Why endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) challenge traditional risk assessment and how to respond

Vivian Futran Fuhrman, Alon Tal, Shai Arnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are a diverse group of "chemicals of emerging concern" which have attracted much interest from the research community since the 1990s. Today there is still no definitive risk assessment tool for EDCs. While some decision making organizations have attempted to design methodology guidelines to evaluate the potential risk from this broadly defined group of constituents, risk assessors still face many uncertainties and unknowns. Until a risk assessment paradigm is designed specifically for EDCs and is vetted by the field, traditional risk assessment tools may be used with caution to evaluate EDCs. In doing so, each issue of contention should be addressed with transparency in order to leverage available information and technology without sacrificing integrity or accuracy. The challenges that EDCs pose to traditional risk assessment are described in this article to assist in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-611
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - 9 Apr 2015


  • Endocrine disrupting chemical
  • Hormonally active agent
  • Human health
  • Microcontaminant
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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