Health groups call on the leaders of the Western Balkan countries to harmonize national air quality standards with the World Health Organization Global air quality guidelines. Health experts should be actively involved in these decision-making processes to ensure the timely integration of public health measures into environmental policies. Compliance with WHO recommendations brings multiple benefits – reduced incidence of chronic diseases and premature deaths, reduced overall health costs and, most importantly, better health and higher productivity of people.
Helsinki/Brussels, 16 June 2017 – The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) today recognised bisphenol A (BPA) as a substance of very high concern because of its endocrine disrupting properties for humans. . This is a big step in protecting Europeans’ health and illustrates the need to speed up the pace in identifying and regulating EDCs at EU level.
The decision was taken unanimously in the ECHA Member States Committee, which met this week in Helsinki.  France had proposed for BPA, which has already been classified as toxic for reproduction , to be placed on the ECHA list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) as an endocrine disruptor for other adverse health effects (on mammary gland development, cognitive functions, and metabolism). 
Natacha Cingotti, Health and Chemicals policy officer at the Health and Environment Alliance, said: “Endocrine disrupting chemicals that are omnipresent such as bisphenol A are one of the defining human health challenges of our times. The recognition of BPA as a substance of very high concern because of its endocrine disrupting properties for humans is long overdue and of crucial importance so that measures to reduce people’s exposure to the substance can be introduced in the future.”
The very well documented and structured dossier prepared by France was the basis of intense debates in the Member States Committee.  This illustrates why it is crucial to get identification criteria for EDCs right in the discussions currently happening in parallel in the context of the pesticides law. 
“Although the adverse effects of BPA have been documented extensively, the difficulties to get it recognised as an endocrine disruptor is yet another reminder of the critical importance to get the proposed EDC criteria right in the EU pesticides committee in the coming weeks,” added Natacha Cingotti.
“We urge France to hold its line in favour of strong criteria, rejecting the current proposal discussed in the context of the pesticides law, and other countries to follow them“.