Endocrine Society Experts Urged EU to Protect Public from Chemical Exposure

Science-based regulation needed to address danger of endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Washington, DC – To protect human health, Endocrine Society members called on the European Commission to adopt science-based policies for regulating endocrine-disrupting chemicals in an opinion piece published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) mimic, block or interfere with the body’s hormones – the chemical signals that regulate brain development, reproduction, metabolism, growth and other important biological functions. EDCs can be found in common products including food containers, plastics, cosmetics and pesticides.

Endocrine Society Experts Urge EU to Protect Public from Chemical Exposure, The Endocrine Society, June 13, 2016.

Pool image Richard P J Lambert.

More than 1,300 studies have linked EDC exposure to health problems such as infertility, diabetes, obesity, hormone-related cancers and neurological disorders, according to the Endocrine Society’s 2015 Scientific Statement. Recent studies have found that adverse health effects from EDC exposure cost the European Union more than €157 billion each year in healthcare expenses and lost productivity.

“A growing body of research has found endocrine-disrupting chemicals pose a threat not only to those who are directly exposed, but to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,”
“We need to protect the public and future generations with regulations that address the latest scientific findings and incorporate new information from emerging research.”

said the Society’s European Union Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Task Force Co-Chair Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, MD, PhD, first author of the opinion piece, of the University of Liège in Liège, Belgium.

The European Commission has proposed four options for regulatory criteria identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The Endocrine Society supports option 3, which would create multiple categories based on the amount of scientific evidence that a particular chemical acts as an endocrine disruptor. This option also allows for incorporating new data as more studies are published.

In The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the authors note that other options being considered either don’t define endocrine-disrupting chemicals as clearly or include problematic criteria. Option 4 uses potency – the amount of chemical exposure needed to produce an effect – as one criterion. Since EDCs can have different and more dangerous effects when an individual is exposed to low levels, measuring potency could cause regulators to overlook endocrine disruptors that pose a true threat.

“Because of the way hormones work, even low-level exposure can disrupt the way the body grows and develops,”
“Pregnant women, babies and children are particularly vulnerable, and science-based regulations are needed to protect them.”

Bourguignon said.

Science-based regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals in Europe: which approach?, the lancet, dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30121-8
, 13 June 2016.

Other authors of the opinion piece include: Rémy Slama of Inserm, CNRS and University Grenoble Alpes in Grenoble, France; Åke Bergman of the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center in Södertälje, Sweden; Barbara Demeneix of Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France; Richard Ivell of the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, U.K.; Andreas Kortenkamp of Brunel University London in Uxbridge, U.K.; GianCarlo Panzica of the University of Torino and Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi in Orbassano, Italy; Leonardo Trasande of New York University School of Medicine in New York, NY; and R. Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Can Phthalates Exposure in Utero affect Lifelong Physical Activity?

Avoid endocrine disruptors as much as possible, especially if you are pregnant

A common chemical found in many cosmetics and personal care products may influence our will to exercise…

Mice exposed prenatally to benzyl butyl phthalate (B.B.P.) were less likely than other mice (control group) to exercise as adults.

Male mice exposed to B.B.P. in utero had notably lower levels of testosterone – than the other animals – in young adulthood.
Exposed females similarly developed during young adulthood low estrogen levels and other reproductive system abnormalities that then produced a profound desire, it seems, to sit for most of the day…

Exposure to environmental toxins before birth might change babies’ physiology in ways that affect their interest in exercise throughout their lives.

Sources – Press Releases
  • Could Environmental Chemicals Shape Our Exercise Habits?, The Times, 2016/06/29.
  • Study: Common Chemicals Might Affect Exercise Habits, opposingviews, June 29, 2016.

Baby cosmetics still contain too many ingredients of concern

WECF releases survey on 341 baby cosmetics products of which 299 contain high risk ingredients

Safety of Cosmetic Products for Babies Called Into Question by WECF France
Safety of Cosmetic Products for Babies Called Into Question by WECF France.

Using analysis of existing scientific literature and opinions from European Union and French risk assessment agencies, experts classified ingredients or groups of ingredients into three categories: high risk, moderate risk and low or not identified risk.

