At the EU Environment Council meeting, Commissioner Janez Potočnik told member states that there will be progress on the call for action, which is supported by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Poland and Sweden.
The request put before the council also included a call for a European definition consistent with the toxicological and ecotoxicological characteristics of EDCs and based on the intrinsic hazardous properties, without considering potency.
There was also a request to establish three categories of substances: known, presumed or suspected EDCs, depending on the degree of certainty about their properties.
Disappointment expressed at 'lack of action'
Prior to the assembly, Danish Environment minister Kirsten Brosbøl had expressed her disappointment at the lack of action of the European Commission in adopting criteria that determine if a substance is an EDC.
"Today, we are one of the countries that bring up the case and tell the Commission that this is unacceptable," she said. .
The European Commission has now clarified that the consultation will be on the criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
EDCs in the EU
EDCs are generally referred to as synthetic substances that have hormonal activities and therefore might interfere with either the production or the activity of hormones within the endocrine system, leading to adverse effects. Among substances suspected to be EDCs are bisphenol A, phthalates, parabens, several synthetic UV-filters, and pesticides.
Although the use of EDCs in cosmetics like parabens, ethyl methoxycinnamate and benzophenon are currently not illegal, the EU’s policy is to allow only those ingredients that have been proven safe.
The UK and Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) have previously developed a tiered assessment concept for EDCs and human health impacts.