“We are at a crucial moment for the protection of health and the environment”
“In the last newsletter we talk about the report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on endocrine disruptors (EDs), which reviews the available scientific evidence concerning the effects for both the animals and humans, exposure to these compounds.  Since then there have been a series of events that allow us to say that we are at a crucial moment for the protection of health and the environment.
“Some European countries have already begun
to regulate the use of endocrine disruptors and have
banned the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in all
Materials which are in contact with baby food. “
On 14 March, the European Parliament plenary session adopted with 489 votes in favor, 102 against and 19 abstentions, the draft resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Health and Food Safety [Project on public health protection against OF 2012/2066 (INI)] , which claims to overturn the European strategy on these chemicals and profoundly improve policy control them.
The resolution requires urgent and concrete measures to protect the health of citizens against the DEs by a common EU strategy, which should be completed by mid-2015. The resolution makes clear the difficulty of setting exposure levels that can be considered truly safe, stresses that it is a priority to reduce exposure to such chemicals, by reviewing existing legislation in order to achieve a reduction of exposure , especially for the most vulnerable population groups-pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents, proposes several improvements in the regulatory system of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances), and, finally, shows how our of scientific studies should be used to assess the risks of exposure to these chemicals as individuals.
“The resolution requires urgent and concrete measures
to protect the health of citizens against the DEs
through a common EU strategy, which should
be completed by mid-2015. “
At the same time, other international initiatives have been brought by different international agencies, among which are those developed at the request of the European Commission, by a group of experts on endocrine disruption-ED-EAG Expert Advisory Group, and the Agency European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which have now adopted two reports which establish the elements to be considered for the establishment of scientific criteria for identifying DEs. The report of the “Expert Advisory Group ED-EAG” presented to the Commission last March 19 , and the EFSA, on March 20 .
Both reports differ in some essential features. The EFSA report emphasizes that all active substances on the endocrine system need not necessarily be DEs, makes the existence of “reasonable evidence” showing that the substance may have a harmful impact resulting from their interaction or interference with the system endocrine using assays available internationally accepted. Recall that the available tests (OECD-EU) cover, by now, a limited part of the endocrine system: estrogen, androgen and thyroid, as well as interaction with ovarian and testicular esterogénesis.
For its part, the ED-EAG report notes that while to identify a chemical as DE is necessary to demonstrate that exposure is associated with an adverse effect, and that this is exercised through interaction or interference with the system endocrine, other qualities such as power, severity, irreversibility, or toxicity, are not required for qualification as a DE, but will be of assistance to the risk characterization.
“Our report Westlund MEP-notes, makes clear that
it’s time to make a coherent political action. Even though
we have all the answers, and know enough to be regulating
these substances according to the precautionary principle. “
In addition, the report stresses that must be taken into account all relevant scientific information from well-designed scientific studies, even if they have been regulatory interest. The novel, finally, is that shows that even in the absence of any scientific evidence, should prioritize the protection of human and animal health. Also stresses the need to expand the biological tests currently available (OECD-EU), you should consider the effects that appear long after the exposure occurs, especially if it occurs during pregnancy, and the desirability of developing vivo biomarkers that are indicators of endocrine activity. The panel recommends consideration of each chemical individually, case by case, and take into account the continuous lifetime exposure and stress that living organisms are subject.
Swedish MEP Åsa Westlund, driving the project on public health protection against endocrine disruptors, said: “Our report makes clear that it is time to take action consistent policy. Even though we have all the answers, we know enough that these substances are regulated according to the precautionary principle. ”
Some European countries have already begun to regulate the use of endocrine disruptors. France, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden have banned the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in all materials that come in contact with baby food originally intended for children under 3 years, and then for all children. Denmark, meanwhile, last year banned four types of phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and BBP DIBP) present in many consumer goods. Spain has launched the first initiative in our country for a ban on BPA in food packaging .
Those of us in research in this field believe that there is still much to do, so an initiative is expressed as a “Declaration on Endocrine Disruptors Berlaymont” with the aim of encouraging research specifies a call in this area within the European Framework Horizon 2020. ”
Article posted on Osmas newsletter (April 2013) by Marieta Fernandez, member of EU experts (ED-EAG) on endocrine disruptors and research member of INMA Project.