EU should ban brain-harming chlorpyrifos to protect health

Exposure to chlorpyrifos is linked to ADHD and autism. It should not be allowed on the European market

Today, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) together with Générations Futures, Pesticide Action Network Europe and Pesticide Action Network Germany released a factsheet on the health effects of chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used pesticides in Europe and its residues are also commonly found in our food. The current authorisation for chlorpyrifos on the European market will expire on 31 January 2019. We are very concerned about the possibility of an extended authorisation due to its health harming properties. Chlorpyrifos is linked to the disruption of the hormonal system and effects on the developing human brain. Children exposed to chlorpyrifos in the womb or in early life can suffer neurodevelopmental effects later in life, like attention deficit disorders (ADHD) and autism.

This factsheet sets out the case and evidence against the use of chlorpyrifos and explains the health impacts which justify its ban.

Reference.

Towards a more comprehensive EU framework on endocrine disruptors

Health groups warn proposed change to pesticide law would undermine effective identification and ban of endocrine disruptors

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) Press Release, 19/07/2018

A discussion on a controversial proposal to amend the European pesticide legislation started between representatives of European governments on 19-20 July. Health groups warn that such a change would undermine the provisions that foresee the ban of pesticides identified as endocrine disruptors and would only benefit the pesticide industry.

As the European Commission consultation on a roadmap for a framework on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is coming to a close, a much less publicised process is starting behind closed doors. Representatives of European member states met in Brussels on 19 and 20 July to discuss a proposal by the European Commission to change the conditions that would allow derogations from the ban of endocrine disruptors planned under the pesticide legislation.

This is not the first time the Commission has proposed such changes. This proposal was originally discussed during the negotiations on the identification criteria for EDCs in 2016. Due to strong opposition from civil society and the public health community at the time, it did not garner the needed support by member states to be included in the criteria.

Following the agreement on identification criteria for endocrine disrupting pesticides in December 2017, it is now technically possible for European countries to ban pesticides that meet the criteria. The pesticide regulation foresees a possible derogation to such bans in cases of “negligible exposure” to the substance – namely conditions in which the exposure is well controlled such as in closed systems.

As brought to the public attention by HEAL’s member Pesticide Action Network Europe, the European Commission is suggesting to change the conditions allowing for such a derogation by replacing “negligible exposure” into “negligible risk”. This slight change of wording might first come across as harmless, but carries the potential to change the hazard-based approach that lies at the foundation of the pesticide legislation. If adopted, it would bring a risk element into the discussion.

This is problematic and should be opposed at all costs for several reasons:

  • The European Commission is suggesting a discussion on this proposal behind closed doors, using the comitology procedure, while the proposed changes touch upon the foundations of the pesticide legislation. Therefore, a fully transparent process involving the European Parliament and the Council (in co-decision) would be the appropriate setting for such a discussion.
    The fact that this is happening just as the public consultation on the roadmap for a framework on EDCs (which HEAL has already criticised for missing concrete measures to reduce exposure to EDCs) comes to a close, also raises questions on the Commission’s willingness to have a fully transparent and democratic debate on such a high profile public health issue.
  • The proposal brings a fundamental change to the hazard-based approach of the pesticide legislation. Based on the precautionary principle, the legislation considers that pesticides identified as EDCs should be banned by default, unless in case of “negligible exposure”. If adopted, the Commission’s proposal would introduce a risk assessment following the EDC identification, based on the flawed idea that safe conditions and levels of exposure exist for EDCs and the risk related to this exposure can be controlled. This would make the evaluation process of pesticides even more lengthy. It would also open a pandora’s box to industry arguments that attempt to justify that a risk is negligible under hypothetical conditions of use and wrongly promote a supposedly safe use of certain chemicals that the pesticide legislation explicitly singled out as dangerous to human health.
    This is even more worrying as the data used to assess supposedly negligible risks will be prepared by companies. While the current derogation in case of negligible exposure foresees that the exposure has to be well controlled (for instance in a closed environment), an approach based on risk would open the door to allowing for a much wider use of endocrine disrupting pesticides – for instance through spraying in the environment – when they should by default be banned under the law.

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) together with members such as PAN Europe and partners of the EDC-Free Europe coalition will continue to oppose this proposed change. We urge member states to defend the existing approach foreseen in the pesticide legislation and strive for its full implementation in the future.

How can Europe lead the way to a non-toxic environment ?

