Category Archives: News

MEPs prioritise EDCs in the Commissioner-designate hearings

EDCs emerged as a key issue for many MEPs who questioned the EU Commission nominees for Health and for the Environment.

Several MEPs expressed their concerns about how the protection of health from hazardous chemicals would be ensured in the new Commission structure. This is good news as it implies that MEPs will be closely watching to ensure that the new Commission brings out EDC criteria to protect human health.

The EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL reacted to the hearings with a blog available here

Post provided by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL

“SIN List” advance will contribute to reducing chronic disease

EDC-Free campaign partner ChemSec launched the updated ‘SIN List’ (Substitute it Now!) at a conference in Brussels earlier this month.

Since 2008 the SIN List has been highlighting chemicals of high concern that are likely to be subject to future EU regulation, and as a result it has been recognised as an important driver for innovation.

This recent update includes an additional 28 chemicals for priority action and takes one step further by launching SINimilarity – a tool for identifying SIN-like chemicals and thereby avoiding non-sustainable substitution.

HEAL and Chem Sec both issued press releases available here

Post provided by campaign secretariat HEAL

Joint publication HEAL/MIO-ECSDE: EDCs – A lurking threat

02102014 HEAL MIO joint publicationEDC-Free campaign secretariat HEAL has co-published with the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), a report on EDCs and their lurking threat.

EDC-Free campaign secretariat HEAL has co-published with the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), a report on EDCs and their lurking threat.

Over the past few decades scientific evidence is increasingly suggesting that many chemicals polluting the environment can interfere with the endocrine system of humans and wildlife and cause detrimental health effects. The high incidence and increasing trends of many endocrine-related disorders in humans and the observations of endocrine-related effects in wildlife populations has sparked a tremendous amount of discussion and controversy and a blizzard of media coverage. At the same time it has won a place in the public policy agenda, gathering a momentum for measures to control and eliminate Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals at European and International level.

The report focuses on the threat of EDCs to human health and wildlife, how EDCs work, which types of chemicals have EDC properties, where they can be found, and the ways forward on how to reduce exposure to EDCs.

The full report is available here

Save the date! Hormone-dependent cancers and EDCs: Why France became the first country in the world?

On 29 October in Paris, campaign partner Réseau Environnement Santé is hosting an event on hormone-dependent cancers and EDCs. The event is sponsered by  Mrs. Chantal Jouanno, Senator of Paris.

According to the International Agency for Research against Cancer, France has become the first country in the world for the highest incidences of breast and prostate cancer, the so called hormone-dependent cancers.

Conventional explanations, aging and screening can not explain such an increase. To understand, it is necessary to consider the environmental causes of these cancers.

Traditionally cancer is considered to be related to a mutation in a gene (genotoxic effect). Today, it is necessary to consider EDCs as a potential cause which disrupt the genes and hormones.

Speakers at the event include Ana Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein, Professors of Biology at the University of Tufts in Boston whose work has shown how EDCs such as BPA induce breast and prostate cancer.

You can download the full programme here

Conference: Breast cancer, women’s reproductive health and EDCs

Campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) is co-hosting an international conference on ‘Breast cancer, women’s reproductive health and EDCs: from knowledge to prevention’ in Lyon on 14 October.

This is a unique opportunity to find out more on cancer prevention and share information, expertise and science with high-level scientists, professionals dedicated to cancer research and prevention of the Lyon area, health professionals, policy-makers, breast cancer groups and other stakeholders, with the common objective of making primary prevention a reality.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world: in France and Europe, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives. Almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries (GLOBOCAN 2008).  The World Health Organization estimates that 19% of all cancers worldwide are attributable to the environment, which amounts to 1.3 million deaths each year.

A growing body of evidence makes it urgent to devote a consistent part of public health policies to the primary prevention of exposures.

For more information and to register click here!

New publication: Chemicals in politics and everyday life

danish ecological council publication - Chems in politics and everyday life_UK front coverA new publication called ‘Chemicals in politics and everyday life‘ by campaign partner The Danish Ecological Council  provides insight into REACH, EDCs, nanomaterials and the cocktail effect. It is a guide for those who want to understand the chemistry behind the many health and environmental toxins that surround us in everyday life, their chemical and biological effects, and the legislation that regulates them.

The publication goes through the decision-making process in the EU and explains REACH. It continues with a detailed description of the main groups of EDCs, how we are exposed to them every day, and what it means for human health and the environment. The issues concerning cocktail effects, and nanomaterials are explained separately, and the possibility of replacing harmful chemicals with less harmful substances – substitution – has its own section.

It can be used as a teaching material in schools and higher education, scientific research and social sciences.  It can be adapted to different teaching programmes and studies but is also a good base for general readers with an interest in this area.

The publication is one of the products of the project ‘Better Regulation on Chemicals’, a three-year collaboration between The Danish Ecological Council, Roskilde University and Technical University of Denmark funded by the Villum Foundation.

You can download the publication here

Upcoming webinar: Endocrine Disruptors in the Healthcare Sector

Campaign partner Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH) has opened registration for the upcoming webinar Endocrine Disruptors in the Healthcare Sector,  taking place on Wednesday 24th September from 15.30 – 16.30 (CEST).

The webinar is free to attend and is targeted towards medical professionals. Discussion will centre on the impact of EDC exposure on human health and ways to minimise or avoid exposure.

Speakers include Dr R. Thomas Zoeller, Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Dr Gavin Ten Tusscher, Paediatrician at the Westfriesgasthuis in Hoorn, The Netherlands.

Registration is available here.

More information about the speakers is available here.

EU Commission publishes roadmap for EDCs criteria options

The EU roadmap to set criteria to identify EDCs under EU legislation has finally been published. It sets out several policy options for the EDC criteria and different possible approaches to regulatory decision-making. A public consultation on the options is expected to be launched soon.

The roadmap sets out the Commission’s plans for an impact assessment of three different criteria scenarios to define EDCs. The Commission, which was due to propose criteria in December 2013, had announced last summer that it would have to do an impact assessment first.

Some NGOs have already expressed disappointment that the roadmap indicates the Commission is moving back towards a more risk-based approach to EDCs, in contradiction to the Pesticides and Biocides laws which were approved by the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

The roadmap makes little mention of the health and environmental benefits of the establishment of scientific and regulatory criteria for society as a whole. While EDC criteria are required only by the Biocides and Pesticides regulations, the EU Council and Parliament in several instances have called on the Commission to establish horizontal, hazard-based scientific criteria to identify EDCs, because it will be relevant to other legislation which regulate EDCs such as REACH, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, the Water Framework Regulation, Pharmaceuticals, and Food Contact Materials.

In the Commission roadmap, four policy options are considered, which are laid out separately from three possible approaches to regulatory decision making:

  • Option one would only have interim criteria in the Biocides and Pesticides laws used.
  • Option two and three involve six steps to evaluate different elements (adversity, mode of action, human relevance, etc).
  • Option three includes three categories for EDCs (EDs, suspected EDs, and Endocrine Active substances).
  • Option four includes potency as part of the hazard characterisation.

The roadmap gives an initial assessment of the impacts of the four policy options and three regulatory approaches. A detailed impact assessment on the options for criteria and policy will begin this year. Progress on the criteria has been held up by internal discussions between different Commission departments, but the EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik told EU ministers recently that a public consultation on the options would begin very soon.