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Potential Health Risk of Endocrine Disruptors in Construction Sector and Plastics Industry: A New Paradigm in Occupational Health
Aleksandra Fucic 1 , Karen S. Galea 2 , Radu Corneliu Duca 3 , Mounia El Yamani 4 , Nadine Frery 4 , Lode Godderis 3 , Thórhallur Ingi Halldórsson, 5 Ivo Iavicoli 6 , Sophie Ndaw 7 , Edna Ribeiro 8 , Susana Viegas 8 , Hanns Moshammer 9
1  Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
2  Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Centre for Human Exposure Science (CHES), Edinburgh EH14 4AP, UK
3  Centre for Environment and Health, University of Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium;(R.C.D.);(L.G.)
4  Santé Publique France, French National Public Health Agency, 94 415 Saint-Maurice, France;(M.E.Y.);(N.F.)
5  Unit for Nutrition Research, The National University Hospital of Iceland, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
6  Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
7  Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Vandoeuvre CEDEX, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France
8  10H&TRC—Health & Technology Research Center, ESTeSL—Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, 1990-096 Lisboa, Portugal;(E.R.);(S.V.)
9  13Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria

Published: 11 June 2018 by MDPI in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
MDPI, Volume 15; 10.3390/ijerph15061229
Abstract: Endocrine disruptors (EDs) belong to large and diverse groups of agents that may cause multiple biological effects associated with, for example, hormone imbalance and infertility, chronic diseases such as diabetes, genome damage and cancer. The health risks related with the exposure to EDs are typically underestimated, less well characterized, and not regulated to the same extent as, for example, carcinogens. The increased production and utilization of identified or suspected EDs in many different technological processes raises new challenges with respect to occupational exposure settings and associated health risks. Due to the specific profile of health risk, occupational exposure to EDs demands a new paradigm in health risk assessment, redefinition of exposure assessment, new effects biomarkers for occupational health surveillance and definition of limit values. The construction and plastics industries are among the strongest economic sectors, employing millions of workers globally. They also use large quantities of chemicals that are known or suspected EDs. Focusing on these two industries, this short communication discusses: (a) why occupational exposure to EDs needs a more specific approach to occupational health risk assessments, (b) identifies the current knowledge gaps, and (c) identifies and gives a rationale for a future occupational health paradigm, which will include ED biomarkers as a relevant parameter in occupational health risk assessment, surveillance and exposure prevention.
Keywords: Biomarkers, fertility, Endocrine disruption, construction sector, Plastics Industry
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