12 priority actions to end the problematic use of harmful chemicals

“A non-toxic environment should be understood as an environment that is free from chemical pollution and of exposures to hazardous chemicals at levels that are harmful to human health and to the environment. This target would take into consideration the need to provide vulnerable groups with as much protection as possible, to take account of potential delays between exposure and disease expression, to prevent accumulations of very persistent substances to ensure the quality of material flows foreseen as part of the Circular Economy“

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) released its vision for Europe leading the transition towards a non-toxic environment and called on the European Commission to finally draw its long promised strategy for a non-toxic environment. For that, HEAL recommends 12 priorities actions.

HEAL’s vision for Europe leading the way towards a non-toxic environment

  1. put vulnerable population groups (e.g., pregnant women, children, adolescents, the elderly) first,
  2. reduce chemical exposure across sources, taking into account chemicals’ lifecycle and disposal,
  3. tackle endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) beyond pesticides and biocides (e.g., in toys, food contact materials, cosmetics),
  4. take on flame retardants,
  5. tackle per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs),
  6. address excessive use of pesticides,
  7. accelerate identification of substances of very high concern (SVHCs),
  8. translate identification of SVHCs across all other relevant legislations,
  9. address exposure to chemical mixtures,
  10. improve knowledge generation and communication,
  11. involve the health community in the strategy for better disease prevention,
  12. and implement consumers’ right to know

Brussels, 7 June 2018 press release.

Toxic substances linked to a range of adverse health impacts present in carpets sold in the EU

Swept under the rug: new report reveals toxics in European carpets threatening health, environment and circular economy

A new study identifies over 59 hazardous substances found in carpets sold in the EU, including endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, linked to serious health conditions such as cancers, learning disabilities and fertility problems. Exposure to these toxics via inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact proves extremely harmful to pregnant women, babies and small children who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exposure to chemicals, as well as workers in the carpet industry who are exposed to those chemicals because of inadequate safety measures. Many of these toxic chemicals are also persistent polluters that stay in the environment and can cause adverse impacts on ecosystems. In some cases, health and environmental impacts only show decades later.

Hazardous toxics in carpets also pose additional obstacles to the recycling process, impacting the quality of the recycled end material and the cost-effectiveness of recycling. Less stringent regulations for recycled materials can lead to now-restricted chemicals persisting in recycled products and consequently harm health. In addition, at least 37 toxic substances have not been restricted and/or banned for use in carpets. Many of these have not even been fully evaluated for their health and environmental impacts. 10 substances are currently identified by the EU as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), of which only 4 are banned from the market.

The report contains a series of clear recommendations to the EU, Member States and manufacturers aimed at adopting a health-first approach towards the circular economy. It recommends protecting the environment and the health of European citizens by eliminating toxic substances, strengthening regulations for new products, consistent and faster chemicals regulation as well as producer responsibility and eco-design measures to ensure toxic-free carpets.

Reference.

Europeans will remain exposed to Bisphenol A in food packaging

MEPs reject ban on BPA in food packaging, Brussels, 11th January 2018

A European Commission proposal to regulate bisphenol A in food contact materials was discussed today in the European Parliament Environment Committee (ENVI). The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) regrets that Members (MEPs) gave the green light to a piece of legislation that fails to protect citizens’ health and will mainly benefit the chemical industry.

The European Commission regulation foresees to simply lower the migration limit rather than ban bisphenol A in the coatings and varnishes used in food packaging. This contradicts the European Parliament’s own 2016 demand to fully ban bisphenol A from food contact materials [3].

Bisphenol A has been listed as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) by the European Chemicals Agency due to its endocrine disrupting properties , and it is also classified as toxic for reproduction. HEAL alongside numerous civil society groups have long demanded its full ban, because exposure to even very low doses can have serious long-term health impacts.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Natacha Cingotti, HEAL’s policy officer on health and chemicals, said:

“The adverse health effects of Bisphenol A, even at low doses, are so well documented that it should already have been banned from all consumer products a long time ago – citizens shouldn’t have to worry that their food wrapper or packing contains BPA and might seep into their food and harm their health.”

“European politicians are failing in their responsibility to protect people’s health and to act on their earlier commitments, although safer alternatives are available and some governments such as France and industry retailers are already on the path to substitution. It’s not only dangerous but also incoherent – we should be getting the toxics out of the economy if we want it to be truly circular.”

