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Top policy makers support curbing EDC exposure to prevent cancer

MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) addressed a well-attended meeting on preventing cancer through reductions in exposure to EDCs.

The meeting was co-organised by the association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), HEAL and hosted by MEP Christel Schaldemose, Vice President of MAC. The meeting also heard from MEP Alojz Peterle, MAC President and Rapporteur for the 2010 EP resolution on EU Cancer Partnership (Slovenia) and Pavel Poc, MAC Ambassador for Colorectal Cancer.

Effective regulation could contribute to reductions in hormonal cancers, such as breast cancer, which is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and of the prostate, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. It could also help to bring down rates of testicular cancer, which is increasing among young men in Europe.

MEP Schaldemose (left) told the meeting that despite the rapidly growing scientific evidence and the growing public concern, the delays in effective action continue. What is needed now is a proper identification of EDCs – one that ensures these harmful chemicals are found and ultimately eliminated.

Director of ECL Wendy Tse Yared (right) told the meeting that curbing exposure to EDCs should become a central part of cancer prevention strategy in Europe. Rapid rises in rates of breast and prostate cancer in recent decades could not be explained by improved diagnostics. This upward trend coincided with an increase in chemicals and that sufficient evidence now exists that EDCs heighten cancer risk.

HEAL’s Executive Director Génon K. Jensen (left) explained that HEAL members, including a number of cancer groups, are convinced that exposure to EDCs is a likely explanation of why that are hormone dependent have been rising.

Dutch toxicologist Dr Majorie B.M. van Duursen (right) added that numerous studies on breast cancer showed that exposure to EDCs (such as BPA, PBDE and pesticides) can adversely affect the normal development of the mammary gland, potentially making it more susceptible to cancers. Each day new studies appear related to EDCs and chronic conditions, including hormonal cancers, infertility, obesity and diabetes.

Useful information

- HEAL Press Release, 7 January 2015: MEPs discuss cancer prevention through better regulation of hormone disrupting chemicals
- The Parliament Magazine, 9 January 2015: Europe-wide cancer group calls for action on hormone disruptors

Credit: Photos kindly provided by Spela Celik, European Parliament

Originally posted on 12 February 2015

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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 »


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