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Toxins: A Pervasive 21st-Century Problem for Health and Sexuality 

Toxins: A Pervasive 21st-Century Problem for Health and Sexuality
Chapter:
Toxins: A Pervasive 21st-Century Problem for Health and Sexuality
Author(s):

Adrienne Sprouse

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190225889.003.0010
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date: 06 May 2021

This chapter describes the categories of 300+ environmental chemicals measured in the blood and urine of Americans by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and substitute for endogenous hormones in a variety of metabolic processes affecting sexual health, obesity, diabetes, and behavior. The Monotonic Dose-Response (linear dose-response) is inappropriate when evaluating the health consequences of EDCs. Nonmonotonic Dose-Response Curves are better for considering the affinity of the ligand for the receptor, receptor saturation, ligand specificity, and tissue specificity of the receptor distribution. These factors combine to explain why ambient levels of many environmental chemicals cause damage to tissues or development and why low-level exposures can create disease different from higher level exposures. Exposure during critical stages of fetal development may cause permanent changes not apparent until adulthood. Environmental chemicals that are not EDCs may harm by altering genetic material and causing apoptosis.

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