Category Archives: News

Setting criteria to identify EDCs: CHEM Trust’s view on proposed option ’4b’ by the German Risk Assessment Institute (BfR)

EDC-Free Europe campaign partner CHEM Trust has recently analysed a proposal from the German Risk Assessment Institute (BfR) for an additional option (’4b’) to identify EDCs as part of the EU’s currently investigation into the potential impacts of different ways of setting criteria to identify these chemicals. The EU has proposed four options, but at a EU conference in June, BfR presented their additional option.

In a recent briefing, CHEM Trust finds that this additional option ’4b’ is not a good method to set criteria, from both a scientific and policy point of view. Although this proposal may at first sight look like a reasonable way of identifying those EDCs of regulatory concern, it actually has several fundamental flaws in its approach to the science and policy around these chemicals.

In CHEM Trust’s view the main impact of “option 4b” will result in fewer EDCs being affected by regulation. This will therefore not provide adequate protection for human health and the environment.

For full details see CHEM Trust’s briefing including a one page executive summary.

Post provided by CHEM Trust

9th National Conference on EDCs show high exposure in Spain

On 25 June, EDC-Free campaign partner Ecologistas en Accion attended the 9th National Conference on EDCs in Cargagena, Spain, within the framework of the 13th Spanish Congress of Environmental Health. Scientists from the most important toxicological centres in Spain shared their results and discussed the measures of prevention for the near future.

This year, the conference focused on high exposure levels of Lindane, PCBs, Phalates and BPA in Spain. All of these EDCs may interfere with the functioning of our hormones, causing serious impacts on our health.

Nicolas Olea, Professor in Medicine and Research Coordinator of the Clinic Hospital of Granada, highlighted that three regions in the Iberian Peninsula suffer high exposure levels of Lindane (used years ago as a pesticide) that are not being analysed by the authorities. The exposure is due to unsecure dispersion of high amounts of this chemical, which ends up in food and water. This evidence is even more serious after the annoucement by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer that this pesticide is possibly carcinogenic for humans. He also highlighted that exposure to Lindane during the first month of pregnancy may cause cancer later in life.

Exposure to other EDCs in Spain such as PCBs are still present in electrical devices, paintings and resins, to which we are exposed through our diet and the prenatal period – which can affect the neurological development of children for example.

Argelia Castaño Professor, Director of European Project DEMOCOPHES, presented results on Phalates, where she mentioned that concentration on Dietil-Fthalate in Spanish children is much higher than in the rest of Europe. Professor Castaños presented an hypothesis of these values and the use of this chemical as the base of the fragrance in hygienic products (although it doesn’t appear as an ingredient).

Results obtained from BPA studies, which can appear in products such as policarbonated plastics, resins, dental filling or toys show that Spanish children have higher blood concentration of these chemicals than other children in Europe.

The conference concluded that constant exposure to EDCs means they are often found in our bodies. Even though exposure may be low, the consequences on our health can be due to their combined effect. Scientific evidence show that EDCs can affect our health, so the effort now is to address prevention and to keep demanding the rmoving of such chemicals from our environment and daily lives.

BPA_cabello

BPA_CohorteINMA_Granada

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Post provided by Ecologistas en Accion

PAN-E event on EDCs in the European Parliament

PAN Europe event 30 juneMEP Nicola Caputo recently hosted an event with EDC-Free Europe campaign partner Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN-E) on EDCs and the urgent need for immediate regulatory action.

The event aimed to bring the science back to the European Parliament and provide an opportunity for MEPs and participants to ask questions directly to scientific experts about EDCs and help accelerate the process of their correct regulation in the EU.

Academics and researchers in the field of Endocrine Disruption presented the state of the science, covering male reproductive health, breast cancer, and loss of intelligence, amongst other health problems.  One Member State civil servant presented the research to date on the health costs arising from EDCs, including the HEAL report from June 2014. They also criticised the EU Commission for the delay in regulating these chemicals to protect human health, particularly the most vulnerable groups in society – pregnant women and babies. “When is enough enough?”; “Do we want to prevent or tidy up?” and “Reaction instead of proactive measures on EDCs” were some of the messages that the scientific community imparted.

The EU Commission Directorate General leading on EDCs, DG Sante, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) explained the current regulatory procedures on EDCs (criteria to identify EDCs and the impact assessment on the criteria and regulatory options). A major overlooked gap, noted Professor Kortenkamp, is that the OECD-validated guideline tests needed to detect EDCs (as defined by the World Health Organisation) are not required in EU or US laws, and that many tests also overlook the critical period of biological vulnerability to endocrine disruption during fetal development.

PAN Roundtable june 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Given the scarcity of data on EDCs due to these gaps, the dilemma is how the EU Commission can properly assess the impacts of certain chemicals being identified as EDCs, and thereby rejected from authorisation as pesticide or biocide substances.

