The effect of maternal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals on foetal and neonatal development: A review on the major concerns

There is a widespread exposure of general population, including pregnant women and developing foetuses, to the endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These chemicals have been reported to be present in urine, blood serum, breast milk, and amniotic fluid. Endocrine disruptions induced by environmental toxicants have placed a heavy burden on society, since environmental exposures during critical periods of development can permanently reprogram normal physiological responses, thereby increasing susceptibility to disease later in life-a process known as developmental reprogramming. During development, organogenesis and tissue differentiation occur through a continuous series of tightly-regulated and precisely-timed molecular, biochemical, and cellular events. Humans may encounter EDCs daily and during all stages of life, from conception and foetal development through adulthood and senescence. Nevertheless, prenatal and early postnatal windows are the most critical for proper development, due to rapid changes in system growth. Although there are still gaps in our knowledge, currently available data support the urgent need for health and environmental policies aimed at protecting the public and, in particular, the developing foetus and women of reproductive age.

Authors: Mallozzi M, Bordi G, Garo C, Caserta D. ;Full Source: Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2016 Sep 22. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.21137. [Epub ahead of print] ;