Environmental estrogens are a variety of natural compounds, and synthetic chemicals that are like the female sex hormone, estrogen. Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body's endocrine system. Environmental chemicals alter the function of the endocrine system by imitating and either triggering or blocking a response to the body's natural hormones.
2. Environmental estrogens occur in nature and may be found in plants, or in .
one's diet. Synthetic environmental estrogens, can be found in insecticides, and plastics and the chemical diethylstilbestrol which has been used to prevent miscarriage and to enhance growth in livestock and poultry. They can also be found in pesticides.
3. Studies have shown that environmental estrogens may or may not be involved in causing breast cancer. For the most part, the effect of environmental estrogens on humans isn't known. Many scientists believe, however, that environmental estrogens may be linked to endometrial cancer, lactation suppression, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. The effects of environmental estrogens in animals are more prevalently documented. In one case, the egg-yolk protein found normally only in females, was found in male fish that had been exposed the environmental estrogens. In a study by D. Michael Frye, it was found that sea-gull eggs exposed to environmental estrogens developed as females, no matter what their genetic sex. Studies have shown that some plants and fungi adopted the use of environmental estrogens as a defense strategy.
4. Further research of environmental estrogens is important to learn more about its effects on aging, cancer, AIDS, infertility, asthma, and birth defects. Further research is needed to evaluate possible public health effects of known environmental estrogens and the potential estrogenic activities of other chemicals.
5. I feel that environmental estrogens could be a very serious matter, and that we should support, and continue research on the matter to find out what possible future effects it could have on humans and wildlife.