National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

NTP Workshop: Role of Environmental Chemicals in the Development of Diabetes and Obesity

NIEHS Environmental Factor Article: NTP workshop investigates links between chemicals and obesity 


January 11-13, 2011 Workshop: Crabtree Marriott (4500 Marriott Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27612 USA; 1-800-909-8289)

Published Reports


  • Presentation of workshop concept to NTP Board of Scientific Counselors (December 9, 2009).


There has been increasing interest in the concept that environmental chemicals may be contributing factors to the epidemics of diabetes and obesity. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is holding a workshop to evaluate the science associating exposure to certain chemicals or chemical classes with the development of diabetes and obesity in humans. Participants at the workshop will:

  • Evaluate strength/weaknesses, consistency, and biological plausibility of findings reported in humans and experimental animals for certain environmental chemicals including arsenic and cadmium, PCBs, DDT/DDE, other organohalogens, bisphenol A, phthalates, and organotins.
  • Identify the most useful and relevant endpoints in experimental animals and in vitro models.
  • Identify relevant pathways and biological targets for assays for the Toxicology Testing in the 21st Century high throughput screening initiative ("Tox21").
  • Identify data gaps and areas for future evaluation/research.

Workshop format

The final product of the workshop will be an NTP monograph with breakout group topics published as individual chapters. The posted documents are draft literature review documents or appendix tables. A set of charge questions will be discussed in breakout sessions to focus on the overall interpretation and synthesis of the literature as well as to identify and discuss areas of complexity and research needs. The draft literature review documents will be modified following the workshop to reflect responses to the charge questions. The final monograph will also contain an executive summary. The format of the workshop includes both plenary talks and breakout groups. The workshop is open to the public with time set aside in the agenda for public comments during the plenary session on the first day. Hard copies of the draft literature review documents will be available at the workshop to all who registered to attend the meeting.

*Appendix tables of human POPs studies will be posted prior to the workshop, but a narrative-style literature review document will not be available prior to the meeting. The NTP has developed an Excel database and software program to allow users to visually look across the epidemiology studies for patterns of results for POPs subtypes (e.g., Agent Orange, total PCBs, individual PCB congeners, DDE, PFOS, etc.). The software program creates forest plot-style figures and these will be displayed as points of reference during the POPs breakout group. The database and software program will be made publically available after the workshop. The final database will include all the relevant epidemiology studies cited in the Monograph, i.e., POPs, arsenic, smoking during pregnancy, etc.

For additional information, contact Dr. Kristina Thayer ( or 919-541-5021).

This workshop is sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NTP, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA National Center for Toxicological Research.

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NTP is located at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.