Summary

Mankind's use of and reliance on chemicals, unfortunately, ensures that there will be always be unavoidable chemical releases to the environment. Consequently, there will be ongoing opportunities for nonhuman receptors to be exposed to these, and also for the essential biological function of reproduction to be altered in some way. Although there are established methods for evaluating the reproductive toxicity of chemicals, these are plagued by uncertainties. It would seem that laboratory-based methods can only fall short of the mark, given the growing number of chemicals in use today, and the reality that chemical mixtures will nearly always be at play. Field-based (direct) assessments of reproductive toxicity within an ecological context may hold the best promise for improving our understanding of this challenging and vital subject area.

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