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.

DEHP, DIBP, DBP and BBP chemicals identified as EDCs

Europe finally recognises four phthalates as human endocrine disruptors

Victory! First chemicals identified as EDCs to humans, Health and Environment Alliance Press Release, 17 February 2017.

Image Miljøstyrelsen.

Brussels, 17 February 2017 – In a historic development, four synthetic chemicals – DEHP, DIBP, DBP and BBP – have been identified as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) for human health. The news was first released by an official source in Denmark.

It means that for the first time, chemical substances have been included in the list of REACH substances of very high concern because of equivalent concern of “endocrine disrupting” properties in humans.

“We are very pleased that we’ve finally reached this historic moment: this is the first time that the EU REACH system is officially recognising chemicals as being of very high concern because of their endocrine disrupting properties to humans. The next major step is to put away the erroneous fiction that we can reliably establish ‘safe levels’ for endocrine disruptors – and then to regulate them accordingly.”

said Lisette van Vliet,
Senior Policy Adviser, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

The decision came yesterday in an EU process known as “comitology”. One of the Member States in the forefront of advocating the official listing, Denmark, has been calling for proper regulation of these phthalates since 2011. Denmark is currently working with the European Chemicals Agency to propose a restriction that will ban these phthalates in products to which consumers come into contact, including products imported from outside the EU.

The phthalates are used as plasticisers in various products – from vinyl flooring to footballs and from wiring to shower curtains. Some of these products are made from recycled PVC, in which DEHP, one of the endocrine disruptors, has been authorised for use. The NGO Client Earth is contesting this authorisation in court, for multiple reasons, including that this substance is an endocrine disruptor for human health and the environment, which the REACH comitology committee has now confirmed.

Endocrine disrupting pesticides in tap and surface water

EXPPERT Survey 8 – Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides in water

Générations Futures EXPPERT survey 8 uses government reports on water quality in France as the basis for an analysis of the extent to which endocrine-disrupting pesticides and their byproducts can be found in French tap water. A European law banning endocrine disrupting pesticides came into effect years ago but has not been implemented because the European Commission has delayed proposing the needed scientific criteria to identify endocrine disruptors. Now, EU Member Countries are expected to take a final decision on a European Commission proposal this spring.

Paris, Brussels, 13 January 2017 – The report published today on endocrine disrupting chemicals in water in France is the eighth part of the EXPPERT survey. EXPPERT stands for Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides.

Context

In July 2016, the French Ministry of Social Affairs and Health published its report, “Bilan de la qualité de l’eau au robinet du consommateur vis-à-vis des pesticides en 2014” (Assessment of the quality of tap water with regard to pesticides in 2014). In 2014, The Ministry of Ecology published its survey, “Pesticides les plus quantifiés dans les cours d’eau et dans les eaux souterraines en 2013” (The most frequently quantified pesticides in surface water and groundwater in 2013).

While these reports inform us about the presence of pesticides in water, they do not actually provide the toxicological properties of the molecules identified, and notably for those pollutants that could be endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Générations Futures’ work

Générations Futures carried out an analysis, which had never previously been conducted. The aim was to know whether any of the pesticide residues, or the byproducts from the degradation of these pesticides, covered in the investigations cited above, were potential endocrine disrupting molecules.

Our analysis identified molecules that are potentially disruptive to the endocrine system.

The following results, which are detailed in the EXPPERT 8 report, were obtained. They unfortunately show that:

  • 73.3% – that is, 11 out of the 15 most frequently quantified pesticides (or their degradation byproducts) in surface water in metropolitan France in 2013 are suspected of being endocrine disruptors.
  • 53.3% – that is eight out of the 15 molecules classified as the most frequently quantified pesticides (or their degradation byproducts) in groundwater in metropolitan France in 2013 are suspected of being endocrine disruptors.
  • Tap water: 50% – that is, 18 out of 36 pesticides (or their degradation byproducts), which were the reason that the water was classified as not conforming to standards in 2014 (either as NC1 – without restriction or NC2 – with restriction) for more than one unit of distribution of drinking water (UDI), are suspected of being endocrine disruptors.

Why this report?

As a reminder, on Wednesday 21 December 2016 (following a delay of three years), the European Commission attempted to have its new proposals on the criteria for endocrine disrupters voted. This would provide the basis for endocrine disruptors to be excluded from the market under the pesticides and biocides legislation. In November, Générations Futures had condemned the Commission’s proposals as unacceptable because they required a level of proof that was almost impossible to attain. The proposal also provided for a derogation in the event of “negligible risk” to humans. The Commission even added a new gift to industry in its proposal of 21 December by introducing – at the last moment and for the first time – the scandalous possibility of a derogation from the ban on endocrine disruptors. But events did not take place exactly as the Commission would have wished. Many Member States (including France and Sweden) opposed the proposal. The Commission found that it could not even hope for 40% support. The vote was therefore postponed until the spring.

