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Uncovering Evidence: Associations between Environmental Contaminants and Disparities in Women’s Health

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Physiology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
2
Women’s Reproductive Health Research Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
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Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
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Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
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VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031257
Received: 30 November 2021 / Revised: 29 December 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2022 / Published: 23 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health Disparities in Vulnerable Populations)
Over the years, industrial accidents and military actions have led to unintentional, large-scale, high-dose human exposure to environmental contaminants with endocrine-disrupting action. These historical events, in addition to laboratory studies, suggest that exposure to toxicants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls negatively impact the reproductive system and likely influence the development of gynecologic diseases. Although high-level exposure to a single toxicant is rare, humans living in industrialized countries are continuously exposed to a complex mixture of manmade and naturally produced endocrine disruptors, including persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals. Since minorities are more likely to live in areas with known environmental contamination; herein, we conducted a literature review to identify potential associations between toxicant exposure and racial disparities in women’s health. Evidence within the literature suggests that the body burden of environmental contaminants, especially in combination with inherent genetic variations, likely contributes to previously observed racial disparities in women’s health conditions such as breast cancer, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids, and premature birth. View Full-Text
Keywords: women’s health; environmental contaminants; pollution; health disparities; minorities women’s health; environmental contaminants; pollution; health disparities; minorities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rumph, J.T.; Stephens, V.R.; Martin, J.L.; Brown, L.K.; Thomas, P.L.; Cooley, A.; Osteen, K.G.; Bruner-Tran, K.L. Uncovering Evidence: Associations between Environmental Contaminants and Disparities in Women’s Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 1257. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031257

AMA Style

Rumph JT, Stephens VR, Martin JL, Brown LK, Thomas PL, Cooley A, Osteen KG, Bruner-Tran KL. Uncovering Evidence: Associations between Environmental Contaminants and Disparities in Women’s Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1257. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031257

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rumph, Jelonia T., Victoria R. Stephens, Joanie L. Martin, LaKendria K. Brown, Portia L. Thomas, Ayorinde Cooley, Kevin G. Osteen, and Kaylon L. Bruner-Tran. 2022. "Uncovering Evidence: Associations between Environmental Contaminants and Disparities in Women’s Health" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 3: 1257. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031257

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