The Swedish Chemicals Agency logo
The Swedish Chemicals Agency logo

Certain substances can affect the body’s hormone system and have adverse effects. Such substances may be found in items such as plastics and pesticides.

Endocrine substances are substances which are unfamiliar to the body and can interfere with its hormone system. These substances can, for example, cause cancer or affect the body’s metabolism and the ability to have children. The most critical phase of the effects they have is the gestation period.

If a foetus is exposed to an endocrine substance, it can mean the brain’s development will be affected or the individual will run an increased risk of suffering from illness in adulthood. The body of an adult is able to check its hormone levels, but this mechanism is not as fully developed in foetuses and small children, which increases the risk of a hormone-disturbing substance having an irreversible effect.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency prioritises its work of producing assessment documentation on suspected hormone-disturbing substances.

The National Food Agency works in different ways to protect consumers, such as setting limit values and providing advice on food. 

Documents and links

PM 2/13 – Is it possible to determine thresholds for the effects of endocrine disruptors?

Q&A about endocrine disrupting substances on the National Food Agency website