Some alkylphenols exhibit weak hormone-like effects in laboratory experiments. The potency is usually several orders of magnitudes lower than that of oestradiol [the human female hormone]. Various gold-standard high quality multigeneration studies demonstrated that alkylphenols do not cause adverse effects on reproduction in mammals at doses that are not systemically toxic. Significant quantities of such phyto-oestrogens can be found in grains, fruits and vegetables (particularly in soya) and are part of our daily diet.  While these compounds are toxic to fish and other aquatic species, their effects are clearly not comparable to actual estrogens.

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