Roundtable Review of Toxic Bodies by Nancy Langston

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Hamblin, Jacob D., ed. Roundtable Review of Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES, by Nancy Langston. H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 2, no. 2 (April 2012).
www.h‐net.org/~environ/roundtables/env‐roundtable‐2‐2.pdf.

 

If the dose doesn’t make the poison, what does? This question stands at the heart of Nancy Langston’s book, Toxic Bodies. Langston tells us of the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES), a hormone disruptor that doctors prescribed to pregnant women for decades in the mid-twentieth century. Although scientists knew of its potential risks, they were apparently impotent in the face of industry to persuade the US government to impose federal regulations. This did not improve until long after the victims were given names: DES daughters and DES sons. By the end of the twentieth century, scientists linked the disruption of hormones by synthetic chemicals such as DES to an array of problems: reproductive health in wildlife, birth defects in humans, increases in prostate cancer, infertility, and sexual maturity at young ages.

 

— Jacob D. Hamblin, "Introduction"

 

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