Research Topic

Emerging chemical risks for human health: endocrine disruption by per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS)

About this Research Topic

Great attention has been paid in recent years to the harmful effects of various chemicals that interfere with hormonal function, collectively known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Among EDCs, per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging chemicals raising health concerns worldwide.

PFAS are a group of more than 4,700 man-made chemicals, the two most well-known of which are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS are used in a wide variety of consumer products and industrial applications because of their unique chemical and physical properties, including oil and water repellence, temperature and chemical resistance, and surfactant properties. PFAS have been used in firefighting foams, non-stick metal coatings for frying pans, paper food packaging, creams and cosmetics, textiles for furniture and outdoor clothing, paints and photography, chrome plating, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. PFAS accumulate in humans, animals, and the environment. This adds to the total burden of chemicals to which people are exposed and increases the risk of health impacts.

Of the relatively few well-studied PFAS, most are considered moderately to highly toxic, particularly for children’s development. PFOA and PFOS have been shown to induce severe health consequences, such as neonatal mortality, neurotoxicity, and immunotoxicity: PFAS act as EDCs on the foetus and newborns, leading to developmental defects. Indeed they have been shown to act as estrogenic-like molecules and to interfere on thyroid and sexual hormone signaling. People most at risk of adverse health impacts are those exposed to high levels of PFAS, and vulnerable population groups such as children and the elderly.

This Research Topic aims to provide an update of PFAS toxicity and their related mechanisms in the disruption of endocrine function, as well as to delve into the details of human health effects. We are particularly interested in original research or review articles focused on the translational aspects of PFAS.


Keywords: Endocrine disrupting chemicals, pfas, endocrinology, translational medicine, reproduction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Great attention has been paid in recent years to the harmful effects of various chemicals that interfere with hormonal function, collectively known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Among EDCs, per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging chemicals raising health concerns worldwide.

PFAS are a group of more than 4,700 man-made chemicals, the two most well-known of which are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS are used in a wide variety of consumer products and industrial applications because of their unique chemical and physical properties, including oil and water repellence, temperature and chemical resistance, and surfactant properties. PFAS have been used in firefighting foams, non-stick metal coatings for frying pans, paper food packaging, creams and cosmetics, textiles for furniture and outdoor clothing, paints and photography, chrome plating, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. PFAS accumulate in humans, animals, and the environment. This adds to the total burden of chemicals to which people are exposed and increases the risk of health impacts.

Of the relatively few well-studied PFAS, most are considered moderately to highly toxic, particularly for children’s development. PFOA and PFOS have been shown to induce severe health consequences, such as neonatal mortality, neurotoxicity, and immunotoxicity: PFAS act as EDCs on the foetus and newborns, leading to developmental defects. Indeed they have been shown to act as estrogenic-like molecules and to interfere on thyroid and sexual hormone signaling. People most at risk of adverse health impacts are those exposed to high levels of PFAS, and vulnerable population groups such as children and the elderly.

This Research Topic aims to provide an update of PFAS toxicity and their related mechanisms in the disruption of endocrine function, as well as to delve into the details of human health effects. We are particularly interested in original research or review articles focused on the translational aspects of PFAS.


Keywords: Endocrine disrupting chemicals, pfas, endocrinology, translational medicine, reproduction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

13 January 2021 Manuscript
20 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 January 2021 Manuscript
20 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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