WECF found that three ingredients or ingredient families it considered high risk are in 299 of the products. These include methylisothiazolinone, a contact allergen; perfume or fragrance, which may involve potential allergy risks, and phenoxyethanol, a preservative suspected to be reprotoxic.

There are also four ingredients or ingredient families that were classified as moderate risk found in 181 products. They are: EDTA, commonly used in foaming products; laureth and lauryl sulfate, which are foaming agents; mineral oils, byproducts of petroleum, which could be contaminated by impurities, and nanoparticles.

More information
  • Safety of Cosmetic Products for Babies Called Into Question by WECF France, wecf, 16.02.2016.
  • Baby cosmetics still contain too many ingredients of concern, wecf, 15.02.2016.
  • RAPPORT Cosmétiques pour bébés, wecf, 16.02.2016.
  • Rapport cosmétiques FINAL, Wecf, 15.02.2016.

Exposure to Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Child Development

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rapidly increasing in the US and worldwide

There is a growing body of evidence showing that exposure to a number of chemicals may adversely impact child development through altered endocrine function. Image Coast Guard News.

2012 Study Abstract

National Institutes of Health, PMCID: PMC3572204, doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.241, 2013 Jun 1.

Exposure to exogenous chemicals can impact endocrine function at multiple sites and through numerous specific modes of action, which may have far-reaching impacts on human health and development. Widespread human exposure to numerous known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been documented in the US and worldwide, as have trends for increased rates of endocrine-related diseases and disorders among children. While human epidemiology studies of exposure to EDCs and children’s health remain extremely limited, there is a growing body of evidence showing that exposure to a number of chemicals commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food, drinking water, and other sources may adversely impact child development through altered endocrine function. This narrative review provides a brief introduction to several common EDCs (with a specific focus on persistent organic pollutants, phthalates, bisphenol A, and contemporary use pesticides, which only represents a small number of all known or suspected EDCs), an overview of the state of the human evidence for adverse impacts of EDCs on child development (fetal growth, early reproductive tract development, pubertal development, neurodevelopment, and obesity), guidance for health care providers based on current knowledge, and recommendations for future research.

Similar studies

Cosmetic and Skin Care Products Infographic

List of Ingredients to Avoid

List of Ingredients to Avoid.

Sources: OrganicSpaMagazine, also on Twitter. See more infographics.
More about BPA – Endocrine Disruptors – Pesticides – Phthalates

On Flickr®

Not Just a Pretty Face

The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry

Not Just a Pretty Face on Flickr
Not Just a Pretty Face – by Stacy Malkan – chronicles the quest that led a group of health and environmental activists to the world’s largest cosmetics companies to ask some tough questions.

by Stacy Malkan

  • Lead in lipstick?
  • 1,4 dioxane in baby soap?
  • Coal tar in shampoo?
  • How is this possible?

Simple. The $35 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful that they have kept themselves unregulated for decades.

  • Why do companies market themselves as pink ribbon leaders in the fight against breast cancer, yet use hormone-disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals that may contribute to that very disease?
  • Why do products used by men and women of childbearing age contain chemicals linked to birth defects and infertility?

As doors slammed in their faces and the beauty myth peeled away, the industry’s toxic secrets began to emerge. This scathing investigation peels away less-than-lovely layers to expose an industry in dire need of an extreme makeover. The good news is that while the major multinational companies fight for their right to use hazardous chemicals, entrepreneurs are developing safer non-toxic technologies and building businesses on the values of health, justice and personal empowerment.

All our posts about BPA – Cancer – Endocrine Disruptors – Phthalates.

On Flickr®

Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics

The Real Cost of Beauty

Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics
Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics

Image source tweet:

Hey @Revlon: when will u get toxic chemicals linked to #cancer out of our makeup? Dare to make #safecosmetics

The Campaigns:

More Information:

On Flickr®

  • Watch the Diaporama, and the Media photo set on  DES Diethylstilbestrol's photostream on Flickr
  • If you already have a flickr® account, add us as a contact
  • Email your photos to des.daughter@gmail.com with a short description and title :-)