Scientists Raise the Alarm: Endocrine Disruptors Affect Brain Development

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
August 03, 2020 zoom recording by Belmont Media Center, Belmont MA**

R. Thomas Zoeller, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Director, Laboratory of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Endocrinology; Visiting Professor at Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.

Dr, Zoeller is a distinguished expert on the role of thyroid hormone for normal brain development. Brain development is compromised by chemicals known as endocrine disruptors that are found in many everyday products: These chemicals are now ubiquitous and the effects are alarming. Studies indicate that in the US, some 18 percent of children are diagnosed with neurobehavioral problems including autism and ADHD, epidemic obesity and metabolic syndrome, and other disorders. .

Dr. Zoeller is among an increasingly concerned group of researchers who emphasize the need for much stronger regulation of these toxins. He discusses the chemistry of prenatal and infant brain development and the ways in which endocrine disruptors --even in very low dosage-- impact the hormones involved in development. He also addresses the tension between federal regulators and the scientific community on this issue.