Endocrine Society Addresses European Commission on Identifying and Assessing Endocrine Disruptors

June 01, 2015

Contact: Aaron Lohr
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 202.971.3654
alohr@endocrine.org
Contact: Jenni Glenn Gingery
Associate Director, Communications and Media Relations
Phone: 202.971.3655
jgingery@endocrine.org

Current screening approach does not capture all endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Brussels, Belgium - At today’s EU Conference on Endocrine Disruptors, invited Society spokesperson, R. Thomas Zoeller, PhD, told the European Commission that current approaches to identify EDCs are not effective because they do not take into account critical endocrine principles.

An endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is a chemical or mixture of chemicals in the environment that can interfere with any aspect of hormone action. The Endocrine Society’s Scientific Statement published in 2009 provided an exhaustive summary of the scientific background that justifies concern for the effects of EDC exposures to humans and wildlife.

“Current regulatory practices, both in the EU and in the United States treat EDCs similarly to other potential hazardous chemicals in the environment, but EDCs act in a very unique manner that current identification processes do not take into account,” said Zoeller. “For example, very low levels of exposure to EDCs can have a significant impact on the body while higher levels of the same chemical may produce a different effect. Current identification processes that still adhere to the principle that the dose makes the poison will fail to recognize the threat these chemicals pose to public health.”

The purpose of the EU conference is to inform Member States, Members of the European Parliament, countries from outside the EU and stakeholders about the impact assessment the European Commission is carrying out on criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in the context of the Plant Protection Products Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 and the Biocidal Products Regulation (EU) 528/2012.

“It’s important for regulating agencies to understand that hormones control elements of development that are irreversible when disrupted,” said Zoeller. “We are facing a continuing pandemic of chronic disease if we do not act now.”

To raise global awareness about endocrine-disrupting chemicals, the Endocrine Society and IPEN released a new guide for public interest organizations and policymakers last year documenting the threat endocrine-disrupting chemicals pose to human health.

The Society issued a position statement Monday on ways scientists and EU regulators can better protect the public from EDCs.

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.