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Today information is available literally at a finger's touch. It seems, sometimes, that books became too slow companions for which we simply do not have time anymore. As a lot of information flows around us every single day, we need to remind ourselves that data making-up this information stream are often unprocessed and/or of questionable applicability and/or of unchecked reproducibility. This is why books still stand as strong foundations of modern society, and being an editor of one comes with great responsibility, as well as with some pride. This book aims not at being just a collection of data of during a certain time fraction. We strove to put together an innovative, brave book, in order to provide new insights, new angles and new associations which will be a focal point for new projects.

Then, why another book on endocrine disrupting chemicals, after some two decades of hot debate among scientists, regulators, enterprises and NGOs? We asked ‘why’ and ‘how’ first to ourselves, and then the authors who willingly provided their efforts. First of all, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are still a global health problem involving human exposure through environments, feed and food chains, and consumer products used in daily life as well as in the workplace. The regulatory situation of EDCs is a multi-faceted, evolving scenario where EDCs may be: present in the human living environment, albeit banned or unwanted; banned only in some world areas; still in use, albeit restricted, because of lack of alternatives in the market; still insufficiently regulated, even in world areas that invoke high standards of consumers protection, e.g. the European Union, because of delays or uncertainties in the regulatory processes. Overall, it is clear that robust and transparent science has to be the basis for regulations as well as the driver for its evolution. Then, questions come. We know already that EDCs alter thyroid and steroid hormones, thus affecting neurodevelopment and reproduction. But what about, for instance, bone health, the epigenome, tumour promotion? How to model EDC-related pathways toward adversity and their dose–responses? Then, do we know everything about EDC exposure scenarios? What about EDCs in our daily lives through clothes, cosmetics, nutraceuticals? How to envisage more robust biomonitoring studies for environmental and occupational exposures, so as to reduce existing uncertainties? What about EDCs in developing world areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa or South America?

We present a book that will help our readers to find the right answers or, equally important, to shape the right risk assessment questions. We are also happy and proud that the book presents a wide range of expertise, spanning from modelling and basic science through to ecology, toxicology, human medicine, epidemiology and regulatory science, we are also happy and proud that our capable and enthusiastic authors come from many world areas, and that on occasion they show somewhat different viewpoints and approaches. The EDC issue is multi-faceted, evolving and open; science-driven and data-based debate can only help in shaping better ways to protect the current and the next generations.

Aleksandra Fucic

Alberto Mantovani

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