About this Research Topic
Endocrine disruptors are exogenous compounds with the potential to disturb hormonal action and the normal endocrine system, consequently affecting health and reproduction in animals and humans. Endocrine disruptors can interfere with the production, release, metabolism, and elimination of or can mimic the occurrence of natural hormones, as well as its actions can impair other physiologic functions. Endocrine disruptors may also be derived from natural animal, human, or plant sources; however, for the most part international concern is currently focused on synthetic chemicals and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This concern is further amplified by two factors, the expansion in chemical production, which has now reached 400 million tons globally, and the increased pollution from these chemicals. As such, the impact on human health through known or unknown effects of these chemicals on hormonal and physiologic systems is so relevant. Further, a great deal of research has provided new information about the mechanisms by which environmental chemicals can interfere with hormone actions, physiologic proper functioning, the degree to which our environment is contaminated with such chemicals, and the relationship between chemical exposures and health outcomes in humans and in wildlife. Although EDCs can target various hormone systems, a number of observations have shown that EDC interference with sex steroid hormones, as well as diseases associated as obesity and cardiovascular dysfunction. In addition to the reproductive abnormal effects, there is also a growing concern that metabolic disorders may be linked with EDCs.
Obesity has risen dramatically over the past three decades especially in developed countries. Obesity is frequently associated with metabolic, cardiovascular, renal, thyroid, neuronal, immunological, bone complications, as well as other health abnormalities such as epigenetic defects. EDCs encompass a variety of chemical classes, including solvents, compounds used in the plastic, naval industry and in consumer products, and other industrial by-products, medical drugs, and pollutants. They are often widely dispersed in the environment and, if persistent and other EDCs that are rapidly degraded or the human body, or that may be present for only short periods of time, can also have serious deleterious effects if exposure occurs during critical developmental periods. A combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors likely account for the rapid and significant increase in physiologic dysfunctions. An example of such a chemical is the organotin, as tributyltin (TBT). Organotins are a class of persistent organic pollutants containing the (C4H9)3Sn moiety. They are used for various industrial purposes such as slime control in antifouling agents and the preservation of wood, etc. Although TBT has been banned from paints in the European Union since 2003, it is still found at high levels in marine and freshwater ecosystems exceeding toxicity levels. Recent reports indicate that organotins, including TBT, was able to promote obesity, reproductive, thyroid, cardiovascular, renal, bone, immunologic, neurologic, epigenetic and other complications.
The goal of this Research Topic Description is to provide recent information of physiologic and endocrine disruptor effects, as result of organotins exposure as well as to delve in the details of human and wildlife health effects.
Keywords: Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals, Organotins, Toxicology, Physiology Complications, Disease development.
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