EDC EU Newsletter # 3

October 13, 2020
To help share the latest science-based information on EDCs, we have prepared the following newsletter for policymakers in the EU. We urge policymakers to prioritize specific actions on EDCs, including a coherent identification process linked to control measures to reduce widespread exposures. If you have any questions or requests for content, please reach out to Joe Laakso, PhD, Director of Science Policy at [email protected]
EDC Latest Updates
Phthalates and Reproductive Health:
18 September, 2020 | This review compiles evidence on the association between phthalates and reproductive diseases, phthalates-induced reproductive disorders, and their possible endocrine and intracellular mechanisms. The review notes that phthalates may induce alterations in puberty, the development of testicular dysgenesis syndrome, cancer, and fertility disorders in both males and females 

Organophosphate Flame Retardants and Effects on Offspring:  
24 September, 2020 | This study sheds light on how maternal exposure to chemicals in the diet can change the function of organs including the liver and adipose tissue, thereby altering energy homeostasis in adult offspring.

EDCs Associated with ADHD-like Behavior:
3 August, 2020 | Scientists examined the levels of various EDCs including phthalates, parabens, phenols, and triclocarban, in adolescents. They found that exposure to some of these chemicals, particularly certain phthalates, during adolescence may be associated with behaviors characteristic of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Pesticide Exposure for Parents May Affect Children:
28 August, 2020 | This study examined health records in Switzerland over two decades and their analysis suggested an increased risk for certain solid tumors among children whose parents were occupationally exposed to pesticides.

EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability:
The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability is expected to be released by the European Commission on October 14 following reports of significant internal debates about various provisions, including text related to EDCs. To ensure that the Strategy includes health protective actions related to EDCs, the Endocrine Society sent letters to Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides reiterating the key features that we expect from the Strategy:
  • a horizontal EU identification of EDCs with adequate testing requirements to provide data; 
  • and a strong hazard-based approach to prioritise reducing exposure to EDCs where exposure is widespread, such as in food packaging, cosmetics, personal products, food additives; and 
  • controls of identified EDCs applied in a consistent way across policy areas.
Endocrine Society European Union
EDC Task Force
Barbara Demeneix, PhD, DSC, Muséum National D'histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
Jorma Toppari, MD, PhD, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
Ángel Nadal, PhD, IDiBE and CIBERDEM,
Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Alicante, Spain
Katharina M. Main, PhD, University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
Josef Köhrle, Dr. rer. nat., Charité University-Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany
GianCarlo Panzica, PhD, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
EU4Health Programme:
This proposed programme aims to support a healthier EU society, with a budget of around €10 billion, and will start in early 2021. It is currently under discussion in the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee which has passed amendments calling for more focus on disease prevention and the need to reduce chemical exposures. MEPs have also adopted a separate resolution on public health post-Covid that calls for prioritizing prevention via actions to tackle exposure to hazardous chemicals, among others. Our Society welcomes these proposals which indicate an increasing awareness of the harmful impact of exposure to hazardous chemicals on public health.

EP Special Committee on Beating Cancer:
The Committee held a constitutive meeting on 23 September and elected Polish MEP Bartosz Arlukowicz as Chair, as well as four Vice-Chairs. The Committee will evaluate opportunities for concrete EU actions, identifying legislation and other measures to help prevent and fight cancer. Its specific objectives include “evaluating scientific knowledge on the best possible prevention of cancer” including “measures to reduce chemical exposure including cumulative impacts”.
Endocrine Society Activities
. Learn  More About EDCs
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous chemicals or their mixtures that can interfere with any aspect of hormone action. EDCs such as bisphenols, phthalates, and PFAS are found in food, toys, cosmetics, medicines, and plastics as well as throughout the environment. Scientific evidence has shown that exposure to EDCs has contributed to increases in the incidence of diseases including neurodevelopmental, reproductive, and metabolic disorders, as well as some cancers.
Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest international organization dedicated to research on endocrine science and the clinical treatment of patients with endocrine diseases.  Our members include researchers and clinicians from over 120 countries, including all the member states of the European Union.  Since 2013, the Endocrine Society has made improving regulation of EDCs a top priority and has been the leading voice of endocrine science in global policy efforts. We have hosted several briefings in the European Parliament and numerous meetings with Members of the European Parliament and Commission officials. The Endocrine Society supports effective translation of scientific knowledge on EDCs and their health effects to regulatory policies that protect consumers and improve regulatory testing strategies. 

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