By Little Pro on 2016-03-09 Views: Update:2018-02-09
Endocrine disruption is when an exogenous factor (i.e. a chemical substance) causes a change in the function of the natural hormone system. However, a chemical substance is only called an endocrine disruptor when this change leads to adverse health effects.
There is growing concern in the EU and worldwide about negative human health and environmental impacts possibly caused by endocrine disruptors. The EU has introduced specific legislative obligations aimed at phasing out endocrine disruptors in water, industrial chemicals, plant protection products and biocides.
Under REACH regulation, endocrine disrupting chemicals are considered of similar regulatory concern as substances of very high concern. Under the Plant Protection Products Regulation and the Biocidal Products Regulation, substances considered to have “endocrine disrupting properties” will not be authorized or even be banned.
Currently, a list of 700 chemical substances are being screened against various ED criteria (i.e WHO/IPC) for the purpose of exercise and impact assessment. The list included almost all EU approved pesticides (341 substances) and biocides (96 substances) and about 200 other substances regulated by REACH, cosmetic regulations and the water framework regulation.
It shall be noted that chemical substances are included in this screening exercise does not mean that the substances should be considered as "endocrine disruptors" or "suspected endocrine disruptors". The list can be accessed here.
On 15 June 2016, the European Commission published proposed ED criteria, which are the same as WHO definition published a decade ago. More info can be found here.