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Revising the EU strategy on endocrine disruptors: nearing a decisive moment

HEAL has published an article on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in a leading international epidemiology and public health journal, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. In its commentary, HEAL argues that there is an urgent need for revising the EU strategy on endocrine disruptors.

Although the volume of scientific research on EDCs is enormous and continues to grow, a recent report on the implementation of the EU Strategy fail to convey any urgency about the continuing public exposure to EDCs. Many studies link EDCs with chronic diseases and disorders, such as testicular, breast and prostate cancers, decline in sperm counts, reproductive organ deformities, thyroid dysfunction, intelligence and neurological problems.

The implementation of the 1999 European Community’s Strategy on endocrine disruptors has been far too slow given the gravity and irreversibility of the potential implications from the science on negative health impacts of EDCs. Therefore HEAL urges decision makers to push for an ambitious a new EU EDC Strategy which could effectively prevent further ill-health and limit exposure.

A revised EU Strategy should systematically overhaul EU laws to respond swiftly to early warnings, triggering policy based actions. The forthcoming criteria for identifying and assessing EDCs need to capture those EDCs suspected of harmful impacts to which almost everyone is continually exposed. EU laws should be amended or strongly implanted to phase out EDCs.

In the absence of scientific certainty, we urge decision makers to adopt policy actions based on the precautionary principle, for quick and effective responses.

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health is an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in all areas of epidemiology.

Read the introduction of the full article here:

Last updated on 10 December 2012

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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