EU panel recognises four chemicals as human hormone disrupters

A top European Union committee has for the first time recognised chemicals as hormone disrupting for humans.

Substances with these endocrine disrupting (EDCs) properties have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems and other health effects. Now, as a result of the February 2017 vote by the EU REACH committee, the EDC notation on four chemicals will appear in their records on the EU Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC).

“The EDC criteria discussion has been a long and painful and somewhat of a never-ending story. Therefore we are very pleased with this concrete step in the right direction”, said Frida Hök, policy adviser with the environmental non-profit ChemSec.

The four chemicals in question, DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP, are all phthalates used as plasticisers in plastic products. ChemSec says it has been identifying EDCs for many years and in 2011 started adding substances to its SIN [Substitute It Now!] List based solely on their hormone disrupting properties.

Currently, the SIN List contains 32 substances identified by ChemSec as EDCs, which the group says makes it the most comprehensive list of EDCs available. It says chemicals on the SIN List have been identified by ChemSec as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) based on criteria established by the EU chemicals regulation REACH.


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