Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Thyroid Outcomes

EPA Grant Number: R830254
Title: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Thyroid Outcomes
Investigators: Anderson, Henry A.
Institution: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: March 1, 2003 through February 28, 2007 (Extended to February 28, 2009)
Project Amount: $2,288,208
RFA: Endocrine Disruptors: Epidemiologic Approaches (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Endocrine Disruptors , Human Health , Safer Chemicals


This study will examine long-term and recent fish consumption in an existing, well-characterized cohort of 4,206 frequent and infrequent Great Lakes sport fish consumers and will expand biomonitoring from the original 538 members of the cohort to include 500 additional members. Dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may co-vary with exposure to related chemicals such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). The effects of these chemicals on thyroid hormone balance will be determined and the impact of reproductive health and other potential confounding variables on these relationships characterized.


PBDEs have recently been identified in sport fish from Lake Michigan at among the highest observed levels worldwide and may be increasing. The objective of this study is to characterize exposures to these chemicals and other relevant variables and to determine mechanisms by which PBDEs in Great Lakes fish may act separately or synergistically with PCB exposure to impair thyroid function.


Fish consumption habits, other exposures to PBDEs and PCBs, diagnosed thyroid disease, medication use and demographic information will be assessed in the full cohort in a telephone interview. Biologic characterization of the major, endocrine disruptors known for this cohort will be conducted in 300 banked blood samples remaining from the original biologic sampling and in the newly selected 500 members. Eligibility for the new biomonitoring sample will be determined from the telephone interview. A more detailed survey and the blood and urine sampling will be conducted at field clinics. Urinary iodine, thyroid hormones, reproductive hormones, hemoglobin A1C (an index of integrated glucose concentration) and congener specific serum concentrations of PCBs, DDE and PBDEs (unadjusted and lipid adjusted) will be determined. Menstrual history and information on other potential confounds will be collected from women of reproductive age at the time of biologic specimen collection.

Expected Results:

Age-adjusted prevalence rates of diabetes and thyroid conditions will be determined in the entire cohort and compared with age-adjusted rates for this population using standard statistical techniques. Cases of disease with onset since the previous data collection (1994) will be identified and the associations with sport fish consumption and with serum PBDE, PCB and DDE concentrations examined. The impact of possible confounding variables on these associations will also be determined.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 54 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 25 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

groundwater, human health effects, age, race, sex, diet, epidemiology, monitoring, analytical techniques., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, HUMAN HEALTH, Health Risk Assessment, Exposure, Chemicals, Epidemiology, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, pesticide exposure, chemical exposure, fish, bioavailability, endocrine disrupting chemicals, exposure studies, PCBs, altered sexual development, fish consumption, hormone degradation, DDT, human exposure, human growth and development, PCB, reproductive processes, thyroid function, groundwater contamination, thyroid, dietary exposure, agrochemicals, epidemiologic studies, Great Lakes, human health risk

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • Final Report