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The Role of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Thyroid Carcinogenesis: Is It a Weak Hypothesis or a Hidden Reality? From Facts to New Perspectives

Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091834
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Carcinogens)
In the last decades, the incidence of thyroid cancer has increased faster than that of any other malignant tumor type. The cause of thyroid cancer is likely multifactorial and a variety of both exogenous and endogenous has been identified as potential risk factors. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used since the 1970s as flame retardants, are still widespread and persistent pollutants today, although their production was definitely phased out in the western countries several years ago. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are known endocrine disruptors, and the endocrine system is their primary target. Whereas animal studies have ascertained the ability of PBDEs to affect the normal functionality of the thyroid, evidence in humans remains inconclusive, and only a few epidemiological studies investigated the association between exposure to PBDEs and thyroid cancer. However, a number of clues suggest that a prolonged exposure to these chemicals might act a trigger of the most common malignancy of the endocrine system, whereas further studies with an advanced design are suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: polybrominated diphenyl ethers; flame retardants; endocrine disruptors; thyroid cancer polybrominated diphenyl ethers; flame retardants; endocrine disruptors; thyroid cancer
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Gorini, F.; Iervasi, G.; Coi, A.; Pitto, L.; Bianchi, F. The Role of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Thyroid Carcinogenesis: Is It a Weak Hypothesis or a Hidden Reality? From Facts to New Perspectives. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1834.

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