Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous chemicals that may occur naturally (e.g., phytoestrogens), while others are industrial substances and plasticizers commonly utilized worldwide to which human exposure, particularly at low-doses, is omnipresent, persistent and occurs in complex mixtures. EDCs can interfere with/or mimic estrogenic hormones and, consequently, can simultaneously trigger diverse signaling pathways which result in diverse and divergent biological responses. Additionally, EDCs can also bioaccumulate in lipid compartments of the organism forming a mixed “body burden” of contaminants. Although the independent action of chemicals has been considered the main principle in EDCs mixture toxicity, recent studies have demonstrated that numerous effects cannot be predicted when analyzing single compounds independently. Co-exposure to these agents, particularly in critical windows of exposure, may induce hazardous health effects potentially associated with a complex “body burden” of different origins. Here, we performed an exhaustive review of the available literature regarding EDCs mixtures exposure, toxicity mechanisms and effects, particularly at the most vulnerable human life stages. Although the assessment of potential risks to human health due to exposure to EDCs mixtures is a major topic for consumer safety, information regarding effective mixtures effects is still scarce.
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