Paul Smaglik and the four scientists he quotes in the Sept. 14 issue (P. Smaglik, The Scientist, 12[18]:1, Sept. 14, 1998) appear quite convinced that there are some, possibly many, chemicals in the environment that are "endocrine disruptors" and cause various adverse effects. They seem concerned only that the EPA program may not find all of these harmful products or mixtures.

Many of the scientists I know agree that

  • DES causes significant pathology as an "endocrine disruptor," and

  • exposure to an aqueous environment that is highly contaminated by chemicals, sewage, estrogens (from birth control pills), pesticides, and a host of other pollutants can be highly dangerous to amphibians and alligators.

There appears to be little evidence that small amounts of chemicals have caused or can cause adverse effects to humans or other living organisms by "estrogen disruption." This is truly a case of Congress mandating specific studies, spending...

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