.
A 2015 study stated that "An Italian study in 2012 found that men’s penises were growing smaller over time — two centimetres lost from grandfather to grandson in the twentieth century. [...] chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen, are also responsible for a fall off in the sperm count in men... Some observers argue that the same culprit leads to an opposite trend among women. In 1997, a paper by Marcia Herman-Giddens and colleagues in Pediatrics reported that girls in the United States developed breasts earlier than previously thought: their findings suggested that Euro-American girls were, on average, experiencing the onset of puberty before 10 years of age, and African-American girls, on average, before the age of 9 (Herman-Giddens M.E. 1997). A ‘new normal’ was a more precocious onset of female sexual maturity, in some cases long before the girls were emotionally ready. [...] The potential causes of early onset for puberty in girls include xenoestrogens, but also obesity and higher childhood body weight, an imbalance between high-energy diet and lower levels of activity, the consumption of sugary soft drinks, even sexual abuse or other severe life stress. Although all of these findings are controversial — other studies find no decrease in sperm count or penis size, for example (Bergman A 2012) — the worst-case scenario is grim, indeed... correlations between early onset of menopause and the presence of fifteen chemicals known to be endocrine disrupting. Early menopause might impinge especially strongly upon reproduction rates in the wealthiest societies because social factors push back the start of women’s reproductive careers. If you don’t start reproducing until late, menopause can become a limit on your rate of reproduction, affect which genes stay in the gene pool in subsequent generations."
A 2017 study stated that "assessing the results of nearly 200 studies say sperm counts among men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, seem to have halved in less than 40 years. [...] The study also indicates the rate of decline among men living in these countries is continuing and possibly even increasing. [...] In contrast, no significant decline was seen in South America, Asia and Africa, but the researchers point out that far fewer studies have been conducted on these continents."
- Chemicals used in plastics feminise the brains of little boys 'so that they avoid rough and tumble games'
- Plastic chemicals 'feminise boys'
- State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals 2012. 2012. WHO. http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehemerging2/en/
- Greg Downey. (2015). Plastics, tiny penises, and human evolution. The Winnower. https://thewinnower.com/papers/plastics-tiny-penises-and-human-evolution
- Sperm count drop 'could make humans extinct' http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40719743