EU goes halfway to tackling endocrine disruptors


Regular readers know that one of our ongoing concerns here at esnl is the proliferation of chemicals we’ve introduced into our environment that are capable of interfering with the action of the body’s endocrine glands, the source of regulatory chemicals impacting everything from height and weight to mood and sexual development.

We continually throw chemicals in to the world around us, into our refrigerators, our nurseries, our clothing, and so much more without having the faintest idea of what they maybe doing to us and the generations to come.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked to conditions ranging from ADHD and cancer to obesity and depression, afflictions linked to the chemicals [including most notably all manner of plastics, fire retardants, and more] decades after they’ve become ubiquitous.

Finally one major political entity is addressing the issue, albeit only halfway.

From the Guardian:

The European commission has launched the world’s first system for classifying and banning endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), against a barrage of criticism from scientists, NGOs, industry and consumer groups.

Endocrines are hormone-altering chemicals common in everyday substances from paint to pesticides that have been linked to an array of illnesses including cancer, infertility, obesity, diabetes, birth defects and reproductive problems.

Attempts to regulate them have been plagued by missed deadlines, buried official papers, censure from EU courts, and US pressure within the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations.

Hailing the release of the long-delayed endocrines policy, the EU’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that it showed that the commission was: “committed to ensuring the highest level of protection of both human health and the environment.”

But the proposal triggered an immediate backlash from endocrine scientists and green groups who said that it set an impossibly high burden for proof of public harm, when the onus should have been on chemicals manufacturers to show their products were safe.

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