The first of three round table meetings took place this week (March 25th), where the Commission informed those present about its' aims to pave the way for a proposal on the definition of scientific criteria to identify endocrine disruptors.
The second and third will take place on 23 and 24 April 2015 with MEPs and Member States.
The Commission says there will be further opportunities to get updates on the 'impact assessment process' and to exchange views on the topic at a conference in Brussels on June 1st.
Establishing 'scientific criteria'
EU-legislation requires the Commission to establish 'scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties' of chemical substances.
"In this context and according to its standard procedures, the Commission is carrying out a comprehensive impact assessment, which will assess the options outlined in the roadmap and will consider the potential effects on health, environment, trade, agriculture and socio-economic aspects in general."
Interested parties from both within and outside the EU are invited to participate in the upcoming meetings. Pending adoption of these criteria, interim criteria for identifying endocrine disrupting chemicals apply.
More information about the context of this initiative can be found in the roadmap: "Defining criteria for identifying Endocrine Disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation".
The roadmap provides background to this dossier, sets out the scope of the impact assessment, and presents the policy options that are being assessed in the impact assessment.
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.