New report on endocrine disruptors published by European Parliament today

ESE welcomes the new European Parliament report on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)* written by Prof Barbara Demeneix of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France and member of the ESE EDC Working Group and Dr Rémy Slama, INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research), Grenoble, France.

The scientific report, commissioned by the Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, provides an excellent overview of the severe threat EDCs pose for EU society and highlights the many shortcomings of current EU policies and legislation. Amongst the many proposed regulatory measures, it urges the European Union to rapidly develop a set of trans-sectorial and harmonised regulations to minimise human and environmental exposure to EDCs. As discussed in the report, based on an extensive literature review, EDCs or suspected EDCs are currently present in all media (water, diet, food contact materials, cosmetics…) and most EU citizens have dozens of (suspected) EDCs in their bodies.

In addition to improved regulatory measures, the report stresses the importance of speeding up test development to effectively identify EDCs and calls for additional research to address the many knowledge gaps in this relatively new scientific area.

These calls for additional regulation and research at the EU level are in line with a recent ESE Statement in response to the disappointing European Commission Communication on EDCs from 7 November 2018, which in ESE’s view lacks ambition to effectively tackle the many challenges in this area.

*EDCs are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and as such can cause a broad range of adverse effects to the health and well-being of humans and wildlife. They have been associated with a variety of rare cancers (especially in children), impaired reproduction, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, metabolic illnesses (e.g. diabetes, hypertension and obesity), birth defects and numerous other disease areas or health conditions.