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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description: This book on endocrine disruptors is divided into two sections. The first treats the effects of environmental toxicants on the female reproductive system, with special emphasis on effects and mechanisms. It contains chapters discussing both female endocrinology and carcinogenesis. The second section deals with the effects of endocrine disruption by environmental toxicants on the male reproductive systems, focusing on male fertility and development of benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
Purpose: In the five years since the appearance of the first edition, numerous advances have emerged in both the basic science and the clinical issues pertinent to endocrine disruptors. The editor also notes concern among the scientific community, policy makers, and the general public regarding reproductive and health hazards of endocrine-disrupting environmental chemicals.
Audience: The editor provides clues that that the second edition will be useful to endocrine reproductive biologists and to associated clinical scientists. Actually, some of the more molecular and embryology oriented chapters are quite good, possibly attracting interest across an even broader range of individuals interested in reproductive biology. Furthermore, although the book is written at a high level, I believe it will be referenced by policy makers and the general public, who may sometimes have to rely upon basic and clinical scientists for further interpretation of key words.
Features: The editor argues that the second edition is a model source of recent, updated, vital and viable scientific information on endocrine disruption. Based upon the distinguished panel of authors, I tend to agree. In fairness, the book has been kept to a reasonable size, about 450 pages. Chapter references extend to 100-150 entries and are current and significant. I was pleased I was able to retrieve chemical names or pathologic terms using the index.
Assessment: Certainly, the press of new scientific articles since the book's original publication in 1999 demands a second edition. The editor indicates the book is a somewhat unique entity. There are probably more encyclopedic references on the results of endocrine disruption, but they do not do as much to explain the molecular mechanisms of these phenomena.