Considering that exposure to EDCs is an issue of concern that has been brought to light due to the recent advances in technology and research, Pesticide Action Network Europe highlights that a collaborative action of all sectors is needed to protect our future generations. The event covered EDCs used in all sectors such as in biocides, household articles, chemicals and cosmetic industries.

More information available at http://www.disruptingfood.info/en/home/44-edcs-roundtable-european-parliament-june-30th

Post provided by PAN Europe

WEN screening of “Endocrination” 25 June, London

WEN film screening and workshop 1EDC-Free campaign supporter Women’s Environment Network (WEN), hosted together with the St Hilda’s East Community Centre in London, the successful documentary film ‘Endocrination’ by French director Stephane Horel on 25 June. The film follows EU policy deliberations on EDCs and investigates corporate influence in this process.

The film was preceded by a short introduction to the dangers of EDCs for human health, led by Helen Lynn, from the Alliance for Cancer Prevention (HEAL member, EDC-Free campaign partner and member of EDC-Free Me) and Donna Murphy of EDC Free Me.

A workshop also took place on 2 July where participants learnt how to take care of their health in an active way by making their own cosmetics, body care and other household products.WEN film screening and workshop 7

 

 

 

 

Participants used natural and readily available ingredients to make healthy alternatives, which they then took home in environmentally friendly packaging.WEN film screening and workshop 4WEN film screening and workshop 3

More information available via the WEN website http://www.wen.org.uk/2015/whats-disrupting-you/

‘Endocrination’ is available here in English

More information is available on Stephane Horel’s website here
http://www.stephanehorel.fr

Post provided by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL

EU Conference on EDCs

On 1 June, the EU Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG Sante) organised a conference on EDCs with the aim of informing Member States, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), third countries representatives and stakeholders about the on-going impact assessment on criteria to identify these chemicals as part of the implementation of the 2009 pesticides and 2011 biocides laws.

The conference brought together nearly 300 representatives, including EDC-Free campaign partners CHEM Trust, ChemSec, EEB, HEAL, HCWH, PAN Europe, WECF and supporters The Danish Consumer Council, Inter-Environnement Wallonie, Gezinsbond and WEMOS.

HEAL and PAN Europe spoke on the final panel on the potential impacts of EDCs on health and the environment. The Danish Consumer Council spoke on the panel on potential impacts on industry and conusmers

Will the EU EDC public consultation really matter?

The EU Commission presented the initial results on the EDC criteria consultation which closed on 16 January 2015. It highlighted that over 93% of the responses came from two NGO networks. The answers, that is 25,000 responses, supported option 3, which says that the EU should use the WHO/IPCS definition with categories, as the best option to get the identification right, and to protect public health. These respondents also supported keeping the democratically agreed laws, which is Option A.

During the conference the EU Commission committed to presenting a more detailed analysis of the responses and how this will be fed into the impact assessment before the summer break.

Source: Presentation by Michael Flüh, European Commission – DG Health and Food Safety – The impact assessment for defining criteria on endocrine disruptors in the context of the plant protection products and biocidal products regulations.

More information

Previous EDC Roundtables on impact assessment on criteria to identify EDCs

Post provided by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL

Joint NGO letter on glyphosate

In a joint letter to the EU Commission, EDC-Free campaign partners HEAL, Greenpeace, the Alliance for Cancer Prevention, Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN-EU) as well as Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE), have asked for an informed debate on the use and glyphosate in Europe.

The letter addresses concerns regarding the scope of the EU Commission’s request to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) to investigate the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate.

Glyphosate is used in a large number of weedkillers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the substance as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

Read the letter here.

Post provided by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL

RES – End to EDCs – it’s possible!

RES1Dr André Cicolella, President of EDC-Free campaign partner Réseau Santé Environnement (RES) recently participated at an event at the Belgian Parliament to explain the advances made on EDCs in France. Dr. Circolella explained how the process has worked in France, and Ecolo et Groen explained how this could be replicated in Belgium.

Belgian MPs Muriel Gerkens (Ecolo), Anne Dedry (Groen) and Petra Senator Sutter (Groen) were invited to discuss the question “How can we restrict the use of EDCs in Belgium?” followed by a discussion.

Invitation and programme available here (FR)RES2

Post provided by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL

New report – A Toxic Affair

toxic affair CEOAn investigation led by research and EDC-Free campaign supporter  Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and French documentary journalist Stéphane Horel exposes corporate lobby groups mobilising to stop the EU taking action on EDCs.

The report sheds light on how corporations and their lobby groups have used numerous tactics from the corporate lobbying playbook, as well as using the ongoing TTIP negotiations as a leverage.

Post provided by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL