According to a new study released by the Endocrine Society, exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) is likely leading to a series of health problems costing the EU €157 billion annually. The study, led by a team of 18 scientists across eight countries, have assessed the economic impact related to exposure by accounting for health care expenses and lost earnings. The figure is conservative, since the study has limited the analysis to disorders with the strongest scientific evidence. Such disorders include infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as neurobehavioral and learning disorders.
– This study is a wake up call for policymakers and shows that the issue of EDCs needs to be pushed further up the political agenda. Limiting exposure would likely lead to significant economic benefits, says Frida Hök, ChemSec policy advisor.
A wide range of EDCs can be found in consumer products such as water bottles and can linings, plastic products, cosmetics, as well as in flame-retardants and pesticides. Nearly 100 percent of people have detectable amounts of EDCs in their bodies, according to the Endocrine Society.
Loss of IQ and intellectual disabilities in children’s developing brains caused by prenatal exposure to pesticides containing organophosphates, made up the biggest portion of the expenses, totalling between €46.8 billion and €195 billion a year. The second highest total is adult obesity linked to phthalate exposure, costing €15,6 billion annually.