Endocrine disruptors are chemicals which under certain conditions can impact on the hormonal system of humans and animals. Endocrine disruption is a fairly recent way of looking at the toxicity of chemicals. In recent years, the scientific community and authorities worldwide have been discussing this topic and how to regulate it. Significant progress has been achieved, both in the EU and international organisations.
Adoption of a strategy on Endocrine Disruptors
On 7 November 2018, the Commission has adopted a Communication, confirming its commitment to protecting citizens and the environment from hazardous chemicals. The Communication also outlines how the Commission intends to ensure that the EU approach remains the most modern and fit-for-purpose in the world. The Communication delivers on the commitment taken by the Commission last year, when working with Member States on the criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in the areas of pesticides and biocides. It addresses the concerns of the European Parliament and the Council and follows up from the 7th Environment Action Programme.
The European Commission has a Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors since 1999. Subsequent revisions to EU legislation on chemicals took this strategy into account. The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP), adopted in 2013 by the European Parliament and the Council, provides for the harmonisation of hazard-based criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors.