Background: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are ubiquitous and may significantly contribute in
environmental pollution, thus contaminating humans and wildlife. Environmental pollutants could interfere with bone
homeostasis by means of different mechanisms, which include hormonal imbalance, direct osteoblasts toxicity and
enanchment of osteoclasts activity, thus leading to osteopenia or osteoporosis. Among these, bisphenols, dioxins, polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorobiphenyls, poly- and perfluoroalkyls, phthalates, parabens, organotins and cadmium may
play a role in bone distuption.
Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE, ISI-web of knowledge and Google scholar databases were searched for medical subject
headings terms and free-text word related to the aforementioned classes of chemicals and bone metabolism and remodelling
for better clarifying and understanding the main mechanisms of bone disruption.
Results: Several of EDCs act as xenoestrogens. Considering that estrogens play a significant role in regulating bone
remodeling, most of these chemicals generate hormonal imbalance with possible detrimental consequences on bone tissue
structure and its mechanical and non-mechanical properties.
Discussion: A lot of evidences about bone distruptors came from in vitro studies or animal models, and conduct to
equivocal results. In addition, a few data derived form humans and most of these data focused on the impact of EDCs on
bone mineral density without considering their influence on long-term fracture risk. Moreover, it should be taken into
account that humans are exposed to a mixture of EDCs and the final effect on bone metabolism might be the result of either
a synergism or antagonist effects among them. Age of first exposure, cumulative dose exposure over time, and the usually
observed non-monotonic dose-response curve for EDCs should be considered as other important variable influencing the
final effect on bone metabolism.
Conclusion: Taking into account these variables, observational studies are needed to better analyze this issue both for
echological purpose and to preserve bone health.