Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers



Background information on common endocrine-disrupting compounds


This compound is used as a defoliant, a herbicide, a reagent in photography and a plant growth regulator. It is used in non-selective weed control.


Atrazine is used as a selective herbicide for weed control in agriculture... one of the most abundantly used herbicides in the world.


Sodium arsenite is used in the manufacture of dyes and soap for use on skins; for treating vines against certain scale diseases; as an insecticide, especially against termites; as an antiseptic, topical acaricide, hide preservative and herbicide.Copper Acetoarsenite:This compound is used as an insecticide, wood preservative, larvicide, pigment (particularly for ships and submarines), fungicide, bactericide and molluscicide. It is used in the control of the Colorado beetle, as a poison bait for caterpillars and grasshoppers, in the control of mosquitoes and was formerly used medically for certain skin diseases.


Fixative for heavy perfumes, especially in soaps. Also used in the manufactur of antihistamines, hypnotics; insecticides.


A polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon formed as a combustion byproduct in the use of petrochemicals.

Bisphenol A

The basic building block of polycarbonate plastic, bisphenol A is also an intermediate in the manufacture of polymers, epoxy resins, , fungicides, antioxidants, dyes, phenoxy, polysulfone and certain polyester resins, flame retardents and rubber chemicals.

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Antioxidant in fat-containing foods and in edible fats and oils; prevents food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors; preservative and antioxidant in cosmetic formulations.

  • Cadmium itself is a heavy metal with widespread use, including in electroplating, photoelectric cells, soft solder and solder tor aluminum; deoxidizer in Ni plating,Ni-Cd storage batteries; process engraving, electrodes for cadmium vapor lamps, photometry of ultraviolet sun-rays. The powder is also used as an amalgam (1 Cd: 4 Hg) in dentistry.
  • Cadmium chloride is used in photography, in paints, pigments, glass and glazes, in electronic components, as a nemoticide, pesticide and a fungicide, in dyeing and calico printing, in the manufacture of cadmium yellow, in galvanoplasty, in the manufacture of special mirrors, as an ice-nucleating agent, as a lubricant, in analysis of sulfides to absorb hydrogen sulfide,as a polymerization catalyst.
  • Cadmium oxide is used in electroplating, storage battery electrodes, catalyst, semiconductors, manufacture of silver alloys, ceramic glazes, nematocide, anthelminic, phosphors, glass, cadmium electroplating, and an ascaricide in pigs (i.e., it kills ticks).
  • SODIUM DIETHYLDITHIOCARBAMATE: This compound is used as a pesticide, fungicide and chelating agent with strong affinity for mercury, copper, nickel and zinc. It is used in the evaluation of T-cell deficient diseases, in the inhibition of superoxide dismutase in mice and of cisplatin nephrotoxicity in rats, in AIDS-related complex, in immunopharmacology and in cancer immunotherapy. It has clinical use in acute nickel carbonyl, cadmium and thallium poisoning. It is used in colorimetric determination of small quantities of copper and for its separation from other metals. It is also used as a latex accelerator in rubber processing and as a chemical intermediate in the production of other diethyldithiocarbamate metal salts, such as zince selenium and tellurium salts.
  • SODIUM DIMETHYLDITHIOCARBAMATE: Fungicide; corrosion inhibitor; rubber accelerator; intermediate; polymerization shortstop; nematocide and herbicide with a fumigant action.
  • LEAD DIMETHYLDITHIOCARBAMATE: a vulcanization accelerator.

One of the 12 POPS listed by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, DDT's allowed use is now restricted to disease vector control, specifically to kill mosquitos spreading malaria in the developing world. The POPs treaty calls for an eventually phase-out of use as cost-effective alternatives are developed. Some agricultural use continues in Asia and also, as indicated by continuing wildlife contamination, in the Americas.

p, p'-DDE

One of the principal metabolites (breakdown products) of DDT


Usage banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. A non-systemic, persistent organic insecticide with contact and stomach action.


Insecticide; pesticide. Very widespread modern use.

Ethylene thiourea

This compound is used as a polymer vulcanizing and curing agent. It is extensively used as an accelerator in the curing of polychloroprene (neoprene) and other elastomers. It is also used in electroplating baths, as an intermediate for anti-oxidants, in insecticides, dyes, pharmaceuticals and synthetic resins.


Usage banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Combustion byproducts of combustion of organochlorine chemicals, furans have also been used as intermediates in the preparation of pharmaceuticals, insecticides and other chemicals and as solvents for resins and in the formation of lacquers.


Usage banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. As an insecticide heptachlor was used for control of the cotton boll weevil, termites, ants, grasshoppers, cutworms, maggots, thrips, wireworms, flies, mosquitoes, soil insects, household insects and field insects. It has some fumigant action, and was applied as a soil treatment, a seed treatment or directly to foliage.


Used as an insecticide, fungicide, pesticide for control of the banana root borer and tobacco wireworm and bait for control of ants and cockroaches.


