A new website compiling lists of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has just been launched by a collaboration of authorities in Denmark, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Sweden.
The webpage contains three separate lists of EDCs.
- one listing substances officially identified as EDCs in the EU (list I),
- one listing substances under evaluation for endocrine disrupting properties under an EU legislation (list II)
- one listing substances considered as EDCs at the national level in one of the participating Member States (list III).
The purpose of compiling the lists is to inform stakeholders about the current status of EDC assessments of substances within the EU, in order to accelerate the further identification and regulation of these chemicals in the EU.
CHEM Trust and the coalition EDCFree Europe have long called for the publication of official EU lists of endocrine disruptors and suspected endocrine disruptors – an initiative that should have been taken by the European Commission. We see them as a vital tool in speeding up the identification of EDCs to protect human health.
Other lists that are currently available include:
- A more comprehensive list of EDCs hosted by The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX); the TEDX list of potential endocrine disrupters contains over 1400 suspected and identified EDCs.
- ChemSec`s detailed assessments of the science led to the identification of at least 32 EDCs relevant for REACH as part of their SIN list.
- In 2018 UNEP published three overview reports on worldwide initiatives on EDCs, including a non-exhaustive list of identifed and potential EDCs.
Dr Ninja Reineke, Head of Science at CHEM Trust said
This is a very encouraging initiative, which is a step forward for more transparency on EDCs in the EU. However, compared to other EDC inventories, these lists are still very limited.
To protect human health we must accelerate the identification of EDCs in the EU. An official list of suspected EDCs would support proactive businesses in substituting substances that are suspected of being EDCs, and would support consumers to make informed choices and take action.
The European Commission is currently undertaking a ‘Fitness Check’ on EU EDC laws, and this is expected to feed in to a new EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability due to be published in September 2020. In the CHEM Trust response to the consultation on the EDC Fitness Check we made several proposals for ways forward, arguing for a new category of suspected EDCs for substances for which there is a substantial amount of evidence for endocrine disrupting properties, but where the evidence is not sufficient for full identification. In our analysis the use of such suspected EDCs should not be permitted if it will lead to consumer exposure or environmental release.
Meanwhile discussions are continuing at a technical level between the Commission and Member States on how to achieve a more coherent and horizontal approach for identifying EDCs, see here for our comments on this process within the REACH Competent Authorities Meetings (CARACAL).