“By bringing out one report after another, our association continues to sound the alert about the exposure of populations, especially the most vulnerable, to endocrine disruptors. This new report demonstrates again the urgency for action and the need to remove endocrine disrupting pesticides from the market,”

says Francois Veillerette, Director of Générations Futures.

“The EU has a unique opportunity to show that it truly cares about the health of its fellow citizens by proposing genuinely protective criteria for defining endocrine disrupting chemicals. That is not the nature of its current proposal. We urge all national governments to demand from the European Commission a serious proposal with a reasonable level of proof and without derogations to exclude suspected endocrine-disrupting pesticides,”

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, 11 October 2016. Our blog.

Do breakfast cereals contain endocrine-disrupting pesticides?

EXPPERT Survey 7 – EDCs pesticides exposure ; what are the exposures in daily life?

The worrying results of Générations Futures EXPPERT survey 7 on a breakfast food, muesli, show the ubiquity of cocktails of hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the everyday environment. The findings highlight the need for the EU Commission to revise its recently proposed criteria to identify EDCs so that they become effective in protecting health.

Paris, Brussels, 11 October 2016 – The EXPPERT 7 report addresses exposure to EDCs in food eaten at breakfast, a meal considered essential. Food is one of the most important routes of exposure for anyone who is not regularly using pesticides.

The survey represents the seventh part in the EXPPERT series (EXposition aux Pesticides PERTurbateurs endocriniens) on endocrine-disrupting pesticides. It is an initiative of Générations Futures, France, in partnership with the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Pesticides Action Network Europe (PAN E).

EDC pesticides
EDCs are natural or artificial substances that are foreign to the human body. Exposure to these chemicals can interfere with the endocrine system and induce many adverse effects on an individual or on a person’s children or grandchildren. Many pesticides or biocides are either proven or strongly suspected to be EDCs.

Act now
To demonstrate the urgency of preventive action in the field of endocrine disruption, Générations Futures has produced a series of reports based on surveys and research analyses showing the omnipresence of many endocrine disruptors in our environment, which results in significant human exposure (these are the EXPPERT reports).

A targeted report
The 7th Exppert Report looks at one of the most important ways people who are not pesticide users get exposed: through food. Breakfast should meet a quarter of the body’s daily energy needs. This meal should include cereals, mixtures of which can be found in muesli. Générations Futures therefore focused on this popular consumer product – buying and analysing 15 packets of non-organic and five packets of organic cereal or muesli with fruit (or similar additions).

Results

100 percent of samples from the 15 non-organic products contained pesticide residues, including traces of suspected endocrine disrupting substances. None of the samples from the five organic packets contained pesticide residues.

Some figures:

  • In the 15 samples from non-organic packets tested, 141 residues were found, out of which the concentrations of 70 could be quantified. Of these 141 residues, 81 are suspected EDCs, equivalent to 57.44 percent of the total.
  • On average, 9.4 residues were found in the non-organic samples (the sample having the most residues contained 14 and those with the least had six). The non-organic samples had an average of 4.6 residues from suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides.
  • Of the 70 non organic samples that could be quantified, the average concentration of residues was 0.177 mg/kg per sample. This level is 354 times higher than the maximum allowable concentration (MAC) tolerated in drinking water for all pesticides!

“Each new report by our association has demonstrated the urgency to act. These findings again reveal population exposure to too many pesticide residues that are suspected of being endocrine disruptors, which can act at very low doses,”

says Francois Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures.

“In June, the EU Commission announced its proposed criteria for determining EDCs but this definition is far from what is needed to protect the population’s health. The ubiquity of cocktails of EDCs in the environment is confirmed by this report. The findings must be taken into account by the EU Commission, which should revise its criteria to make them truly protective,”

he concludes.

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.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Private Profit v. Public Health

Join the campaign to remove chemicals from the EU-US trade talks

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) are today launching a campaign call via a new website and Twitter account. The campaign aims to ensure that the EU-US trade talks do not undermine EU chemicals legislation.

The United States and European Union are negotiating a new trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This agreement is a threat to the EU’s ability to protect people from toxic chemical exposure.

EU legislation is currently much more protective than US regulations. If chemicals are included in this trade deal, the EU could see its global leadership in protecting public health through tough laws like REACH watered down. In addition to pesticide legislation, TTIP could halt the EU’s progress on a policy to limit exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals.

