Summary

In this paper, we have discussed evidence from diverse sources indicating that a variety of man-made compounds can interfere with reproductive system and brain development, resulting in reduced fertility and altered brain function and behavior in wildlife and laboratory animals. Wildlife have acted as sentinels for human health for centuries. Laboratory animal studies of molecular mechanisms provide a basis for examining outcomes in humans when there is a high level of similarity between animals and humans in the mechanisms mediating responses to specific classes of chemicals, such as those with estrogenic or anti-androgenic activity. An important issue is thus whether the abnormalities reported in wildlife and laboratory animals provide a warning that human health and development are at risk. Findings relating environmental chemicals to human health are discussed in Epidemiological Studies of Reproductive Effects in Humans.

See also: Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals: Overview; Epidemiological Studies of Reproductive Effects in Humans.

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