News 2015 / April

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Report calls for non-toxic healthcare

In light of the current European Environment and Health Process Mid-term Review, the non-profit coalition Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe has released a report calling for a phase-out of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in health care.

The report highlights that patients are routinely exposed to EDCs, such as phthalates and BPA, through medical devices. These EDCs may leach out into the patient’s body and can potentially interfere with the normal functioning of the hormonal system. The report is “a plea for policymakers and governing bodies to demand the phase-out of hazardous chemicals from medical devices and the adoption of a new regulation on medical devices that eliminates phthalates and BPA from healthcare. ”

Growing scientific evidence is linking EDCs to a wide range of health problems such as infertility, male reproductive dysfunctions, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as neurobehavioral and learning disorders. Exposure on the unborn, neonates and children is of particular concern as these groups are very sensitive, also to low exposure.

At the review meeting, WHO and Europe Member States evaluate progress and discuss next steps towards meeting the goals of the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health. The Parma Declaration was ratified by Member States in 2010 and one of the goals is to tackle concerns raised by persistent, endocrine-disrupting and bio-accumulating harmful chemicals and nano-particles.

– We fully support HCWH’s call for a phase-out of EDCs and we want to see more companies substituting these hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives, says Frida Hök, Policy Advisor at ChemSec.

Report “Non-Toxic Healthcare: Alternatives to Phthalates and Bisphenol A in Medical Devices”