What we want

The European Parliament has said that toxic chemicals should have no place in the TTIP negotiations. We agree and are calling for:

  1. Chemicals to be excluded from regulatory cooperation because it would provide new channels for private profit to hold power in the drafting or revision of EU laws.
  2. No elements of the controversial EU policy “Better Regulation” embedded in a legally binding trade agreement.
  3. No provisions enabling multinationals to sideline the EU courts and sue European states, the so-called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) or Investment Court System.What we’re already doing
    Today, at the start of the 13th TTIP round, HEAL, CIEL, the European Environmental Bureau and ClientEarth wrote to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to ask her to ensure that no elements of the increasingly controversial EU ‘Better Regulation’ agenda are codified in this legally-binding trade agreement. See Re: Call to exclude the ‘Good Regulatory Practices’ chapter from TTIP letter.
We need YOU!

We hope to bring together not-for-profit organisations to support our campaign, in particular those working in the areas of:

  • Public health
  • The environment
  • Trade
  • Toxic chemicals and pesticides
  • Cancer
  • Biodiversity (including those NGOs protecting bee populations)
  • Women’s and children’s rights
  • Not-for-profit health insurance organisations.
Contacts

A new campaign to protect EU chemical laws, HEAL, 25 April 2016.

Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance, Email, Tel: +32 2 234 36 40.

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Advisor, Chemicals & Chronic Disease Prevention, Health & Environment Alliance, Email, Tel: +32 2 234 36 45.

David Azoulay, Program Director, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Email, Tel: +41 22 789 05 00.

Aleksandra Terzieva, Campaign Coordinator, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Email, Tel: +32 471 93 17 08.

Perturbateurs endocriniens : nos vies empoisonnées

Envoyé spécial du 7 jeudi avril 2016,
Interviews de Charle Sultan, Lisette van Vliet, Stephane Horel

Une équipe du magazine “Envoyé spécial” a enquêté pendant des semaines sur ces polluants massivement utilisés dans l’industrie chimique, cosmétique ou agroalimentaire. On peut, sans le savoir, les ingérer ou les respirer et certains passent même à travers la peau. Ils sont soupçonnés de provoquer des problèmes d’infertilité et des malformations congénitales.

  • Envoyé spécial du jeudi 7 avril 2016, présenté par
    Guilaine Chenu, Françoise Joly, francetvinfo.
  • VIDEO. Envoyé spécial. Nos vies sont-elles empoisonnées ?, mis à jour le 08/04/2016, francetvinfo.
  • France 2 : Envoyé Spécial enquête sur les perturbateurs endocriniens, bioaddict.

Sur le même sujet

Chemical bisphenol-A classified as toxic

BPA new classification should apply after November 2017

image of BPA-receipt
At the beginning of February, the EU Commission and EU Member States agreed to the classification of bisphenol A (BPA) as a presumed human reproductive toxicant (category 1B). BPA-receipt.

Epidemiological studies have reported that more than 90 percent of people worldwide have BPA in their bodies.

Chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) classified as toxic, Health&Environment, 23 February 2016.

Chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is considered by many scientists to be a hormone disrupting chemical, and there is long list of adverse effects thought to be caused by this chemical, mainly linked with hormonal, fertility and developmental disorders. These include potential effects on the brain, mammary glands, kidneys, liver functioning and prostate glands. These effects may occur as a result of exposures that happen during biologically vulnerable phases of life. This is particularly relevant for people such as pregnant women, foetuses, infants, and young children.

At EU level, BPA was examined in order to be given a ‘harmonised’ (EU level) classification for its properties that are toxic to reproduction. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Risk Assessment Committee is responsible for the EU harmonised classification process. After the ECHA Risk Assessment Committee gave its recommendation, the EU Commission and Member States agreed on the 1B reprotox classification, which will now be sent, along with any other updates to the Classification law to the European Parliament for ‘scrutiny’. Subsequent to Parliament agreement, and publication in the EU’s Official Journal, its new classification will apply approximately after November 2017.

“This will bring on some consequences for how BPA can be used in Europe, but it is still taking too long to get measures that will significantly reduce people’s exposures across all sorts of product areas, including from food. For example, we call on the European Commission to eliminate BPA completely in food contact materials, instead of ushering in a ‘safe limit’ that doesn’t change current practices of the food contact plastics and canning industries.”

A number of EU laws contain specific measures to control chemicals classified as reproductive toxicants, such as the REACH chemicals law, the Cosmetics Regulation, the Pesticides Regulation, etc. The classification notably opens the way for BPA to be easily adopted as a Substance of Very High Concern in the REACH chemicals system.

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Advisor on Chemicals for HEAL, said

EU Commission breached law by failing to fulfil its legal obligations regarding EDCs

Rare moment: EU Commission abuse of power given by EP and council has been declared by EU highest court!

image of the statue-justice
By failing to adopt measures concerning the specification of scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties, the Commission has breached EU law.

A rare and crucial court judgement against the EU Commission was released yesterday.
The EU Court of Justice found in favour of Sweden’s case against the Commission for failing to fulfil its legal obligations regarding EDCs.

