Research NewsEndocrine Disrupters

Synergy Paper Questioned at Toxicology Meeting

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Science  28 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5308, pp. 1879
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5308.1879

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CINCINNATI—Last summer, a modest set of test-tube experiments made quite a splash. It was found that in cell cultures, pairs of pesticides were up to 1600 times more potent at triggering a hormonelike response than was either of the chemicals alone. The findings sent a chill through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which suddenly faced the possibility that all their safety tests of single chemicals were suspect. In the months since, however, several teams of researchers have been unable to replicate the results. While some scientists think that the synergy results merit further study, others have written them off as unlikely to be of relevance to people.