The Endocrine Society continues its advocacy and educational efforts concerning the impact seen in patients’ lives linked to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). On February 29, Endocrine Society members Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, MD; Rémy Slama, PhD; and Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, met with policymakers in the European Union to provide scientific expertise, comments, and concerns regarding the European Commission process to develop criteria to identify EDCs.
The Endocrine Society’s experts met with Vytenis Andriukaitis, MD, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety; Christel Schaldemose, Member of the European Parliament; and staff from the Directorate-General for the Environment. During these meetings, they shared highlights from the Endocrine Society’s new Scientific Statement demonstrating that EDCs are an important public health threat and that governments need to design regulations to protect vulnerable populations from irreversible effects due to EDC exposures. They also emphasized the significant costs of inaction, inadequate action, or improper regulation of EDCs. Recent studies published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism have shown that health effects from EDC exposure cost the EU more than €157 billion each year.
Currently, the European Commission is carrying out an impact assessment to compare different options for defining criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors. The assessment will evaluate four potential options the European Commission identified in 2014. The assessment and development of criteria for EDC identification is managed by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, led by Commissioner Andriukaitis. The Endocrine Society has consistently argued that the current regulatory apparatus is insufficient for the protection of human health from harms due to EDC exposure. The Society considers Roadmap Option 3 to be consistent with the latest endocrine science. Importantly, Option 3 does not include potency as a criterion and offers a multi-level categorization based on level of evidence. This option is similar to the logic used to identify carcinogens in the EU.
The meeting with Commissioner Andriukaitis came at a critical time as the Commission recently completed an evaluation of public comments in response to a consultation on the EDC Roadmap and it intends to complete the impact assessment and announce criteria in June. Slama, Trasande, and Bourguignon discussed the Society’s position on the Roadmap Options with Andriukaitis. They also explained why a definition for EDCs that includes the concept of potency would be inconsistent with endocrine science and is unsuitable for hazard identification.
The Endocrine Society will continue to contribute scientific expertise to the EU’s efforts to ensure that the end result of EDC identification and subsequent regulatory process will effectively protect the public’s health.
For more information:
The Endocrine Society’s new Scientific Statement on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals is available at: endocrine.org/endocrine-press/scientific-statements.
Recent articles from the Endocrine Society journals on endocrine-disrupting chemicals along with links to Society position statements and comments to the European Commission are available at press.endocrine.org/EDC.