HEAL has repeatedly called on European decision-makers to take steps to fix the loopholes that currently exist in terms of the evaluation and regulation of chemicals in food packages, and will continue to promote more ambitious action to protect Europeans – in particular vulnerable groups – as a formal evaluation of the European legislation on food contact materials is about to start.

When EU Member States ask the European Commission for permission to pollute above national limits set in EU law

National governments must not use legal loopholes to hide failure on air quality

Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland and Luxembourg have all asked the European Commission for the limits that should have been met in 2015 to be raised so that they no longer appear to have breached them.

The European Union’s National Emission Ceilings Directive sets absolute caps for the amount of pollution allowed by any one country within a year. These caps are designed to work in tandem with European air quality rules, currently breached in 130 cities in 23 Member States, that should protect citizens by limiting the concentration of pollution of the air we breathe ‘on the street’.

Governments can request exceptions to the national caps for previous years, called ‘inventory adjustments’, if certain circumstances apply. Such moves have been labelled as ‘get out of jail free cards’ because they allow Member States to avoid repercussions for breaching otherwise binding limits.

The requests are criticised in a letter sent to Commissioner Vella today from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), ClientEarth, Transport&Environment, AirClim and the Health and Environment Alliance.

All but one of the requests are made by governments claiming they were unaware of additional emissions from diesel vehicles, only Finland is not asking for an additional allowance for nitrogen oxides (NOx) linked to this source. Germany is singled out in the letter for particular criticism because the country issued the approvals for most of the vehicle models found to be exceeding their limits across Europe.

The letter also points out that it was known that road vehicles were responsible for additional emissions long before the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal broke. It argues that by asking for exceptions now, governments are simply trying to make up for their own policy failures on air quality:

“[National] authorities had much time at their disposal to require carmakers to comply, including mandatory recalls and withdrawal of approvals to take the polluting vehicles off the road. Had the authorities of Germany, France, Spain and Luxembourg… taken action in line with the Euro Standards Regulation, the inventory adjustments – as well as high NOx emissions in those countries – could have been avoided.”

Diesel engines are responsible for vehicle emissions of various pollutants including nitrogen oxides (NOx). These harmful gases contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain and have a damaging effect on human health and the environment, including being linked to a host of respiratory diseases.

The largest single-point sources of NOx pollution in Europe are large industrial plants, particularly coal-fired power stations. In April, Germany unsuccessfully tried to block tighter controls on coal-fired power stations due to the high NOx emissions of German brown coal (lignite) power plants.

Notes

There are two crucial EU Directives on air pollution. The Ambient Air Quality Directive set limits for the concentration of certain pollutants in the air we breathe, in any given place. The National Emission Ceiling Directive sets caps, or ‘ceilings’, for the total amounts of certain pollutants to be emitted by each Member State from all land sources combined.

National Emission Ceilings Directive
An updated National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive was adopted in December 2016. Today’s letter concerns breaches of limits set in the previous NEC Directive.

The EEB report ‘Clearing the Air: A Critical Guide to the National Emission Ceilings Directive’, provides a detailed assessment of this Directive and calls on Member States and the European Commission to fully and effectively implement existing air pollution laws and take further steps to protect human health and the environment.

Ambient Air Quality Directive
The limits set in the Ambient Air Quality Directive are currently being exceeded in more than 130 cities in 23 out of the 28 Member States of the EU.

The European Commission published its roadmap for a fitness check of the Ambient Air Quality Directives this week. The document accepts that “significant compliance gaps remain” and that the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines are “in most instances, more stringent than EU air quality standards”.

Read National governments must not use legal loopholes to hide failure on air quality, env-health, July 2017.

Addressing endocrine disrupting chemicals requires an integrated strategy

It is time to disrupt business as usual and put the health of the current and future generations first

The dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) for human health and the environment have long been documented and the evidence keeps piling up every day, yet Europe’s approach to this challenge has been lukewarm, writes Genon Jensen, he Executive Director of Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).

From bisphenol A to cadmium or a whole variety of pesticides, we are all exposed to EDCs. However, as the debacle on the identification criteria of endocrine disruptors for pesticides illustrates, the European approach to this emerging challenge lacks ambition. Not only does it fail to follow the latest scientific developments, but also to acknowledge the societal demands for a transition to safer alternatives.

On 4 July, a European Commission proposal for criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals for pesticides was agreed by representatives of EU governments – the end of a four-year process.

For health and environment advocates, scientists, or public interest groups such as health professionals or non-profit insurers, these criteria have a bitter and toxic taste. Leaving aside the significant corporate lobbying interference in the process, one is struck by the health and economic burden that a lack of ambition and political will result in for society.

