July 13, 2017
The new European Commission draft criteria to identify known and presumed endocrine disruptors are being hailed by some experts as a major step in health and environmental protection. However, the Endocrine Society thinks they don't go far enough to safeguard human health.
The commission's criteria state that an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is any substance or mixture that alters the functions of the endocrine system to cause adverse health effects in an organism, its progeny, or (sub)populations, while a potential EDC has properties that might be expected to lead to endocrine disruption.
Many pesticides and biocides contain high levels of EDCs, but they are also found in common consumer goods, such as plastics, personal care products, food, water, and cleaning solutions.
The commission's draft criteria "fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection," the Endocrine Society noted in a statement that further urged the European Parliament to improve transparency surrounding the process for implementing the criteria and to engage endocrine scientists in further decision-making steps.