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Int'l confab on hormone disrupters opens in Kyoto.

KYOTO, Dec. 11 Kyodo

A government-sponsored international symposium began a three-day session Friday in Kyoto to discuss the impact of artificial hormone-disrupting substances on humans and wild animals.

Researchers, government officials and business representatives from Japan and abroad took part in the International Symposium on Environmental Endocrine Disrupters '98, sponsored by the Environment Agency, at the Kyoto International Conference Hall.

The symposium plans to focus on the hormone disrupters' impact, progress in basic research on the substances and measures taken by each country, according to organizers.

It will hold a lecture and debate session open to the general public on Sunday.

The agency said it hopes the symposium will help it work out future measures on the problem. Such substances have drawn attention for their alleged disruption of the reproductive ability of animals.

The Japan Society of Endocrine Disrupter Research, which was inaugurated in June, is holding its first meeting at the same facility to coincide with the symposium. Some 100 research papers will be reported at the academic meeting.

A group of researchers led by Chisato Mori, an assistant professor at Kyoto University's medical department and Akihiko Hamamatsu, a doctor at the Tokyo metropolitan government's Medical Examiner's Office, on Friday reported a finding on declining weight of testes among Japanese men.

The weight peaked around 1980 but reduced through the late 1990s, but Mori said they have not reached a conclusion on whether hormone disrupters were the cause.

The age of men at which testicular weight peaks has also become lower, they said. Girls' maturity is also believed to come earlier possibly due to the effect of the substances.

The group got the data for their research from autopsy results at Kyoto University and Tokai University.

The research covered some 75,000 autopsies conducted since 1948 on bodies of men aged between 20 and 79.
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Comment:Int'l confab on hormone disrupters opens in Kyoto.
Publication:Japan Science Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Dec 14, 1998
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