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Endocrine Disruption

When chemicals cause changes in the activity or production of hormones, it is called "endocrine disruption." Endocrine disruption can result from changes in the production of various hormones by the glands in the body, or by blocking the ability of circulating hormones to do their normal job. These changes can affect the development, reproduction, and neurological function of people and animals.

In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) directed the EPA to develop a program to screen pesticides for their ability to cause endocrine disruption. The EPA developed and validated the laboratory test methods to determine whether specific pesticides affect the endocrine system. Testing began in 2009 and is ongoing.

In June 2015, the EPA released Tier 1 results for 52 active ingredients frequently used in pesticides. The Tier 1 testing was designed to assess each chemical's interaction with the estrogen, androgen, or thyroid pathways. Using the Tier 1 results, the EPA will require additional Tier 2 screening to better understand the effects these chemicals have on the endocrine system.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

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Last updated July 08, 2021

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