Chemicals should be defined as endocrine disruptors (EDs) on the basis of whether or not they have the ability to disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system in laboratory studies. The evidence should be drawn not only from all internationally agreed tests but also from other studies, including reviews of published scientific literature.
Some argue that the level of potency of the endocrine disrupting properties should be used as a first filter to decide which EDCs should be addressed, with low potency ones being excluded from further consideration. This is not acceptable for several reasons. First, the EU political agreement mandated the identification of EDCs per se, without consideration of potency. Second, the potency filter presumes a ‘safe threshold’ which is unlikely. Even small amounts of a weakly potent EDC may cause adverse effects because it may add to existing exposures of synthetic hormones or act together with natural hormones. Third, a semi-potent endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) may be produced in large amounts leading to high and widespread exposure. Third, the exposure may occur at a time of special human vulnerability: in utero or during puberty, for example. A further feature is that some EDCs are known to have stronger adverse effects at lower doses than at higher ones.
HEAL and CHEM Trust have produced the following briefing that explains these issues in further detail. These important ED properties should be taken into account to ensure that EDCs are correctly identified for further regulatory action.
The briefing is available in English and French and translation into German is anticipated.
| || || |
Scientists around the world believe that increasing rates of cancer, diabetes and infertility could be reduced by removing certain hormone disrupting chemicals from products that we use in our daily lives. But to date although EU politicians have expressed concern, political action has been half-hearted. This leaflet shows that there are opportunities to better implement chemicals legislation to protect human and wildlife health - they just need to be grasped. It also contains tips how to reduce individual exposures.
“What you buy and use could be affecting your health. This leaflet briefly describes how harmful chemicals are in many different consumer products and contaminate our daily indoor and outdoor environment. It explains the new consumer ‘right to know’: how you can use it to make better consumer choices, to influence companies to make safer products, and to encourage regulators to improve the REACH chemicals law. The leaflet gives a model letter consumers can use, and resources for further reading and taking action.
It gives an overview of why PBT chemicals are a cause of concern, what EU decision makers should do and how consumers can reduce their exposure. This release comes at a critical time when the EU is currently reviewing the criteria for these so-called (PBT) chemicals within the EU chemicals law, REACH.
This discusses the problem posed by industrial chemicals for the healthy development of children’s brains. The neurotoxicity of chemicals such as PCBs, mercury and pesticides has resulted in widespread damage. The failure of regulation, and the consequences of inadequate regulation are reviewed, especially in terms of the overall social impact, and the financial costs incurred. Given past experience of inadequate testing of chemicals, overestimates of safe levels, and the disregard of warning signs, this briefing concludes that a more precautionary regulation is need, and makes specific recommendations for actions at national, EU and international level to eliminate exposures to developmental neurotoxins. It also mentions how health professionals can contribute.
| || || |
This four page briefing introduces the new EU law called ‘REACH’, and briefly discusses the health problems linked to chemicals; how REACH can bring health benefits; the types of chemicals causing concern; and how members of the health sector, whose voice is important, can give input to the discussion on the law’s implementation.
| || || |
| || || |
Written on 18 December 2007.