Critical Windows of Development is a timeline of how the human body develops in the womb, with animal research showing when low-dose exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals during development results in altered health outcomes. Human-made chemicals have become an accepted part of our world. They’re in what we eat, what we drink, what we touch, and what we breathe. In fact, they can be found in the umbilical cords of almost every baby born today. Many of these chemicals have been recognized as ‘endocrine disruptors,’ which means they interfere with the communication system of glands, hormones and cellular receptors that control our body’s internal functions. Low dose exposure to endocrine disruptors, once thought to be harmless, has been shown to have serious health effects in lab animals exposed in the womb and/or shortly after birth through their mother’s milk.
Effects found in animals occur at chemical doses comparable to concentrations regularly found in humans and may provide a clue to the many disorders that have dramatically and inexplicably increased since these chemicals became part and parcel of human existence.
Endocrine effects include direct effects on traditional endocrine glands, their hormones and receptors (such as estrogens, anti-androgens, and thyroid hormones), as well as signaling cascades that affect many of the body’s systems, including reproductive function and fetal development, the nervous system and behavior, the immune and metabolic systems, the liver, bones and many other organs, glands and tissues. http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/endocrine.TEDXList.overview.php
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Click here to learn what you can do to reduce your exposure.
Click here to link to the Collaborative on Health and the Environment website, where you can download an MP3 recording of the conference call that launched the Critical Windows of Development in February of 2009.
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- Chemicals in the timeline
- Scientific ReferencesThe TEDX List of Potential Endocrine Disruptors is a database of chemicals with the potential to affect the endocrine system.
Every chemical on the TEDX List has one or more verified citations to published, accessible, primary scientific research demonstrating effects on the endocrine system.
Endocrine effects include direct effects on traditional endocrine glands, their hormones and receptors (such as estrogens, anti-androgens, and thyroid hormones), as well as signaling cascades that affect many of the body’s systems, including reproductive function and fetal development, the nervous system and behavior, the immune and metabolic systems, the liver, bones and many other organs, glands and tissues.
To date (October 13, 2011) there are approximately 870 endocrine disruptors on the TEDX List, which is available as a Microsoft Excel file for easy searching and sorting. Each row in the file shows the following columns: Chemical Name, Alternative Names, CAS Number, TEDX Number, Year (of cited publication), and Citation. Chemicals with multiple citations have multiple rows in the database; rows are shaded for ease of reading.
The TEDX List is an on-going project. Chemicals will be added as new studies are published and as prior research is uncovered for endocrine disruptors not on the current list.
Why is TEDX unique? TEDX’s work is prevention driven, and it is the only environmental organization that focuses on the problems associated with endocrine disruption attributable to synthetic chemicals found in the general environment. While there are other national, international, and local organizations that address the public health and environmental consequences of toxic chemicals in the environment, none of them expressly emphasize endocrine disruption. By mainly focusing on substances in the environment that interfere with development and function throughout all life stages, TEDX has one of the most complete databases in the world on this topic, available for those concerned about public health and environmental quality. This database was developed because traditional toxicological protocols have used high doses on fully developed tissues and individuals that heretofore missed the consequences of chemical substances on developing tissues.
TEDX is unique because it focuses on the damaging activity of chemicals on biological systems from an entirely new approach. This new approach focuses on the effects of very low and ambient levels of exposure on developing tissue and resulting function before an individual is born, which can lead to irreversible, chronic disorders expressed at any time throughout the individual’s life. Endocrine disruption takes into consideration the vulnerability of every individual in the population during their most vulnerable life stages. By providing this unique perspective on the actions of endocrine disruptors, TEDX fills in the very large gap in public health protection that traditional toxicology and government regulatory agencies do not fill. Drawing upon its computerized databases on endocrine disruption and coordination with researchers in the field of endocrine disruption, TEDX provides the very latest summaries of the state of knowledge and its meaning for human health and the environment.
Why is TEDX needed? The human health consequences of endocrine disruption are dire. Yet, no chemical has been regulated in the U.S. to date because of its endocrine disrupting effects. The U.S. government has failed to respond to the evolving science of endocrine disruption. While much remains to be learned in regard to the nature and extent of the impact of endocrine disruptors on human health, enough is known now to assume a precautionary approach should be taken. TEDX provides concerned persons and organizations with a science-based foundation for individuals to act and promote responsive public policy-making. Moreover, as federal government resources devoted to research on endocrine disruption have diminished due to budget cuts, TEDX must assume an even more prominent role in developing and disseminating information on the human and environmental impacts of endocrine disruption.