The report – titled ‘Endocrine Disruptors: from Scientific Evidence to Human Health Protection – highlights the ubiquitous presence of EDCs in our daily lives. It emphasizes the link between human exposure to these chemicals and contributions to serious health conditions such as obesity and metabolic disorders, hormone dependent cancers, neurodevelopmental disease and IQ loss, and how exposure to EDCs may impact future generations. The study also acknowledges a regrettable time lag between the increase in scientific understanding and the pace of regulatory action. Despite existing knowledge gaps, scientists highlight that we already know enough to do much more for the protection of the population and our ecosystems.
The EDC-Free Europe coalition has long been calling on the EU Commission and governments to update the 1999 EU strategy on EDCs. It is urgent for the EU to develop a robust action plan that provides a comprehensive framework for targets and milestones, with particular emphasis on initiatives towards minimisation of our exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals.
The EU Commission has announced plans to assess EU rules on endocrine disruptors in its November 2018 Communication – an exercise in EU jargon referred to as a ‘fitness check’. We believe this check should be launched without delay and focus on the most effective measures to reach the objective of minimizing our exposure to EDCs and increasing coherence between policies.
It is high time our decision-makers acknowledge the well-known inconsistencies in the regulatory management of EDCs. These existing loopholes are not only putting people and the environment at risk, but also act as a barrier for companies to move away from using harmful EDCs and as a penalty for those frontrunners developing truly safer alternatives.
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