The Endocrine Society praised the European Parliament resolution in response to the European Union’s “Green Deal”— a plan to invest more than €1 trillion in environmental initiatives, including important provisions to protect people from exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Launched on December 11, the Green Deal contains a commitment to produce a chemicals strategy for sustainability by summer 2020. In addition to addressing climate change, the plan to make the economy more environmentally friendly calls for closing gaps in chemicals legislation so that the most dangerous chemicals, including EDCs, can be rapidly removed from products.
“The science shows we are exposed to a chemical cocktail including EDCs from a variety of sources, and we need comprehensive regulations to address the threat.” – Angel Nadal, PhD, chair of the Society’s EDC Advisory Group; professor, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain
Today’s Resolution calls for policy makers to develop ambitious legislative proposals by June 2020 to address EDCs, particularly in sources of human exposure such as cosmetics, toys and food packaging. Proposals need to address existing regulatory gaps in EU chemicals legislation that need to be closed and encourage the rapid substitution of hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. The resolution also calls for the new EU framework to take into account harms due to cumulative exposures and the effects from mixtures of EDCs.
“We are pleased to see the European Parliament and Commission prioritizing a future where the public is protected from EDCs,” says Angel Nadal, PhD, chair of the Society’s EDC Advisory Group and professor at Miguel Hernández University in Elche, Spain. “The science shows we are exposed to a chemical cocktail including EDCs from a variety of sources, and we need comprehensive regulations to address the threat.”
The Society has dedicated years to pressing for science-based policies to regulate EDCs, which mimic, block, or otherwise interfere with the body’s hormones. Society members from seven EU member states met with policy makers in Brussels last month to urge action on EDCs. We look forward to the Commission’s upcoming proposals for changes to the regulatory framework, which will “reflect scientific evidence on the risk posed by endocrine disruptors”. This effort will help ensure EDCs are comprehensively addressed in a harmonized approach across all sectors.
EDCs are commonly found throughout our environment in consumer products, food containers, personal care products, pesticides, and furniture. EDCs contribute to serious health problems such as diabetes, obesity, neurodevelopmental disorders, and reproductive problems. Children, unborn children, and adolescents’ developing bodies are particularly vulnerable to exposures.
A series of economic analyses found EDC exposures may be costing the EU upwards of €157 billion ($177 billion) a year. Society experts led the effort to quantify the public health impact of EDCs on the economy.
The Endocrine Society will continue to monitor progress on legislative proposals to ensure that they are effective in minimizing exposure to EDCs.