McLaughlin1996 - Copy

McLaughlin1996 - Copy - Environmental Estrogens Found...

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Environmental Estrogens Found internally, certain compounds are important biological signals; found in the environment, they can become just so much noise John A. McLachlan and Steven F. Arnold n many ways, the story of the pesti- cide DDT is the story of America's attitude toward synthetic chemicals in the environment. DDT was the first of many new pesticides that people hoped would improve the quality of their lives, but gradually it became clear that such progress often had a cost. DDT was one of the first environ- mental chemical agents to*be banned in the United States. Scientists are still seeking a full understanding of how it came to have broad and unexpected environmental and health effects. First synthesized in 1874, DDT took on its modern role in the late 1930s, when the Swiss chemist Paul Muller recognized its potential as an insecti- cide. It was perceived to be so benefi- cial for public health and military hy- giene (mostly as a delousing agent), in fact, that Muller was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiol- ogy. In spite of occasional reports that stirred concern about potential health effects, it was used copiously in the John A. McLachlan holds professorships in phar- macology at Tulane and Xavier Universities. He is also adjunct professor of environmental health sciences at Tulane and director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research. He has been studying the mechanism of action ofestro-genic chemicals for over 20 years, having coined the phrase "estrogens in the environment" in 1979. Steven F. Arnold is a research assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a member of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1995, where he studied the molecular biology ofestrogen signaling pathways. Address for McLachlan: Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, Tulane University, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112. Internet: jmdach@mailhost.tcs. United States and around the world as an agricultural pesticide and a malaria- control agent (a function for which it continues to be used today in some de- veloping countries). As America began to closely scruti- nize technology in general—and eco- logical agents in particular—in the late 1960s, people took a closer look at DDT. Early in that decade scientists had noticed a decrease in certain bird populations in Europe. Eventually this decrease was linked to the use of vari- ous pesticides, among them DDT. By the early 1970s the use of DDT had been banned in the U.S. and in many European countries. Recently, the DDT story has taken on a
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2010 for the course BIO SCI Bio Sci E1 taught by Professor Catherineloudin during the Spring '10 term at UC Irvine.

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McLaughlin1996 - Copy - Environmental Estrogens Found...

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