What is next on EDCs?

The Commission has recently published a roadmap on an EU framework for endocrine disruptors (ED) and it's open for public consultation until the 19th of July.

This initiative is a follow up on Commission's 1999 Strategy on endocrine disruptors to protect humans and the environment from potential harm cause by these chemicals. This strategy has been a key driver to include EDCs as a hazard class in pesticide and biocides regulations.

The roadmap assumes that all EU regulations cover the protection of the citizens and the environment from EDCs, which we know it is not the case. In most cases the regulations are marginally implemented and many scientific peer-reviewed studies reporting adverse effects of chemicals are not taken into account during the evaluation of the toxicity of chemicals.

As EDC free Coalition, we have recently published a statement in which we are calling the Commission to act and continue the strategy on endocrine disruptors. Along our demands, we also call specifically to improve the regulation and increase the control of the use of EDCs across all sectors, including accelerating the assessment of EDCs to implement restrictions on them in pesticides and biocides.

Why such restrictions are indispensable? Pesticides that are endocrine disruptors continue to be sprayed on European fields and public green areas and may be the cause of a wide range of endocrine-related diseases that have been observed in farmers, their children, residents, bystanders and consumers.

The fact that ED pesticides (EDPs) are still used without restrictions in agriculture means that they end up as residues in our food, and that people are exposed to them on a daily basis. This is of great concern considering that low doses of these chemicals may potentially disrupt the normal function of the hormone system, particularly of young ones, and may lead to serious adverse effects and disease later in life. A future mother eating a fresh fruit salad from conventional agriculture may think that she is providing healthy vitamins to her future baby, but in fact she might be exposing it to a cocktail of EDCs ! You can read more on EDCs in European food in PAN Europe’s recent report.

What’s more, pesticides are not the only chemicals we’re exposed to in our daily lives - and neither are they the only EDCs…Therefore, it is of utmost importance that these chemicals are properly regulated and restrictions are implemented to effectively protect our health and that of the environment!

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PAN Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, LIFE programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.