Banned in many (but not all) countries, lindane is used as a pesticide to control lice and other ectoparasites. It is also used as a foliar spray and soil application for insecticidal control of a broad spectrum of phytophagous and soil dwelling insects, animal ectoparasites and public health pests. It is used on ornamentals, fruit trees, nut trees, vegetables, tobacco and timber. This chemical is found in baits and seed treatments for rodent control. In pet shampoo it is "to maintain the natural luster of the coat" and kill ticks, lice and sarcoptic mange mites.


Used as an insecticide on fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, household and livestock use. It is also used as an acaracide, in the control of flies and other insect pests in animal and poultry houses, in the control of adult mosquitoes in public health programs, in the control of human body and head lice and in flea and tick dips. It is used in veterinary medicine as an ectoparasiticide.


This compound is an insecticide used to control a wide range of insect pests (particularly chewing insects) in field crops, forage crops, fruit, vines, flowers, vegetables, and in forestry. It is also used for the control of insect pests in animal houses and dairies, and in household and industrial premises. It is used in veterinary medicine as an ectoparasiticide.


Usage banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. This compound was used as an insecticide, a pesticide and a flame retardant for plastics, rubber, paint, paper and electrical goods; in antifouling paints, rodenticides and additives for antioxidant and flame retardant mixtures for stabilized polymer compositions, ablative compositions, anthelmintic compositions and lubricant compositions. Applied in paper, paint, rubber, electrical, adhesive and textile applications; also used in thermoplastic, thermosetting and elastomeric resin systems.


This compound is an herbicide used on many vegetables, a number of broad-leaved and grass weeds, cereals, rice, sugar beet, some ornamentals, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic and celery. It is also used in nurseries for roses and chrysanthemums.


This compound is used as an insecticide for termite control, pre-harvest defoliant, general herbicide, wood preservative, synthesis of pentachlorophenyl esters, molluscide, fungicide, bactericide, antimildew agent, slimicide and algicide. The technical material finds extensive use in cooling towers of electric plants, as additives to adhesives based on starch and vegetable and animal protein, in shingles, roof tiles, brick walls, concrete blocks, insulation, pipe sealant compounds, photographic solutions, and textiles and indrilling mud in the petroleum industry.


This compound is used as a fungicide for seed and soil treatment. It is also used as an herbicide, in slime prevention in industrial waters and to control damping off and other fungal infections.

Phenol, 4-tert-Butyl

Intermediate in the manufacture of varnish and lacquer resins; As a soap antioxidant; Ingrediantin de-emulsifiers for oil field use; In motor oil additives.

  • Butyl benzyl phthalate ( BBP): This compound is used as a plasticizer for polyvinyl and cellulosic resins. It is used as an organic intermediate, a solvent and a fixative in perfume.
  • Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP): This compound is used in plasticizers, cosmetics, safety glass, insecticides, printing inks, paper coatings, adhesives, elastomers and explosives. It is used as a solvent in polysulfide dental impression materials, solvent for perfume oils, perfume fixative, textile lubricating agent and solid rocket propellent.
  • Di-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP): used in vacuum pumps. It is also used as a plasticizer for polyvinyl chloride, especially in the manufacture of medical devices, and as a plasticizer for resins and elastomers. It is a solvent in erasable ink and dielectric fluid. It is also used as an acaricide for use in orchards, an inert ingredient in pesticides, a detector for leaks in respirators, testing of air filtration systems and component in cosmetic products.
  • Di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPP): Plasticizer for nitrocellulose and resin laquers; prevention of foam in manufacture of glue; in rubber cements.

This compound is used as a fungicide, bacteriostat, pesticide, rubber vulcanization accelerator, scabicide, seed disinfectant, animal repellent, insecticide, lube oil additive, and wood preservative. It is used in anti-septic sprays and in the blending of lubricant oils. It is used against Botrytis, rusts and downy mildews and as a seed dressing against "damping off" and verticillium wilt. It is also used as an ethanol antagonist and deterrent in mixtures of the methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl derivatives. Other uses include an antioxidant in polyolefin plastics and a peptizing agent in polysulphide elastomers. It is used in soaps and rodent repellents and as a nut, fruit and mushroom disinfectant.


Usage banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. This compound is an insecticide and pesticide. It was used on cotton crops, cattle, swine, soybeans, corn, wheat, peanuts, lettuce, tomatoes, grains, vegetables, fruit and other food crops; for control of animal ectoparasites, grasshoppers, army-worms, cutworms and all major cotton pests. It controls livestock pests such as flies, lice, ticks, scab mites and mange. It also controls mosquito larvae, leaf miners, bagworms, church bugs, yellow jackets and caterpillars.


This compound is used as a pre-emergence herbicide, especially for cotton plants.


Agricultural fungicide; insecticide.


An agricultural fungicide and as a repellant to birds and rodents. It is also a rubber vulcanization accelerator. It is used in adhesives including those used in food packaging, paper coats for non-food contact, industrial cooling water, latex-coated articles, neoprene, paper and paperboard, plastics (polyethylene and polystyrene) and textiles.



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