Theo Colborn, Ph.D.
President of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, Gainesville
Dr. Theo Colborn is an environmental health analyst. She is the author of numerous scientific publications on endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with hormones and can alter development and function. Endocrine disruptors contribute to a myriad of health problems that have reached epidemic proportions today. Her popular 1996 book, Our Stolen Future, co-authored with Dianne Dumanoski and J. Peterson Myers, led to government action among numerous health agencies to support research to improve chemical testing protocols to detect endocrine disruptors, and to study their mechanisms of action, in order to reduce their production and use and take precautionary action.
In 2003, Dr. Colborn established TEDX (The Endocrine Disruption Exchange), in Paonia, Colorado. TEDX is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide objective technical information about low level exposure to toxic chemicals. Information is provided for academicians, government scientists, policymakers, grassroots and support groups, the media, and the public. At the time TEDX was born, the natural gas industry was rapidly expanding across western Colorado and in the watershed of TEDX’s mountain valley. As a result, TEDX has become a resource for many around the world for technical information about the chemicals used throughout operations to extract and deliver natural gas. TEDX has also brought attention to the toxic volatile chemicals that surface with methane in the raw gas that can pose a myriad of health hazards to those living where natural gas is being produced. Dr. Colborn has also written and lectured about the “fossil-fuel-connection”: almost all endocrine disrupting chemicals in commerce today were created from the by-products of oil, natural gas, and/or coal.
She has served as an advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, and agencies in Europe and Japan. She directed World Wildlife Fund’s Wildlife and Contaminants Program for many years before moving to Colorado.
Dr. Colborn’s awards include a Congressional Fellowship with the Office of Technology Assessment, a chair with the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and a Pew Environment and Conservation Fellowship. She received the 2000 International Blue Planet Prize and has been presented with four different Rachel Carson Awards. She was chosen for the National Council on Science and the Environment’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award and as one of TIME’s 2007 Environmental Heroes. In 2008, she received the Goteborg Award for sustainable development. In 2011, she was made an Honorary Doctor of Science at the University of Colorado. Dr. Colborn earned a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Zoology (distributed minors in epidemiology, toxicology, and water chemistry); an M.A. in Science at Western State College of Colorado (fresh-water ecology); and a B.S. in Pharmacy from Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy. She is a professor emeritus at the University of Florida, Gainesville.