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Invisible hazards: a social health analysis of endocrine disruptors

Invisible hazards: a social health analysis of endocrine disruptors Humankind's innate fixation on technology has resulted in an infringement on one's right to live in a healthy environment. From this technology have emerged invisible contaminants - those contaminates whose presence is impossible for human beings to detect with any of their senses. They are covert and ambiguous and have potentially drastic chronic effects that can cause an indeterminate number of fatalities over an undisclosed period of time. This holds true for the endocrine disruptor issue in Canada. Hormones, chemical messengers that are produced by the endocrine system to perform physiological communication in the human body, act at very low levels. Because of its potency, any slight change to the concentration of a hormone can drastically affect physiological functions in the body. In the past decade, it has come to the public's attention that synthetic chemicals released in the environment can alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking or blocking hormones. Furthermore, by directly acting on hormone production, they drastically affect human reproduction and developmental functions. This deterioration of human health has adverse health and social effects. From a sociological perspective, the impacts on communities include increased stress and paranoia, and the development of a climate of distrust and hostility between professionals and the public in the aftermath of a hazard. In the case of endocrine disruptors, these effects are perpetuated by a culture that holds economic and market trends above issues of environmental health. An important step to addressing these invisible contaminants is the popularizing of the issue by increasing public awareness of their affects and existence. Factors that affect the formation and popularization of endocrine disruptors as a major environmental issue will also be addressed. This summarization of my graduate work is an effort to address the diverse factors that make up the endocrine disruptor issue, and consequently make it a significant concern for environmental health. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Interdisciplinary Environmental Review Inderscience Publishers

Invisible hazards: a social health analysis of endocrine disruptors

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Publisher
Inderscience Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. All rights reserved
ISSN
1521-0227
eISSN
2042-6992
DOI
10.1504/IER.2003.053898
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Humankind's innate fixation on technology has resulted in an infringement on one's right to live in a healthy environment. From this technology have emerged invisible contaminants - those contaminates whose presence is impossible for human beings to detect with any of their senses. They are covert and ambiguous and have potentially drastic chronic effects that can cause an indeterminate number of fatalities over an undisclosed period of time. This holds true for the endocrine disruptor issue in Canada. Hormones, chemical messengers that are produced by the endocrine system to perform physiological communication in the human body, act at very low levels. Because of its potency, any slight change to the concentration of a hormone can drastically affect physiological functions in the body. In the past decade, it has come to the public's attention that synthetic chemicals released in the environment can alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking or blocking hormones. Furthermore, by directly acting on hormone production, they drastically affect human reproduction and developmental functions. This deterioration of human health has adverse health and social effects. From a sociological perspective, the impacts on communities include increased stress and paranoia, and the development of a climate of distrust and hostility between professionals and the public in the aftermath of a hazard. In the case of endocrine disruptors, these effects are perpetuated by a culture that holds economic and market trends above issues of environmental health. An important step to addressing these invisible contaminants is the popularizing of the issue by increasing public awareness of their affects and existence. Factors that affect the formation and popularization of endocrine disruptors as a major environmental issue will also be addressed. This summarization of my graduate work is an effort to address the diverse factors that make up the endocrine disruptor issue, and consequently make it a significant concern for environmental health.

Journal

Interdisciplinary Environmental ReviewInderscience Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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