NGOs call for broad European approach on endocrine disruptors

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A new report has recommended that the European Commission adopts a horizontal approach on endocrine disruptors to cover not only pesticides and biocides, but also other products.

The Commission presented a science-based set of criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in plant protection products and biocides in June last year. However, it has proved difficult to reach agreement among member states on setting criteria.

The new report, carried out by the Centre for International Law and ClientEarth, suggests that the criteria should be expanded to other sectors, noting that reducing exposure to endocrine disruptors would benefit healthcare systems and economies.

The environmental NGOs claim that the Commission was wrong to set criteria so narrowly, as the compounds can be present across everyday life. They suggest adopting an approach that covers several pieces of important legislation: the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), the Cosmetics Regulation, the Water Framework Directive, the Toys Directive, the Medical Devices Regulations, and the Food Contact Materials Regulation.

These regulations already contain provisions to restrict the use of endocrine disruptors but have not yet produced identification criteria. The report warns that the current approach is ‘problematic’ and could further delay identification of endocrine disruptors.


  • Europe, endocrine disrupters