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Endocrine Disruption and Hypospadias

  • George F. Steinhardt
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 545)

Abstract

In 1996 a conference was held in Europe to discuss the ramifications of a number of disturbing clinical observations relating to male reproductive health. The rate of testicular cancer was noted to be increasing in many countries (Weybridge, 1995). Additionally these same countries were noted to have increasing problems with male infertility correlated with decreasing sperm counts (Carlesen et al., 1995). Plausibly, testicular cancer and infertility could be tied to environmental agents affecting fetal testicular structure and function. That individuals could demonstrate more than one problem, i.e. cancer and infertility, suggested the existence of shared etiologic influences. Substantial evidence supported the notion that testicular function and male development can be affected by changes in the hormonal milieu of the developing fetus (Toppari et al., 1996). Concentrations of hormonally active compounds of no consequence late in fetal development can have profound long-term consequences if present during earlier critical periods of male genital development (Ema et al., 2000). From this conference came the definition of a endocrine disruptor as an exogenous substance that causes adverse health effects in an intact organism or its progeny, consequent to changes in endocrine function. A potential endocrine disruptor is a substance that possesses properties that might be expected to lead to endocrine disruption in an intact organism ((Joffe, 2001).

Keywords

Testicular Cancer Endocrine Disruption Phthalate Ester Organochlorine Compound Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • George F. Steinhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.DeVos Children’s HospitalMichigan

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