According to a conservative estimate, diseases arising from exposure to EDCs weigh at least €163 billion on European public health budgets.

Meanwhile, urine tests and hair samples from populations all across Europe show the presence of chemicals that should not be there in people’s bodies: for instance, a study carried out in France in 2015 found no less than 21 endocrine disruptors’ residues per women tested, including toxic chemicals that have been banned from the market.

Keeping these numbers in mind, addressing the emerging challenges posed by the exposition to endocrine disruptors across their uses (beyond pesticides, from cosmetics to food packages, or toys) based on precaution and consistency appears both an urgent and obvious need.

Unfortunately, the criteria agreed are narrow, insufficient, impractical, and they will make it very difficult – if not impossible – to prove that a pesticide is disrupting the endocrine system.

Why does this matter? Because the higher the burden of the proof and the bigger the loopholes in the identification criteria, the longer the products will remain on the market, leaving people exposed to their effects and weighing heavily on public health budgets.

What should be done now?

The battle over the identification criteria for pesticides is not completely over yet. After the summer, the European Parliament will be asked to vote on the European Commission proposal – either to sign it off or to veto it.

This is an important opportunity for MEPs to echo the existing concerns, give a voice to almost 500,000 citizens who have asked for more protective criteria without being heard. Therefore, MEPs should reject the current criteria and defend an ambitious approach that reflects the latest state of science.

Traces of endocrine disrupting chemicals are found everywhere, including in our bodies, which means that we are all concerned by their effects. The Endocrine Disruption Exchange lists about 1,300 potential EDCs, and many more suspected substances need to be investigated.

While scientists and public interest groups are doing their share to address this emerging challenge, decision-makers should have the courage to take political steps that are already available. This can start in the European Parliament with the rejection of the flawed pesticides criteria.

It is time to disrupt business as usual and put the health of the current and future generations first.

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

Coalition of more than 70 NGOs call on EU Parliament to reject EDC criteria

EDC-Free Europe coalition, Press Release, July 4, 2017

Brussels, 4 July 2017 – Today, representatives of European member states from the EU pesticides committee adopted the criteria that are supposed to be used to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (or EDCs) in the future.

The EDC-Free coalition regrets the insufficiency of the criteria adopted today, which will not guarantee the level of protection for human health and the environment that is urgently needed and that scientists and citizens are calling for from across the EU. Ahead of the vote, three highly respected international scientific societies of endocrinology raised the alarm bell about the shortcomings of the proposed criteria, urging member states not to approve them in their current state. Meanwhile, over 458,000 people all across Europe signed a petition calling on member states to reject the EU Commission’s proposal.

The main concerns of the EDC-Free coalition are as follows:

  • The criteria require a very high burden of proof, which makes the identification of substances as EDCs very difficult and is likely to result in long delays.
  • The proposed exemption from identification for certain pesticides and biocides that are designed to be endocrine disrupting would strongly undermine the objective of the EU pesticides and biocides law to phase out the use of EDCs.
  • The criteria contradict the EU commitment to horizontal EDC criteria and minimisation of EDC exposures as decided in the 7th Environmental Action Programme.

“Strong EDC criteria would allow Europe to lead the world by example and to initiate urgently needed measures to reduce our unnecessary exposure to toxic substances. The criteria voted today contain a flawed loophole and require such a high level of proof that they will not protect people or wildlife. We call on the European Parliament to reject these criteria”

says Genon K. Jensen,
EDC-Free Europe spokesperson.

While Sweden and Denmark defended an ambitious approach to protect human health and the environment until the final vote, the EDC-Free Europe coalition regrets the last-minute change of position of France, which is in total contradiction to the electoral promises of Emmanuel Macron and promises made in the run up to the vote. The overall lack of foresight/vision of EU member states will result in significant costs for public health and society. A conservative estimate found that the current burden on public health budgets from the diseases arising from exposure to EDCs in the European Union is estimated to be at least 163 billion Euro per year.

Read NGOs acknowledge vote on first ever EDC criteria – call on European Parliament to reject flawed criteria for the sake of human health and environment protection, edc-free-europe, July 4, 2017.

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

Thirty people tested discover the omnipresence of Glyphosate in their bodies

French NGO Générations Futures finds 100% people tested in France are exposed to glyphosate

To what extent are the French exposed to glyphosate – the world’s best-selling herbicide? generations-futures, 6 April 2017.

