An ongoing debate on how to define endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been at the centre of scientific and regulatory discussions. A concise and clear definition is essential for decision-makers to ensure correct identification, reliable risk assessment and thereby effective regulation to protect public health and the environment. In this sense, the Endocrine Society has recently issued the “Statement of Principles on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and public health protection” that will be published in September 2012 in the Endocrinology Journal. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organisation devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology.
In this statement, EDCs are defined as “an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that interferes with any aspect of hormone action”. Additionally, the statement provides a list of recommendations and principles to improve the ability to identify them.
Written on 10 July 2012.