Evaluation of possible impacts of endocrine disruptors on the North Sea ecosystem


In recent years, there has been increasing concern by scientists, regulators and the general public about the possible adverse effects of chemicals present in the environment on the endocrine system of humans and wildlife. These compounds are called ëendocrine disruptorsí. Compared to the information available for freshwater ecosystems, little is known about the possible effects of endocrine disruptors in the marine environment. However, since the sea is the final sink for many (persistent) pollutants, these endocrine disruptive chemicals are also thought to affect marine organisms. In Belgium the research on environmental endocrine disruption, in general, is still very preliminary. In addition, globally, no uniform definition for the concept of endocrine disruption exists, nor are any standardised assays for the evaluation of possible effects of endocrine disruptors available. The ED-NORTH project aimed at establishing a clear overview of the increasing volume of available scientific literature on endocrine disruption. Specific objectives were: to address the uncertainties presently associated with the issue of environmental endocrine disruption; to specify future research and policy needs; to accomplish these tasks specifically for endocrine modulating activity in the marine environment. Based on the available scientific literature a list and electronic database of chemicals with (potential) endocrine disruptive activity was developed. This relational database contains information on the hormone disrupting potential, including effects and physico-chemical properties of these chemicals. Chemicals of which enough data was available on the environmental concentrations in the North Sea and the sources and endocrine effects they cause were prioritised. Finally, future research and policy needs were formulated based on these results.




Name Role Start End
Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology unknown

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:vliz

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform