The Endocrine Society calls for improved guidance to identify endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Changes needed to ensure implementation of EU EDC criteria will protect public health

WASHINGTONThe Endocrine Society called for European regulators to ensure that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can be identified using practical, achievable scientific standards in detailed comments on a draft guidance document for implementing criteria for the identification of EDCs.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.

The European Commission requested that the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) develop the guidance for implementing new criteria for regulating EDCs. While the two agencies offered a thoughtful and practical approach to regulation of EDCs, the Society’s experts noted several concerns in the draft guidance that need to be addressed to ensure EDCs posing a risk to public health can be identified.

The Endocrine Society encourages the authors of the guidance to ensure that regulatory agencies can identify chemicals that interfere with hormone action and define them as EDCs based on a realistic standard of scientific information, minimizing the potential for mischaracterization of harmful chemicals. The Society also asked for more clarify on situations where agencies may not have sufficient information to evaluate a chemical.

The Society called for broadening the scope of the guidance to incorporate all potential toxicity effects that are relevant to endocrine disruption. The current draft focuses on tests and endpoints for EDCs that mimic, block, or interfere with estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormones and the body’s production of steroids. However, chemicals can disrupt other endocrine pathways that depend on proper hormone function, such as metabolism. Disrupting these pathways can lead to adverse consequences such as weight gain and insulin resistance.

The Society encouraged regulatory agencies to review and update the guidance in the future as necessary to incorporate the latest scientific evidence on EDCs. The Society also highlighted problems in the thyroid section of the guidance recommending that regulators strengthen this section to ensure that this important and complex pathway is properly assessed.

Society experts will continue to provide input to the European Commission, EFSA and ECHA as they revise the guidance and European Union regulations. Science based regulations on EDCs are crucial to ensure a high level of health and environmental protection and protect the public from the harms due to EDC exposure.

EU criteria used to identify EDCs must be transparent and secure a high level of protection

The Endocrine Society urges EU Parliament to be transparent around EDC criteria

Washington, DC – Earlier this week, Member States of the European Union voted in favor of draft criteria to define endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The Endocrine Society is extremely concerned that the criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection.

The world’s largest organization of endocrinologists is therefore urging the European Parliament to improve transparency surrounding the process for implementing the criteria and to engage endocrine scientists in further decision-making steps.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.

The criteria on EDCs cannot be called science-based as it contains arbitrary exemptions for chemicals specifically designed to disrupt target insect endocrine systems that have similarities in humans and wildlife. Earlier, the Endocrine Society, the European Society for Endocrinology, and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology released a statement strongly objecting to the addition of loopholes in the criteria as they create frameworks where potentially dangerous chemicals cannot be defined as EDCs by law.

The three societies urge Member States to work towards improved criteria for the identification of EDCs by incorporating the following recommendations:

  1. Removing the exemption for biocides and pesticides designed to act on endocrine systems;
  2. Adhering to a science-based definition of EDCs that include categories for known EDCs and chemicals for which more information is needed to make a determination; and
  3. Maintaining a hazard-based identification system without derogations based on risk.

The European Parliament will vote on the criteria in the coming months, and we encourage the Parliament to gather input from endocrine scientists and professional endocrine associations during their deliberations. Further details regarding the implementation of the criteria still need to be worked out, and we call for transparency on how the contributions from endocrine scientists will be given due consideration in the process by EFSA, ECHA, and the European Commission.

Image credit Sarah-Jane.

An Investigation
  1. The Manufacture of a Lie.
  2. A Denial of the State of the Science.
  3. The Interference of the United States.
  4. The Discreet but Major Gift to the Pesticides Lobby.
Endocrine Disruptors

About The Personal Care Products Safety Act

Bill would help protect consumers from chemicals that disrupt hormones

Endocrine Society applauds new push to regulate chemicals in personal care products

Washington, DCThe Endocrine Society praised the reintroduction of a Senate bill to ensure consumers are protected from hazards associated with exposure to chemicals in personal care products such as cosmetics and lotions.

The Personal Care Products Safety Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, would set a rigorous safety standard for personal care products and provide the public with more information about the chemicals in the products they are purchasing. This is an area of concern for the Society and its 18,000 members, including researchers studying how endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) disrupt the body’s hormones.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.
The evidence is more definitive than ever before that EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health. EDC-related health outcomes include male reproductive disorders, premature death, obesity and diabetes, neurological impacts, breast cancer, endometriosis, female reproductive disorders, immune disorders, liver cancer, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer and thyroid disorders.

The Personal Care Products Safety Act calls for some chemicals found in shampoo, deodorant, cosmetics and other personal care products to be reviewed for safety for the first time. The Society applauded the bill’s inclusion of propyl paraben, a potential EDC linked to reproductive disorders, as one of the first five chemicals slated for review.
By providing the necessary authority and fees for the FDA to properly regulate personal care products, the Society believes that this legislation will effectively and efficiently ensure a safer marketplace for personal care products and reduce harms from exposure to EDCs and other toxic chemicals.

Sources and Press Releases

  • Endocrine Society applauds new push to regulate chemicals in personal care products, TheEndoSociety, May 15, 2017.
  • Senators Seek Enhanced Safety Looks at Cosmetic Ingredients, promomarketing, May 15, 2017.
  • Personal Care Products Safety Act Would Improve Cosmetics Safety, ewg.
Endocrine Disruptors

Prenatal BPA exposure alters our natural ability to control appetite

Mouse study sheds light on how endocrine-disrupting chemical increases obesity risk

Washington, DC – An expectant mother’s exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) can raise her offspring’s risk of obesity by reducing sensitivity to a hormone responsible for controlling appetite, according to a mouse study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

BPA is a chemical found in a variety of food containers, including polycarbonate plastic water bottles and can linings. BPA can interfere with the endocrine system by mimicking estrogen, one of the main sex hormones found in women. Research indicates BPA exposure is nearly universal. More than 90 percent of people tested in population studies had detectable levels of BPA and compounds produced when it is metabolized by the body in their urine.

As of 2014, nearly 100 epidemiological studies had been published tying BPA to various health problems, according to the Society and IPEN’s Introduction to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.

Prenatal bisphenol A exposure weakens body’s fullness cues, The Endocrine Society News Room, February 07, 2017.

Image credit Owen and Aki.

The new study – Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) Delays the Postnatal Leptin Surge in Male and Female CD-1 Mice – found mice born to mothers exposed to BPA were less responsive to the hormone leptin, which is sometimes called the satiety hormone. Leptin helps inhibit the appetite by reducing hunger pangs when the body does not need energy. The hormone sends signals to the hypothalamus region of the brain to suppress the appetite.

“Our findings show that bisphenol A can promote obesity in mice by altering the hypothalamic circuits in the brain that regulate feeding behavior and energy balance.
Low level prenatal exposure to BPA delays a surge of leptin after birth that allows mice to develop the proper response to the hormone. BPA exposure permanently alters the neurobiology in the affected mice, making them prone to obesity as adults.”

said the study’s senior author, Alfonso Abizaid, Ph.D., of the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

To examine how BPA can encourage the development of obesity, the researchers fed pregnant mice BPA in their food. The mice were exposed to doses of BPA that are lower than levels deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada. Once the mice gave birth, the researchers gave their offspring injections of leptin at various intervals and then examined their brain tissue and analyzed their blood to gauge the response to the hormone.

Other pregnant mice were not exposed to any chemicals or were exposed to an estrogen chemical called diethylstilbestrol (DES), so their young could be compared to those born to mice that were exposed to BPA. All the mice were fed a control diet to eliminate differences in food intake.

Newborn mice typically exhibit a surge of leptin when they are eight days old that programs the hypothalamus circuits to respond to fullness cues. The study found that animals exposed to BPA experienced this surge two days late, and mice exposed to DES never had a surge of leptin. When they were treated with leptin over the course of two days, control animals that weren’t exposed to either chemical lost more weight than BPA- or DES-exposed mice.

In addition, researchers found that mice exposed to BPA before birth had reduced fiber density and brain activity in the hypothalamus circuits involved in regulating energy expenditure.

“This study improves our understanding of how BPA can disrupt the endocrine system in a manner that raises the risk of obesity in animals.
Since BPA has also been linked to obesity in humans, people need to be aware that environmental factors can lead to increased susceptibility to obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.”

Abizaid said.

MORE INFORMATION

All Advertised and Grocery Store Products are Safe

EDCs Myth vs. Fact, The Hormone Health Network Infographic

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a serious risk in modern society. These chemical compounds can interfere with the way the body’s hormones work, and they are associated with an array of health issues. Worse, they are almost everywhere: in consumer products such as pesticides, plastics, food storage materials, personal care products, clothing and more, and they also are used in electronics and agriculture.

Unfortunately, a number of myths about EDCs being safe have been perpetuated because of a lack of understanding about the realities of these chemicals and their effects on the body.

Some people claim EDCs represent no risk at all, and that all of the warnings about them are scare tactics and exaggerated. Others present myths as facts just so product sales will not be hurt. To take or maintain control of your hormone health, you must understand EDC facts so you can make wise decisions regarding your health.

Sources

Endocrine Disruptors

Our Skin is a Barrier to Toxic Substances

EDCs Myth vs. Fact, The Hormone Health Network Infographic

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a serious risk in modern society. These chemical compounds can interfere with the way the body’s hormones work, and they are associated with an array of health issues. Worse, they are almost everywhere: in consumer products such as pesticides, plastics, food storage materials, personal care products, clothing and more, and they also are used in electronics and agriculture.

Unfortunately, a number of myths about EDCs being safe have been perpetuated because of a lack of understanding about the realities of these chemicals and their effects on the body.