Sweden took the EU Commission to court after it missed its legal deadline to put forward scientific criteria to identify hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by the end of 2013. Several Member States, including Denmark, France, and the Netherlands joined the case, along with the entire EU Council of governments, and the EU Parliament.

The court found that the EU Commission had a clear obligation to adopt measures on the identification criteria by 13 December 2013 and no factors such as effects to the internal market, or putative scientific disputes changed that obligation. The court also found that no part of the regulation requires an impact analysis.

There was intense industry lobbying on EDCs which aimed to get an ‘impact assessment’, and the need to conduct this impact assessment is the reason the Commission gave for ignoring the law.

This is a rare moment: the Commission’s abuse of the power given it by Parliament and Council has been declared by Europe’s highest Court.
Will the Commission now curtail the Impact Assessment or will they continue regardless, with further delay at the expense of public health?

said Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Adviser, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).

EDCs interfere with the body’s highly sensitive hormone system. Studies point to EDCs causing obesity, diabetes and cancer. Even tiny amounts of EDCs pose particular risks to unborn children and infants. Policies are urgently needed to reduce human exposure. Costs attributable to exposure to a selected sample of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (with only the highest probability of causation) were recently estimated at €157 billion per year in the EU.

The EU Commission is currently conducting an impact assessment to analyse different options for defining the criteria for the identification of EDCs. The Commission intends the final criteria to serve for the biocides law, and the pesticides law (which has a similar requirement) as well as other laws that do not directly require identification criteria, such as the chemicals law REACH, and the cosmetics law. The impact assessment is expected to delay the setting EU criteria for defining EDCs until 2017 at the earliest.

HEAL has long maintained that is it not legitimate to conduct an assessment of social, economic and environmental impacts in order to determine scientific identification criteria. HEAL also insists that the delay on criteria is causing unnecessary further exposure of the public to EDCs, which is harmful for health.

Originally posted on 16 December 2015

EU court hearing puts spotlight on Commission delay over hormone disrupting chemicals

HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet attended a crucial court hearing against the EU Commission

This post content was published by HEALa leading alliance of health and environment groups working at EU level for better health, through a healthy environment.

image of European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg
HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet attended a crucial court hearing against the EU Commission. The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg heard Sweden’s case against the Commission for failing to fulfil its legal obligations regarding endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)

Reminder: The European Commission failed to adopt scientific criteria by 13 December 2013 for the identification of hormone disrupting chemicals under the Biocides Products Regulation. That law, adopted in 2012, requires biocide substances to be examined for endocrine disrupting properties, and if found, to be taken off the EU market except under certain circumstances. A similar even stricter law exists for pesticides. The European Commission Environment Directorate General had made good progress on draft criteria by spring 2013, but after immense lobbying by the chemical manufacturers and pesticide companies, the European Commission Secretary General decided an impact assessment on the criteria and further regulatory adjustments was necessary and under the new Commission President Juncker, the work on biocides criteria was transferred to the Health Directorate General.

Brussels, Luxembourg 18 November 2015 – A crucial court hearing against the European Commission took place yesterday. The European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg heard Sweden’s case against the Commission for failing to fulfil its legal obligations regarding hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

Sweden’s anger erupted after the European Commission missed its legal deadline to put forward criteria to identify EDCs by the end of 2013. The case is supported by the EU Council of governments, which is considered to be the highest political body of the European Union. The European Parliament and three governments are individually backing Sweden. They are Denmark, France and the Netherlands.

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Adviser, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), who attended the hearing, says:

When all EU governments and the European Parliament join together to prosecute the European Commission, it is clear that the Commission is getting it wrong. These delays are keeping Europeans exposed to chemicals that contribute to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes and obesity, infertility and learning disorders. We look to the European Court to make the Commission abide by deadlines set in European law to protect the health of Europeans.”

EDCs interfere with the body’s highly sensitive hormone system. Studies point to EDCs causing obesity, diabetes and cancer. Even tiny amounts of EDCs pose particular risks to unborn children and infants. Policies are urgently needed to reduce human exposure. (3) Costs attributable to exposure to a selected sample of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (with only the highest probability of causation) were recently estimated at €157 billion per year in the European Union.

The EU Commission is currently conducting an impact assessment partly prompted by intensive lobbying by the chemicals and pesticide industry. This is expected to delay the setting EU criteria for defining EDCs until 2017 at the earliest.

For Press releases, Media coverage, Notes for journalists and Contacts, visit HEAL’s paper.

Why Endocrine Disruptors, other Disrupting Chemicals and Pesticides should be banned

Call for ban on endocrine disrupting pesticides in Europe

In this short video clip, Lisette van Vliet (HEAL) and Hans Muilerman (PAN Europe) explain why endocrine disrupting pesticides and other endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in Europe should be banned, the goals of the multi NGO ‘EDC Free Campaign‘ and urge organisations to join them.