Prenatal Origins of Diseases/Disorders and Syndromes (PODS): Making the Science Accessible

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: SAT 281-290-Comparative Effectiveness/Health Outcomes/Quality Improvement/Patient or Provider Education/Endocrine Emergencies
Saturday, June 15, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board SAT-288
Johanna R Rochester*, Ashley Bolden, Carol F Kwiatkowski and Theo Colborn
The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), Paonia, CO
INTRODUCTION: The prenatal/peri-natal environment can influence future health.  A new website, PODS (, informs clinicians, patients, policy makers, advocacy groups, and the public about how exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can disrupt human development, leading to childhood/adult illness. Many human ailments are now thought to be caused by the influence of environmental factors, such as maternal stress, diet, and exposure to toxic chemicals during sensitive windows of early development. EDCs are particularly worrying, as many of them can act at everyday exposure levels, via endocrine mechanisms. They are ubiquitous in the environment and can be transferred to the offspring via placental transfer and/or breast milk. The PODS website will provide easy access to current scientific thinking on prenatal and early life exposure to EDCs and how this influences the etiology of a variety of specific diseases, disorders and syndromes. It will include information on occurrence, demographics, possible EDCs involved, and evidence of the link in humans. It will also indentify research gaps and provide links to other resources on the topic. The information provided in the PODS website will help clinicians and patients make healthy decisions based on sound research, as well as inform policy decisions around exposure to EDCs. Reproductive diseases, neurobehavioral/neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, metabolic disease, thyroid disorders, and others are under review. Here, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is outlined as an example of the methodology and information that is included in the PODS website.

METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was employed using the PubMed database, which resulted in ~360 publications linking health outcomes to early exposure to EDCs.

RESULTS: ADHD is the most common behavioral disorder in children, is more common in boys than girls, and incidence rates are increasing. In vitro, animal, and human research, ranging from 1974-2012, has implicated the pre- and peri-natal exposure of many different EDCs in the development of ADHD, such as heavy metals, plasticizers, pesticides, PCBs, flame retardants, air pollutants, as well as nicotine and alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS: The combined research suggests that the ‘critical window’ of exposure for altering the normal development of the brain with regards to ADHD may be broad, and that the mechanism causing ADHD may be general and susceptible to a wide range of perturbations, with many different EDCs altering the same endocrine sites/pathways. Further research, particularly at the mechanism level, is needed.

Nothing to Disclose: JRR, AB, CFK, TC

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