Some people claim EDCs represent no risk at all, and that all of the warnings about them are scare tactics and exaggerated. Others present myths as facts just so product sales will not be hurt. To take or maintain control of your hormone health, you must understand EDC facts so you can make wise decisions regarding your health.

Sources

Endocrine Disruptors

All Household and Personal Care Products are Safe

EDCs Myth vs. Fact, The Hormone Health Network Infographic

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a serious risk in modern society. These chemical compounds can interfere with the way the body’s hormones work, and they are associated with an array of health issues. Worse, they are almost everywhere: in consumer products such as pesticides, plastics, food storage materials, personal care products, clothing and more, and they also are used in electronics and agriculture.

Unfortunately, a number of myths about EDCs being safe have been perpetuated because of a lack of understanding about the realities of these chemicals and their effects on the body.

Some people claim EDCs represent no risk at all, and that all of the warnings about them are scare tactics and exaggerated. Others present myths as facts just so product sales will not be hurt. To take or maintain control of your hormone health, you must understand EDC facts so you can make wise decisions regarding your health.

Sources

Endocrine Disruptors

Toxic Chemicals are Harmless at Low Dose

EDCs Myth vs. Fact, The Hormone Health Network Infographic

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a serious risk in modern society. These chemical compounds can interfere with the way the body’s hormones work, and they are associated with an array of health issues. Worse, they are almost everywhere: in consumer products such as pesticides, plastics, food storage materials, personal care products, clothing and more, and they also are used in electronics and agriculture.

Unfortunately, a number of myths about EDCs being safe have been perpetuated because of a lack of understanding about the realities of these chemicals and their effects on the body.

Some people claim EDCs represent no risk at all, and that all of the warnings about them are scare tactics and exaggerated. Others present myths as facts just so product sales will not be hurt. To take or maintain control of your hormone health, you must understand EDC facts so you can make wise decisions regarding your health.

Sources

Endocrine Disruptors

All Plastics Bottles are the Same

EDCs Myth vs. Fact, The Hormone Health Network Infographic

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a serious risk in modern society. These chemical compounds can interfere with the way the body’s hormones work, and they are associated with an array of health issues. Worse, they are almost everywhere: in consumer products such as pesticides, plastics, food storage materials, personal care products, clothing and more, and they also are used in electronics and agriculture.

Unfortunately, a number of myths about EDCs being safe have been perpetuated because of a lack of understanding about the realities of these chemicals and their effects on the body.

Some people claim EDCs represent no risk at all, and that all of the warnings about them are scare tactics and exaggerated. Others present myths as facts just so product sales will not be hurt. To take or maintain control of your hormone health, you must understand EDC facts so you can make wise decisions regarding your health.

Sources

Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine Society Experts Concerned EU new Regulations will Undermine Chemicals Assessment

European Commission Proposal Leaves Public Exposed to Harmful Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

The Endocrine Society expressed disappointment today in the European Commission’s revised proposal on defining and identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), citing unnecessarily narrow criteria for identifying EDCs that will make it nearly impossible for scientists to meet the unrealistically high burden of proof and protect the public from dangerous chemicals.

A new provision in the revised proposal also creates an extremely problematic exemption for EDCs that act by regulating the growth of harmful organisms via the endocrine system. This exemption would include pesticides that primarily aim at preventing certain insects from growing or reproducing, even though these chemicals also could have effects on non-target species.

European Commission Proposal Leaves Public Exposed to Harmful Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, The Endocrine Society, December 19, 2016.

Shades of Blue image mlewallpapers.

EDCs can mimic, block or interfere with hormones that regulate key biological functions, including brain development, reproduction, metabolism and growth. Bisphenol A and other EDCs can be found in common products, including food containers, plastics, cosmetics and pesticides.

More than 1,300 studies have found connections between endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) exposure and serious health conditions such as infertility, diabetes, obesity, hormone-related cancers and neurological disorders, according to the Endocrine Society’s 2015 Scientific Statement.

The European Union is the largest single economy with regulations specific to EDCs. Enforcement of these regulations requires the European Commission to propose criteria to identify EDCs. The latest proposal asks for an unrealistically high level of scientific evidence for endocrine disruptors, limiting the ability to identify and regulate EDCs.

To effectively identify EDCs, the Endocrine Society supports creating multiple categories based on the amount of evidence that exists to show how specific chemicals act as EDCs. This approach would be similar to the classification scheme used for carcinogens. This would help prioritize chemicals for assessment and regulation and allow for incorporating new data as more studies are published. The latest proposal from the European Commission does not include categories for identifying EDCs.

Failure to effectively regulate EDCs comes with a high price tag. Recent studies have found that adverse health effects from EDC exposure cost the European Union more than €163 billion each year in healthcare expenses and lost productivity.

As the European Parliament and member countries consider whether to implement the European Commission’s criteria, the Society will continue to advocate for criteria that reflect the state of the science.