Characterization of potential endocrine-related health effects at low-dose levels of exposure to PCBs

Abraham Brouwer, Matthew P. Longnecker, Linda S. Birnbaum, Jim Cogliano, Paul Kostyniak, Jack Moore, Suzan Schantz, Gerhard Winneke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article addresses issues related to the characterization of endocrine-related health effects resulting from low-level exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the literature but reflects workshop discussions. 'The Characterizing the Effects of Endocrine Disruptors on Human Health at Environmental Exposure Levels,' workshop provided a forum to discuss the methods and data needed to improve risk assessments of endocrine disrupters. This article contains an overview of endocrine-related (estrogen and thyroid system) interactions and other low-dose effects of PCBs. The data set on endocrine effects includes results obtained from mechanistic methods/ and models (receptor based, metabolism based, and transport protein based), as well as from in vivo models, including studies with experimental animals and wildlife species. Other low-dose effects induced by PCBs, such as neurodevelopmental and reproductive effects and endocrine-sensitive tumors, have been evaluated with respect to a possible causative linkage with PCB-induced alterations in endocrine systems. In addition, studies of low-dose exposure and effects in human populations are presented and critically evaluated. A list of conclusions and recommendations is included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-649
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Endocrine
  • Estrogen
  • Health
  • Human
  • Low dose
  • PCBs
  • Risk
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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