Sensitive Windows of Exposure and Vulnerable Populations

SENSITIVEPopulations of greatest concern for exposures to potential endocrine active substances are pregnant women and their children (embryos, fetuses and newborns). Sensitive windows of exposure have long been recognized and these include pregnancy, infancy, childhood and puberty.

Testing requirements and subsequent risk assessments for crop protection products evaluate potential adverse effects on reproduction and development. They consider sensitive time periods when the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife are more vulnerable.

Hormone levels have a range of natural variation. Any changes in them observed in testing are fully evaluated and integrated with knowledge of the mode of action and dose-response relationships for adverse effects. These changes are evaluated when conducting an overall determination of potential hazards and risks that relevant exposures to a substance may pose.

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What is the Endocrine System?

The endocrine system is a set of glands that produce hormones throughout the body, regulating growth, development, metabolism, tissue and sexual function, mood, sleep, behavior and the body's internal environment.