Although EDCs primarily affect sex steroid hormone pathways, some can affect adrenal, thyroid, and other endocrine pathways.
Human-produced EDCs vary widely in their properties. Many, but not all, concentrate in fat, and some have a very long half-life.
Because it would be impossible to perform randomized, controlled trials of the health effects of the thousands of manufactured EDCs encountered in daily life, physicians should follow the precautionary principal when counseling patients: ie, tell them to avoid chemicals when possible, especially those that have proven or plausible health risks.
On the other hand, physicians need to keep in mind the economic hardships patients may face in switching to potentially safer products or foods and unavoidable exposures at work and at home.
A 28-YEAR-OLD WOMAN presents for routine follow-up of asthma. She has a 1-year-old son and is considering a second pregnancy. She says she read on the Internet that the US Food and Drug Administration recently banned baby bottles and "sippy" cups that contain bisphenol A (BPA), as recommended by the American Medical Association. She wonders if there are other sources of BPA and if they pose a health risk to her, her son, and possible future children.