Consensus on the key characteristics of endocrine-disrupting chemicals as a basis for hazard identification


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ABSTRACT - Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous chemicals that interfere with hormone action, thereby increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes, including cancer, reproductive impairment, cognitive deficits and obesity. A complex literature of mechanistic studies provides evidence on the hazards of EDC exposure, yet there is no widely accepted systematic method to integrate these data to help identify EDC hazards. Inspired by work to improve hazard identification of carcinogens using key characteristics (KCs), we have developed ten KCs of EDCs based on our knowledge of hormone actions and EDC effects. In this Expert Consensus Statement, we describe the logic by which these KCs are identified and the assays that could be used to assess several of these KCs. We reflect on how these ten KCs can be used to identify, organize and utilize mechanistic data when evaluating chemicals as EDCs, and we use diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A and perchlorate as examples to illustrate this approach.

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