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HEALTH : MEPS DENOUNCE DANGERS OF ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS.

The European Parliament encourages the EU to reduce human exposure to endocrine disrupters, in particular for vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, babies, children and teenagers. In a non-legislative resolution adopted on 13 March, MEPs state that endocrine disrupters should be considered as substances of very high concern within the meaning of the REACH regulation, which means that they should be banned or restricted and replaced by safer alternatives. They also call for a revision of existing legislation to tighten up the current rules.

The resolution represents the EP's contribution to the revision of the 1999 EU strategy for endocrine disrupters, announced for 2013.

"INADEQUATE" FRAMEWORK

Endocrine disrupters are chemical substances suspected of interefering with the hormone system. They are present massively in the environment, including in food packaging, cosmetic products, building materials, electronic goods, etc. There are presently around 27,000 research reports on this subject that highlight their connection with cancers, early onset of puberty, declining fertility and so on. There are nonetheless no European criteria to determine whether a substance should be considered as having endocrine disrupting properties, nor any coordinated or combined monitoring programmes specifically dedicated to endocrine disrupters. "EU legislation on chemical substances is insufficient to determine whether a substance has endocrine disrupting properties and there is a lack of standard data requirements. That is why we are seeking appropriate information and testing methods," explained rapporteur Asa Westlund (S&D, Sweden).

REVISION BY 2015

The resolution asks the Commission to amend existing legislation by 1 June 2015 or to present new legislative proposals that set up a risk and hazard assessment, if a preliminary review demonstrates its necessity. For the shorter term, MEPs invite the Commission to present a road map identifying actions and objectives aiming specifically to reduce exposure to endocrine disrupters. They also ask it to include in its revised strategy on endocrine disrupters measures to protect human health effectively by placing greater emphasis on the precautionary principle, while observing the proportionality principle. Lastly, they ask the executive to step up research to assess both the potential endocrine disrupting effects of different chemical substances and the cumulative effects of defined combinations ofsubstances on the hormone system.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Mar 27, 2013
Words:363
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