About the UM-CEHC


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that may interfere with the body's endocrine system and have a negative impact on children's physical growth and tempo of maturation. EDCs have also been related to development of adult chronic conditions, e.g., obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome, a combination of increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels, affects up to 25% of US adults and 30% of obese adolescents.

There has been limited research on the role of exposures to EDC mixtures in utero and during puberty on the development of chronic conditions that lead to metabolic syndrome. Further, little is also known regarding what the role of diet during multiple developmental periods plays in modifying the effects of EDCs on children's chronic disease development later in life.

What is the UM-CEHC?

The University of Michigan's Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center (CEHC), housed in the School of Public Health and funded in 2013 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studies if and how exposure to EDC mixtures (bisphenol A, phthalates, lead and cadmium) during pregnancy and puberty affects growth, sexual maturation, and risk of metabolic syndrome. The CEHC also explores whether diet can alter these effects. Research findings will foster a better understanding of how chemicals and diet interact and will inform the design of future interventions to improve children's health.