Image © credit Claire Robert.

Paris/Brussels, 6 April 2017 – Thirty human “guinea-pigs” entrusted samples of their urine to Générations Futures for testing for traces of the famous glyphosate, one of the active molecules in the herbicide, RoundUp®.

The results? All 100% of the samples contain residues of this herbicide, which is a “probable carcinogen” according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Context

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used active ingredient in herbicides. In March 2015, a few months before the European authorisation of glyphosate was due to expire, experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen”. EU regulations prohibit the use of pesticides that are classified as carcinogens or probable carcinogens. However, EU regulations refer to EU classification for carcinogenicity not to that of IARC.

Originally, when the authorisation of glyphosate expired, the European Commission proposed allowing its sale for a further 14 years. But this proposition, which was widely criticised by NGOs and civil society, did not receive the support of the Member States. In the end, the Commission was obliged to extend the approval for only 18 months and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was asked to publish an opinion on the safety of glyphosate the spring of this year. On 15 March 2017, a summary of this opinion was published clearing glyphosate of any carcinogenic risk for humans! The ball is now in the European Commission’s court as it will soon make a new proposal to the Member States.

The survey

It is against this backdrop that Générations Futures wanted to learn more about the extent to which the French are exposed to this widely used herbicide. We chose to carry out a urine analysis of 30 people, including men and women between the ages of eight and 60 years old, living in the city and in the countryside and with a varied diet, organic and non-organic, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. A certain number of well-known people agreed to participate. Analysis was carried out with help of an ELISA test.

Results?

Our investigation demonstrates the omnipresence of this dangerous molecule in our bodies.

  • 100% of the samples analysed contained glyphosate at a concentration above the lowest limit of quantification (LoQ = 0.075ng/ml).
  • The average concentration of glyphosate found in the samples was 1.25 ng/ml urine.
  • The sample with the lowest value was at 0.09 ng/ml and the highest value was 2.89 ng/ml, which is 32.11 times higher than the lowest value.
  • Twenty-nine of the 30 samples (96.66%) contained concentrations that were above the maximum allowable pesticide concentration in water (0.1 ng/ml).

“Unfortunately, these tests confirmed what we feared having consulted surveys undertaken elsewhere in Europe and around the world: we are all contaminated with glyphosate. It is indeed time for the European authorities to become aware of the urgency to act, and to finally forbid this molecule considered likely to be carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer!”

says Francois Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures.

“Not all the cards are played yet. We can still stop the authorisation of this substance. We therefore invite citizens to take action and join the 500,000 Europeans who have already signed the European Citizens’ Initiative calling for the banning of this dangerous molecule,”

he concludes.

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is also calling for a ban on glyphosate. Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) says:

“This study shows that all those tested in France have been exposed to glyphosate. This means that, in all likelihood, all Europeans are contaminated – potentially elevating everyone’s risk of cancer. “The evidence against glyphosate is piling up all the time. National governments face the decision at the end of this year whether to continue allowing glyphosate in Europe. We urge everyone to tell their governments to put preventing cancers first.”

Contacts
Générations Fuures EXPPERT Surveys
  1. EXPPERT Survey 1: Which endocrine disrupting insecticides are children exposed to everyday? Press release, Brussels, 25 March 2013.
  2. EXPPERT Survey 2: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and banned Pesticides in strawberries. Press release, 25 March 2013.
  3. EXPPERT Survey 3: How are children exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?Press release, 9 July 2014.
  4. EXPPERT Survey 4: Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair. Press release, 12 March 2015. Our blog.
  5. EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads. Press release, 22 September 2015. Our blog.
  6. EXPPERT Survey 6: Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure. Press release, 1 March 2016. Our blog.
  7. EXPPERT Survey 7: Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides. What are the exposures in daily life? Press release, 11 October 2016. Our blog.
  8. EXPPERT Survey 8: Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides in water. Press release, 8 January 2017. Our blog.
  9. EXPPERT Survey 9: Seven French celebrities discover their contamination from endocrine disruptors. Press release, 24 February 2017. Our blog.

Seven famous ecologists discover their contamination from endocrine disruptors

100% of the personalities have traces of Bisphenols, PCBs, pesticides and phthalates

Générations Futures EXPPERT survey number 9 provides the results of tests for the presence of suspected or known endocrine disruptors in hair samples of some leading environmentalists in France. The worrying and conclusive results are the basis for a further call to the European Commission to improve its proposal on criteria for identifying endocrine disrupting chemicals ahead of a possible vote by EU Member States on 28 February 2017.

