Legal Gaps in Dealing with Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

The member states of the EU and non-governmental organizations have called for uniform legal regulations when dealing with and identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC). That’s the result of a feedback period as part of an EU initiative, “Towards a more comprehensive EU framework on endocrine disruptors.” The EU has proposed a road map and wants to use the initiative to inventory information on EDCs and sketch out any measures needed in the future.

A wide variety of professional associations, research institutions, governmental agencies and organizations (including the German Environmental Ministry: UBA) submitted 44 answers to the EU before the deadline on July 19.

Some stakeholders criticized the road map as not extensive enough. The UBA, for example, suggested a “more ambitious” EDC strategy. It said that broader measures than those previously taken are needed to expand scientific knowledge about EDCs quickly. The Ministry proposed detailed activities with verifiable goals and clear timing.

The Belgian Federal Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (FPS) was concrete. Its representatives condemned silo-thinking and called for cross-sector conversations and legal solutions. Laws should not only cover biocides and pesticides, said FPS, but also toys, cosmetics, materials that come into contact with food, and building materials.

At the end of May, the umbrella group, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) held a meeting in Brussels where several members of the European Parliament, governmental representatives from individual countries, and scientists presented the status of their knowledge about EDCs.

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