Currently available test methods are not well-suited for the identification of chemicals that disturb hormonal processes involved in female reproductive development and function. This renders women’s reproductive health at increasing risk globally, which, coupled with increasing incidence rates of reproductive disorders, is of great concern. A woman’s reproductive health is largely established during embryonic and fetal development and subsequently matures during puberty. The endocrine system influences development, maturation, and function of the female reproductive system, thereby making appropriate hormone levels imperative for correct functioning of reproductive processes. It is concerning that the effects of human-made chemicals on the endocrine system and female reproductive health are poorly addressed in regulatory chemical safety assessment, partly because adequate test methods are lacking. Our EU-funded project FREIA aims to address this need by increasing understanding of how endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can impact female reproductive health. We will use this information to provide better test methods that enable fit-for-purpose chemical regulation and then share our knowledge, promote a sustainable society, and improve the reproductive health of women globally.
- Endocrine disrupting chemicals
- Female reproductive health
- Mammary gland
- Risk assessment
- Test methods