Paris, Brussels, 24 February 2017 – Seven environmentalists in France have their hair analysed for traces of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Generations Futures, with the support of HEAL and other members of the EDC-Free Europe coalition, published a new report yesterday, the 9th survey of the EXPPERT series on population exposure to chemicals that are suspected or known to disrupt the endocrine system. The results are unchallengeable!

Who?
In this new survey, Générations Futures asked personalities from the environmental movement to entrust to us a lock of their hair, which we had analysed by a competent laboratory. The participants were Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Isabelle Autissier, Delphine Batho, José Bové, Nicolas Hulot, Yannick Jadot and Marie-Monique Robin.

What?
Approximately 200 pesticides (products used in agriculture and in the home to get rid of “harmful” or “undesirable” flora and fauna) and pesticide metabolites (resulting from metabolism), three bisphenols (plasticiser used in the composition of the polycarbonate – hard plastic), 13 phthalates and metabolites of phthalates (plasticisers used to soften plastics) and 32 PCB congeners (PCBs have been banned since 1987 but were used massively in electric transformers and as heat transfer fluid.).

Results?
100% of the personalities has traces of each of the families of compounds analysed in their bodies!

- – We discover between 36 (D. Batho) and 68 (I. Autissier) endocrine disrupters per personality. The quantities varied from 9 031 μg/mg of endocrine disrupting chemical (D. Batho) to 158 643 μg/mg (I. Autism) – a discrepancy factor of 17.5 times between the least contaminated person (D. Batho) and the most contaminated person (I. Autissier). This clearly shows that individual’s exposure is not uniform but rather varies considerably according to the environment in which they circulate and/or in which they have developed and lived.

- Bisphenols:
All the personalities tested had at least one of the three bisphenols in their hair. Three out of the seven people tested had the renowned Bisphenol A in their hair: M-M. Robin, Y. Arthus-Bertrand and I. Autissier. All 7 had Bisphenol S but none had signs of Bisphenol F.

- Phthalates:
11 of the 13 phthalates or metabolites of phthalates tested for were found at least in one person. Neither MMP or DPP were found in any sample. The number of phthalates and metabolites of phthalates found ranged from eight to 11 depending on the individual. Between six and 10 of these molecules could be quantified in each person.

- PCBs:
All samples that could be analysed contained PCBs: between 14 and 30 PCBs were found in participants’ samples.

- Pesticides:
32 molecules suspected of being endocrine disruptors or endocrine disrupting metabolites were found in at least one person. Between nine and 25 of these pesticides were found in each hair sample tested.

“The hair of the personalities tested all contain an important cocktail of many endocrine disruptors (between 36 and 68 per person) although tests were only carried out on four families of chemicals. And these cocktails pose a problem – what is the health impact of this mixture?”

says Francois Veillerette, Director of Générations Futures.

“This report points out more than ever the need to remove endocrine disrupting substances from our environment. Only a truly protective definition within the European framework will ensure that endocrine disruptors are excluded from the market and protect populations from these hazardous compounds. That is why the vote on the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) on 28 February is so important! We urge all national governments to reject the European Commission’s proposal on the criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals in its current form and insist on major changes to ensure that proven, probable or suspected endocrine disruptors to which we are exposed are identified as such. Only in this way will these chemicals be prohibited from use as required in the European legislation voted in 2009, to protect our health.”

he concluded.

Contacts
EXPPERT Surveys
  1. EXPPERT Survey 1: Which endocrine disrupting insecticides are children exposed to everyday? Press release, Brussels, 25 March 2013.
  2. EXPPERT Survey 2: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and banned Pesticides in strawberries. Press release, 25 March 2013.
  3. EXPPERT Survey 3: How are children exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? Press release, 9 July 2014.
  4. EXPPERT Survey 4: Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair. Press release, 12 March 2015. Our blog.
  5. EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads. Press release, 22 September 2015. Our blog.
  6. EXPPERT Survey 6: Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure. Press release, 1 March 2016. Our blog.
  7. EXPPERT Survey 7: Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides. What are the exposures in daily life? Press release, 11 October 2016. Our blog.
  8. EXPPERT Survey 8: Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides in water. Press release, 8 January 2017. Our blog.
  9. EXPPERT Survey 9: Seven French celebrities discover their contamination from endocrine disruptors. Press release, 24 February 2017. Our blog.