Philip Copestake attended the meeting on Endocrine Disruptors on 8-9 February 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland.

We may think that concern about “endocrine disruption” by chemicals is a fairly recent phenomenon but, as Dr Susan Jobling (University of Brunel, UK) noted as she kicked off this conference with a brief history, it is a problem that was first highlighted early in the 20th century. This two-day gathering in Switzerland, organised by Smithers Rapra Technology Ltd, was an opportunity to get right up-to-date on developments with experts working in the field. Much of the focus was on the test methods developed to assess endocrine disrupting properties, and the strategies for assessing the human health and environmental implications of those found to show activity.

We are sure we will be hearing much more in the coming years about this growing area, particularly in relation to the regulatory approach to dealing with such chemicals.

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