Prevention of Endocrine Disruptors is Critical, NAU Professor Affirms

The debate regarding the safety of endocrine disruptors has flared up over the past few weeks as the scientific community continues to clash over the issue. While researchers with industry interests argue that endocrine disruptors are not a case for concern, others see the issue in an entirely different light. Northern Arizona University biology professor Catherine Propper is one such figure, and in a recent lecture, she argued that endocrine disruptors are indeed a real threat, and one that should be dealt with as soon as possible. An article on the Arizona Daily Sun reported on Propper's stance:


“The endocrine system is exquisitely sensitive,” she said. “We have evolved to be very, very efficient, so you do not want to be producing more hormones than you need.”

Propper believes that steps must be taken to prevent continued, unnecessary chemical exposure sooner rather than later.

“This is not a trivial issue. The health issues [arising from exposure to EDCs] 50 years down the line could be tremendously expensive and difficult to fix if they are not dealt with soon,” she said.


The article, which was written by Emily Litvack, outlines Propper's talk, which explored a variety of chemicals that have endocrine disrupting properties, including chemicals found in common products such as sunscreen. Propper acknowledged that research on endocrine disruptors has been challenging – much of it has been correlative, and researchers have been reluctant to state conclusively that a perceived correspondence necessarily equals a definitive relationship. Propper's own research on endocrine disruptors and their effects on frogs has informed debate on the chemicals used in snowmaking, and her take-away message urged her listeners to consider the fact that change in behavior is the most effective way of reducing the presence of potentially harmful chemicals in consumer products. For more information on Catherine Propper or her talk, please see the original article here.

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