Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in Human Fetal Growth

Maria Elisabeth Street, Sergio Bernasconi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Fetal growth is regulated by a complex interaction of maternal, placental, and fetal factors. The effects and outcomes that chemicals, widely distributed in the environment, may have on the health status of both the mother and the fetus are not yet well defined. Mainly mixtures of chemical substances are found in the mothers and placenta. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can be associated with fetal growth retardation, thyroid dysfunction, and neurological disorders. EDCs mostly interfere with insulin, glucocorticoid, estrogenic, and thyroid pathways, with subsequent effects on normal endocrine and metabolic functions, which cause changes in the epigenome and state of inflammation with life-long effects and consequences. International scientific societies recommend the implementation of research and of all possible preventive measures. This review briefly summarizes all these aspects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2020


  • Endocrine Disruptors/adverse effects
  • Female
  • Fetal Development/drug effects
  • Fetal Growth Retardation/chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure/adverse effects
  • Nervous System Diseases/chemically induced
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid Diseases/chemically induced


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