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Losing Our MindsEffects of Chemical Pollution on the Intellectual Capacity and Mental Health of Future Generations$
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Barbara Demeneix

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917518.001.0001

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Examples of Chemical Pollution Targeting Thyroid Hormone Action

Examples of Chemical Pollution Targeting Thyroid Hormone Action

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 5 Examples of Chemical Pollution Targeting Thyroid Hormone Action
Source:
Losing Our Minds
Author(s):

Barbara Demeneix

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917518.003.0005

Schematically, thyroid hormone (TH) structure is an iodinated pair of phenyl rings, resembling a pair of spectacles. The phenyl ring is an extremely versatile base for chemists to synthesize new compounds, especially with halogens such as bromine, chlorine, and fluorine. The result is that the environment is heavily polluted by a spectrum of chemicals with some structural similarity to TH, including flame retardants, dioxin-like substances, certain pesticides, and plasticizers. However, given the complexity of TH synthesis, distribution, and activation, many chemicals with no homology with TH structure also interfere with TH homeostasis. There are probably more chemicals affecting TH signaling than any other endocrine pathway. Further, given the role of TH in brain development, TH deficiency can exacerbate the effects of chemicals affecting other pathways implicated in brain development. As the structure of TH is conserved across vertebrates, implications for TH disruption go beyond human health, having wide ecological implications.

Keywords:   thyroid hormone disruptors, biocides, phthalates, perchlorate, perfluorinated compounds, PCBs

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