World Health Organization warning

Hormone-disturbing chemicals a "global threat"

An international team of experts from the World Health Organization led by a Swedish professor at Stockholm University reported today that evidence linking hormone-disturbing chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade. The researchers warned of a "global threat" and said action must be taken.

"Chronic diseases related to the endocrine system have become more common and are on the rise and we can show that there is a connection between these diseases and hormone-disturbing chemicals," Åke Bergman, a professor at Stockholm University, tells news agency TT.

Bergman says that authorities should regulate at least 1,000 chemicals to start with. Hormone-disturbing chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are found in many common plastic products.

Endocrine related diseases include breast, testicular, thyroid, and prostate cancer, as well as obesity/diabetes, low sperm counts and fertility problems.

Bergman says the increased incidence of these chronic diseases cannot be explained by genetics alone.