Endocrine disruptors are chemical substances that can interfere with the endocrine system in humans and animals, leading to a range of health effects. The endocrine system is responsible for producing and regulating hormones, which are essential for growth, development, and reproduction.
Endocrine disruptors can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones, either by mimicking the action of hormones or by blocking their effects. These chemicals can cause a range of adverse health effects, including reproductive and developmental problems, immune system dysfunction, neurological effects, and cancer.
Endocrine disruptors are found in many products, including plastics, cosmetics, food packaging, and agricultural chemicals. Some common examples of endocrine disruptors include bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and pesticides.
Due to the potential health risks associated with endocrine disruptors, many countries and regions around the world have taken steps to regulate these substances. The European Union, for example, has established a list of endocrine disruptors that are subject to specific restrictions and regulations under the REACH regulation. Endocrine disruptors can be identified as substances of very high concern (SVHCs).