EU publishes strategy on hormone disrupting chemicals

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

EU publishes strategy on hormone disrupting chemicals
The European Commission has published a strategy to clarify its position on so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

A number of scientific research programmes have indicated that there is evidence that chemicals found in a variety of consumer products, including cosmetic and personal care items, are linked to health problems, including infertility, cancer and obesity.

The strategy, described as “long overdue” by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), updates an earlier EU strategy that was first published back in 1999, and brings new research to support the strategy.

Clarifying scattering rules

The EU’s research into the ECDs has focused on cosmetics and personal care products, as well as a number of other everyday products, including toys and food packaging.

That research has led to estimates that the damage caused by EDCs in European society has cost an estimated Euros 163 billion.

The Commission’s new strategy aims to clarify the scattered set of rules governing EDCs in consumer products and to identify where gaps exist in the strategy to enhance consumer protection.

BEUC wants better consumer protection

The measures are being backed by the BEUC, which says it hopes that the new measures will serve to close down loopholes that allow a host of consumer products to be manufactured with EDCs.

Hormone disturbing chemicals pose a serious threat to the health of current and future generations and too much time has been wasted bickering about definitions and testing methods. This strategy is a real chance to tackle the problem head-on,”​ said Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC.

“It would be irresponsible to adopt a wait-and-see approach. The gaps in consumer protection are evident: EU laws on cosmetics and toys fail to have any clout tackling EDCs, while for many product groups such as textiles or absorbent hygiene products no rules exist at all.”

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