Endocrine Societies Disappointed with EC’s Proposed EDC Criteria

The Endocrine Society, the European Society for Endocrinology, and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology sent a joint letter to the European Commission (EC) expressing serious concern with the Commission’s proposed criteria on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). In the letter, the three societies claim the proposed criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.

The EC’s proposed criteria on EDCs cannot be called science-based as it contains arbitrary exemptions for chemicals specifically designed to disrupt target insect endocrine systems that have similarities in humans and wildlife. The three societies strongly object to the addition of loopholes in the criteria as they create frameworks where potentially dangerous chemicals cannot be defined as EDCs by law.

The three societies urge Member States to work towards improved criteria for the identification of EDCs by incorporating the following recommendations:

  • Removing the exemption for biocides and pesticides designed to act on endocrine systems;
  • Adhering to a science-based definition of EDCs that include categories for known EDCs and chemicals for which more information is needed to make a determination; and
  • Maintaining a hazard-based identification system without derogations based on risk.

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