On 17 and 18 December 2020, the European Commission, EU environment ministers, EU agencies, scientific experts, representatives of civil society and industry met online for the Second Annual Forum on Endocrine Disruptors, organised by the European Commission.

This second edition of the Forum focused on the commitments made to overhaul relevant EU legislation for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), following the European Chemical Strategy for Sustainability adopted in October.

European environment ministers and EU Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius presented their intentions to move forward with the implementation of the legislative and policy commitments outlined in the chemicals strategy, without delay, to protect the health of millions and to meet Europe’s Zero Pollution ambition. 

The chemicals strategy includes commitments from the European Commission to:

  • Ban endocrine disrupting chemicals in consumer products as soon as they are identified, allowing their use only where it is proven to be essential for society
  • Amend current legislation such as REACH and the regulation on Classification Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) to take effective measures for better protection against EDCs
  • Reinforce the regulation of chemical contaminants in food to ensure a high level of human health protection

Throughout the duration of the event, partners of the EDC-Free Europe coalition took the floor to emphasize once again the urgent need for better environment and health protection from harmful endocrine disruptors. Natacha Cingotti from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) stressed the importance of a hazard classification for EDCs under the CLP legislation. She also underlined  the need for adequate categories to permit the reflection of different levels of evidence available to identify hormone disrupting chemicals, like it is the case for substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR).

Pia Juul Nielsen (CHEM Trust) repeated the high expectations from EU citizens to see effective improvements of regulation and reduced exposures to EDCs, without further delays. This requires, she specified, using group restrictions under REACH, setting up a category of suspected EDCs in relevant legislation for horizontal identification and regulation, and treating EDCs as non-threshold chemicals in regulation.

Apolline Roger from ClientEarth took part in a stakeholder panel discussion with industry representatives, groups advocating for the ethical treatment of animals and the European Society for Endocrinology. Panellists exchanged on a wide range of subjects including the importance of updating information requirements to ensure better identification of endocrine disruptors, and the urgent need to put science at the heart of policy and legislative decision making.  

Missed the Second Annual Forum on Endocrine Disruptors? You can still watch the recording here.