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


Toppari, J., J. Larsen, P. Christiansen, A. Giwercman, P Grandjean, L.J. Guillette Jr., B. Jegou, T.K. Jensen, P. Jouannet, N. Keiding, H. Leffers, J.A. McLachlan, O. Meyer, J. Muller, E. Rajpert-De Meyts, Thomas Scheike, R. Sharpe, J. Sumpter, and N.E. Skakkebaek. 1996.Male Reproductive Health and Environmental Xenoestrogens. Environmental Health Perspectives 104(Suppl 4):741-803
This paper is the result of a one-week workshop convened at the request of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency in Copenhagen in January 1995.

Toppari et al. review the literature on changes in male reproductive health. "The growing number of reports demonstrating that common environmental contaminants and natural factors possess estrogenic activity presents the working hypothesis that the adverse trends in male reproductive health may be, at least in part, associated with exposure to estrogenic or other hormonally-active (e.g., antiandrogenic) environmental chemicals during fetal and childhood development."

  • Sperm count: the cautious general conclusion was that a real decline occurred during the 50-year period (examined by Carlsen et al.). "The reason remains unknown, but further examination may provide important clues to the etiology of decreasing sperm quality worldwide."
  • Testicular cancer: This is now the most common malignancy of young men in many countries. Increases in incidence are demonstrated by data from cancer registries in England, Wales, Scotland, the Nordic and Baltic countries, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. "The observed increase has been approximately 2 to 4% per annum in men under 50 years of age."
  • Cryptorchidism: A series of studies suggest general increases in cryptorchidism but differences among the studies make it difficult to reach a firm conclusion. "From these three large studies, one can conclude that there has been a significant increase in the incidence of cryptorchidism in England, but the incidence in the racially and ethnically mixed population of New York is similar to that reported in the 1950s in England."
  • Hypospadias: "Birth data from several reports have indicated a substantial increase in prevalence of hypospadias." As with cryptorchidism, variations in methodology make general conclusions difficult to reach, but increases have been noted in countries where longitudinal data have been studies. The increase has been reported primarily in England, Wales, Hungary, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. No increases have been reported from Finland, Spain, New Zealand, Australia or Czechoslovakia."
Toppari et al. also review the literature on environmental chemicals with known estrogenic effects (as of January 1995), sources of human exposure and phytoestrogens.

Bergstrom, R, H-O Adami, M Mohner, W Zatonski, H Storm, Anders Ekhom, S Tretli, L Teppo, O Akre and T Hakulinen. 1996. Increase in testicular cancer incidence in six European countries. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 88(11):727-733.

The age-standardized incidence of testicular cancer has increased rapidly in virtually all countries studied. Bergstrom et al. examined cancer registries from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the former East Germany, Finland and Poland to determine whether the increase in testicular cancer is related to year of birth. They found that while there was little change in testicular cancer risk for men born between 1880 and 1920, the risk began to rise thereafter. The rate of increased varied among the countries studied. From 1905 to 1965, it increased by a factor of 3.9x in Sweden to 11.4x in East Germany. "Our investigation shows unequivocally that birth cohort is a more important determinant of testicular cancer risk than is time period."

García-Rodríguez,1 R, M García-Martín, M Nogueras-Ocaña, J de Dios Luna-del-Castillo, M Espigares García, N Olea, P Lardelli-Claret. 1996. Exposure to Pesticides and Cryptorchidism: Geographical Evidence of a Possible Association. Environmental Health Perspectives 104(10):1090-1095 .
Along with other disorders of the male reproductive tract, data suggest that cryptorchidism (undescended testes) has increased in recent decades, at least in some regions of the world. Garcia-Rodriguez et al. carried out an epidemiological study of the frequency of cryptorchidism in boys aged 1-16 in relation to the geography of pesticide use in the province of Granada, Spain.

Their findings "are compatible with a hypothetical association between exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals and the induction of cryptorchidism." They caution, however, that methodological limitations "make it necessary to evaluate the results with caution."

McKiernan, JM, TW Hensle and H Fisch. 2000. Increasing risk of developing testicular cancer by birth cohort in the United States. Dialogues in Pediatric Urology 23(1): 7-8.

McKiernan et al. analyze 12,099 incidents of testicular cancer in the SEER database between 1973 and 1995. They report a steady increase in the rate of testicular cancer in the US over this 23 yr time period: from 3.61 per 100,000 to 5.44, or 51%. They also find that the age of peak incidence has decreased and report this as a birth cohort effect. This particularly interesting because "a birth cohort phenomenon occurs when a cohort, or study group, share a common time period of birth and a similar risk of developing a particular disease. Unlike most other cancers, testicular cancer, with a peak incidence in the third decade of life, suggests a latency period that involves some pre or postnatal stimulatory event that influences subsequent tumor development. The widespread observation of a birth cohort correlation for testicular cancer suggests that early or prolonged exposure to some carcinogenic stimuli might be required for the subsequent development of testicular cancer. "




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