An international team of scientific experts has expressed great concern about the effect of increasing exposure of humans and animals to hormone-disrupting substances. This comes in a new report commissioned by the UN Environment Programme and the World Health Organization.
Chief Scientist Georg Becher at the Department of Exposure and Risk Assessment at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health contributed to the landmark 300-page report with his expertise on human exposure to environmental pollutants.
"The report highlights the importance of the research and surveillance work at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to increase awareness of how, and to what extent, the Norwegian population is exposed to harmful substances," says Becher.
Hormone-disrupting chemicals are present throughout the environment. People can ingest these substances through air, water, food and dust. The report focuses on the relationship between exposure to hormone-disrupting substances and a number of diseases such as breast and testicular cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, ADHD, and other effects on the nervous system. These are diseases with increasing incidence in many Western countries.
The report points to the need for increased knowledge of the relationship between intake and effect of hormone-disrupting substances and the need to develop appropriate testing methods to detect these substances, both in the environment and in consumer products. More detailed research and increased collaboration within the research community are required.
More information: Report: State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO).