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Ecosystems and Human Health, 3rd Edition by Richard B. Philp

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Chapter 12

Environmental Hormone Disrupters

Every man in this room is half the man his grandfather was.

Louis J. Guilette Jr., zoologist, to Congressional Committee, on endocrine disrupters

Introduction

Burlington and Lindeman in 1950 made one of the earliest observations that synthetic chemicals could seriously impair normal reproductive function. They showed that leghorn cockerels exposed to DDT had impaired testicular growth and diminished secondary sexual characteristics. A decade or so later, reports began to emerge that women whose mothers had received diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy experienced difficulties in conceiving and an increased incidence of cervical deformities and cancer (see also Chapter 8). The first reported case ...

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