Interferenti Endocrini


The scientific community agrees in considering endocrine disruptors (ED, endocrin disruptor) as a real threat to human health as they are substances capable of altering the numerous functions that in the body are finely regulated by the endocrine system through the synthesis, release and action of hormones. In particular, the presence of these substances in biological fluids such as blood, seminal fluid and follicular fluid raises much concern about their possible effect on fertility.

The action of EDs on human health is tissue-specific and depends on the chemical-physical characteristics of these substances. Endocrine disruptors are capable of acting on the functions performed by the endocrine system because they are structurally similar to the hormones produced by the body or because they are capable of blocking their synthesis or release.


Some endocrine disruptors may also persist in the environment as they are not biodegradable and their effect on human health is mainly determined by the bioaccumulation condition that occurs in the exposed organism. DTT (dithiothreitol) and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), for example, the use of which was banned decades ago due to their harmful effect, are still present in the blood of the exposed population. Other substances, on the other hand, are less persistent in the environment but act as endocrine disruptors following constant, repeated and prolonged exposure over time.


Endocrine disruptors are widely used substances. They can be released into the environment by chemical industries (PBC, dioxin, benzene), agriculture (herbicides and pesticides) and are present in numerous personal care products and toys such as phthalates, BPA (bisphenol A) and parabens.

For example, in a recent survey it was concluded that the “use of some cosmetic and personal care products could be correlated with a greater likelihood of developing endometriosis” due to the presence in these products of endocrine disruptors, chemicals capable of to mimic or block the action of hormones. Data that you can find on web site www.endometriosi.it

In a total of 124 women from public hospitals in the city of Granada, researchers from the University of Granada and the Clinico San Cecilio hospital quantified the internal levels of parabens and benzophenones, endocrine disruptors frequently used in the production of cosmetics and products for the personal care and collected information on the use of cosmetics and personal care products from each of the study participants.

The results obtained, published in the Environmental Research journal, showed a clear association between a greater use of various types of cosmetics such as face masks, lipsticks, face creams, nail polishes, dyes, creams, lacquers and foams, with higher internal levels of parabens and benzophenones. Moreover, according to the researchers, it was observed that “the internal levels of some of these endocrine disruptors were related to the risk of endometriosis”.

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