The influence of endocrine disruptors on growth and development of children

Sara A. DiVall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review describes the most recent data about the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on infant and early childhood growth and reproductive tract development as well as controversies in the field. RECENT FINDINGS: EDCs are present in pregnant women, young children and adolescents. Whether the level of exposure contributes to disease is an ongoing debate. Epidemiological studies suggest associations between prenatal EDC exposure and disease outcome, but animal studies using controlled EDC exposure have varying results with underlying mechanisms largely unknown. SUMMARY: Human exposure to EDCs is widespread; bisphenol A, phthalates and persistent organic pollutants are detectable in all age groups and geographical locations in the USA. Epidemiological and animal studies suggest that phthalates and bisphenol A have adverse effects on birth weight, promote development of childhood obesity and adversely affect male reproductive tract development. Differences in the interpretation of available studies underlie the disparate conclusions of scientific and regulatory bodys panels on potential toxicological effects of EDCs at current levels of human exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • birth weight
  • childhood obesity
  • endocrine disruption
  • male reproductive tract development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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