Newswise — WASHINGTON—Earlier this week, Member States of the European Union voted in favor of draft criteria to define endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The Endocrine Society is extremely concerned that the criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection. The world’s largest organization of endocrinologists is therefore urging the European Parliament to improve transparency surrounding the process for implementing the criteria and to engage endocrine scientists in further decision-making steps.
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 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. Earlier, the Endocrine Society, the European Society for Endocrinology, and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology released a statement strongly objecting to the addition of loopholes in the criteria as they create frameworks where potentially dangerous chemicals cannot be defined as EDCs by law.
The European Parliament will vote on the criteria in the coming months, and we encourage the Parliament to gather input from endocrine scientists and professional endocrine associations during their deliberations. Further details regarding the implementation of the criteria still need to be worked out, and we call for transparency on how the contributions from endocrine scientists will be given due consideration in the process by EFSA, ECHA, and the European Commission.
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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.
The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.