WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has listed 134 chemicals to be screened for their potential to disrupt the human endocrine system, officials said.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interact with, and can possibly disrupt, the hormones produced or secreted by human or animal endocrine systems, which regulate growth, metabolism and reproduction, an agency release said Tuesday.
"Endocrine disruptors represent a serious health concern for the American people, especially children," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said.
"Americans today are exposed to more chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies than ever before, and it is essential that EPA takes every step to gather information and prevent risks," she said.
The list includes chemicals that have been identified as priorities under the Safe Drinking Water Act and may be found in sources of drinking water where a substantial number of people may be exposed.
The chemicals listed include those used in products such as solvents, gasoline, plastics, personal care products, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, including benzene, perchlorate, urethane, ethylene glycol, and erythromycin.
"We are using the best available science to examine a larger list of chemicals and ensure that they are not contaminating the water we drink and exposing adults and children to potential harm," Jackson said.