Press Release on Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals

by Nieve Shere, L.Ac.

PRESS RELEASE

Report paves way for ban on "gender bender" hormone-disrupting chemicals

Brussels, 20 February 2012 - The European Commission has today released a major report on the science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). The report examines what is needed to define and identify EDCs. This is necessary so that they can be included in categories of banned or strongly controlled chemicals under different EU laws.

Although EDCs are most widely associated with causing genital birth defects in boys and contributing to later infertility, exposure to EDCs in the everyday environment may be contributing to breast and testicular cancer, obesity, diabetes and other deadly and long-term chronic diseases. Reducing exposure to EDCs offers a major opportunity to stop the development of many of these diseases before they start.

Lisette van Vliet, Toxics Policy Advisor, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) commented:

"This report is a very important contribution to the debate on how the EU should tackle hormone disruptors. It delivers good insights on how to use the opportunity of the update of the EU EDCs strategy to deal with the threat of these chemicals to public health. Up until now, our laws do not have a broadly agreed and systematic way to identify the culprit chemicals, and this retards action on reducing our exposure. EDCs need to be properly regulated in non-contradictory ways between the multiple laws involved - and this new report provides the way forward. We hope the valuable analysis and recommendations from this report will be integrated into a revised EU EDC strategy, and will equally inform the Commission’s proposal for the criteria to identify EDCs."

The report is available as a pdf at State of the Art Assessment of Endocrine Disrupters, Final Report (135 pages)

A study on the State of the Art of the Assessment of Endocrine Disruptors

Authors: Andreas Kortenkamp, Olwenn Martin, Michael Faust, Richard Evans, Rebecca McKinley, Frances Orton, Erka Rosivatz

BACKGROUND: This is a lengthy report on Endocrine Disruptors which the DG Environment of the European Commission contracted from one of the world’s leading scientists, Professor Andreas Kortenkamp and his team. It examines the state of the science on endocrine disruptors, and the ways in which the existing EU regulatory framework to identify and control these chemicals is adequately addressing the essential characteristics of these chemicals and how they can harm human health.

The study was commissioned in order to inform the EU’s work on developing the criteria that will be used to identify and regulate hormone disruptors under EU laws, notably the Pesticides, REACH and Biocides regulations, and later potentially other EU laws, such as those on cosmetics, food contact materials, and toys safety. It will also inform the revision of the European Community’s 12 year old Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors.

It covers:

· Definition of EDCs

· Frameworks for Regulatory Testing & Screening

· Scientific Results of Regulatory Significance (including Low Dose effects, critical windows of sensitivity, mixtures)

· European Regulatory Framework

· Proposals by Member State Authorities and Stakeholders.

· Testing requirements and decision criteria

· Research and development needs

See background information at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/endocrine/documents/studies_en.htm

The final report can be found by scrolling down to:

"State of the art assessment of endocrine disruptors"
"Annex 1: Summary of the state of the science"
"Annex 2: Summary of expert consultations on approaches to the regulatory assessment of endocrine disruptors"
"Annex 3: Comparative analysis of endpoints and assays by human health and wildlife endpoint"
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