Endocrine disruption has been gathering increasing attention in the past 25 years as a possible new threat for health and safety. Exposure to endocrine disruptor has been progressively linked with a growing number of increasing disease in the human population. The mechanics through which endocrine disruptors act are not yet completely clear, however a number of pathways have been identified. A key concern is the cumulative and synergic effects that endocrine disruptors could have when mixed in consumer products. We reviewed the available literature to identify known or potential endocrine disruptors, as well as endocrine active substances that could contribute to cumulative effects, in topical consumer products. The number of endocrine actives used daily in consumer products is staggering and even though most if not all are used in concentrations that are considered to be safe, we believe that the possibility of combined effects in mixtures and non-monotonic dose/response is enough to require further precautions. A combined in vitro approach based on existing, validated OECD test methods is suggested to screen consumer products and mixtures for potential interaction with estrogen and androgen hormone receptors, in order to identify products that could have cumulative effects or support their safety concerning direct endocrine disruption capabilities.
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