EDC-Free Europe encourages public comments on EU consultation

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

The consultation period runs until 16 January.
The consultation period runs until 16 January.

Related tags European union

The EDC-Free Europe coalition has launched an online platform in response to a consultation to help define criteria for endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) by the European Commission.

The ‘Say NO to hormone disrupting chemicals’ site focusses around the public consultation which closes January 16.

Consultation questions are very technical and are primarily oriented towards how certain ways of identifying these chemicals might affect industry, said the group of NGOs.

The EDC-Free Europe coalition includes Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Pesticide Action Network, Breast Cancer UK, ChemTrust and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

Group hopes for ban

It hopes to achieve a ban on hormone disrupting chemicals in the European Union.

The group said better regulation of EDCs starts with identification that reflects the science and catches all EDCs to which the public and environment are exposed.

Legislation for biocidal and plant protection products requires the Commission to specify scientific criteria to determine endocrine-disrupting properties of chemical substances.

Policy options being considered include no change so the interim criteria will continue to apply.

Other options are The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) definition to identify endocrine disruptors or the use of this definition with additional categories based on strength of evidence.

Use of this definition and inclusion of potency as element of hazard characterization is option four.

The best option

The NGOs said option three (Using WHO/IPCS definition to identify hormone disrupting chemicals and categories based on strength of evidence) would be a good way forward​.

“In option 3, the WHO/IPCS definition to identify EDCs will apply, with the addition of three categories (confirmed; suspected; potential EDC),” ​said the NGOs.  

“This set of categories is very transparent and portrays the different levels of scientific evidence available. This option can be used to properly rank a given chemical according to the data situation.”

Genon Jensen of the EDC Free Europe Secretariat, said it is not some obscure technical issue but where public health protection starts

“If the European Commission picks the wrong criteria, they will miss the chance to govern both in the public interest, and in the best interest of industry.

“Catching and phasing out all chemicals with hormone disrupting properties will stimulate innovation and competitiveness in the European chemical industry, agricultural sector and beyond.”

Norden Council report

A recent report from the Nordic Council of Ministers said EU countries would save billions per year if the use of endocrine disruptors was reduced.

It estimates the costs of EDCs related to effects on male reproductive health using an incidence based model and assumptions of etiological fractions from statements and estimations.

The model used is built on incidence of disease in the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). 

“The overall estimates of the cost of illness related to negative effects on human male reproduction due to the present yearly exposure to endocrine disruptors in the Nordic countries amount to a low and a medium estimate of approximately €3.6, 36 and 72m per year of exposure respectively (etiological fraction of 2%, 20% and 40%, respectively),”​ said the report.

More details on the EU consultation can be found here

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