(Originally published on 13 June 2013 by The Collegium Ramazzini, http://www.collegiumramazzini.org/news1.asp?id=105)
The Collegium Ramazzini has sent a letter to President Barroso and Commissioners Tajani, Potočnik, and Borg urging stringent hazard-based evaluation criteria for EDCs and a precautionary approach that will protect the general population and workers against these serious hazards.
The Collegium Ramazzini, an international academy of 180 scientists from 35 countries, experts in environmental and occupational health, has released a statement calling for new ways to test chemicals and to revise current approaches to risk management.
The impending decisions regarding EU Chemicals Policy, specifically with regard to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), have raised serious concerns in the international scientific community. Europeans are exposed to EDCs, both natural and synthetic, to an extent that is causing adverse health effects. They include serious conditions like testicular, breast and prostate cancers, decline in sperm counts, pregnancy loss, puberty abnormalities, reproductive organ deformities, neurological problems, diabetes and obesity. Recent research suggests that the EDC effects can even be transmitted to future generations.
In regard to the REACH authorization, the Collegium Ramazzini recommends improved test protocols and expanded test requirements to allow identification of EDCs, for which a safe threshold cannot be determined at present. Thus, the scope of REACH art 60(3) should be extended by default to all EDCs as substances of very high concern. Stringent hazard-based evaluation criteria must be used for EDCs. In this process, GLP studies should not be considered the only basis for risk assessment, which must consider all academic research of high quality. Only in this way can the EU satisfy the requirement for a precautionary approach that will protect the general population and workers against these serious hazards.
Collegium Ramazzini President Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, Dean for Global Health and Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York comments: “exposure to EDCs must be controlled, particularly considering the evidence that early life stages – including fetal, neonatal, and childhood development – are particularly vulnerable to EDCs. Exposures in early life to EDCs can trigger onset of diseases in childhood and also later in life.” Landrigan is also Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Mt. Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center.
Collegium Ramazzini Fellow Philippe Grandjean, MD, Professor and Chair of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, notes “previous statements of the Collegium Ramazzini have provided important evidence for EU policy makers with regard to chemicals safety, including recommendations on the control of pesticides in 2008 and of biocides in 2010. We urge policymakers to once again to consider the position of international scientists.”
Related positions of the Collegium Ramazzini, including:
–The Control of Pesticides in the European Union: A Call for Action to Protect Human Health (2008)
–Control of Biocides in the European Union: The Collegium Ramazzini Calls for Action to Protect Human Health (2010)