News 2016 / April

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Scientists: “The potency concept is not relevant for identification of EDCs”

There is enough scientific consensus to regulate EDCs and the delay of the criteria cannot be justified by scientific uncertainty. This is the opinion of leading endocronologists Andreas Kortenkamp, Thomas Zoeller and others, in a just published scientific article, which discusses the EDC criteria to be set in the EU.

The paper carefully discusses the four different proposed criteria options as well as the relevance of the on-going impact assessment, which the authors strongly criticise:

“Making a scientific definition dependent on the results of an impact assessment would be a dangerous precedent for public health and science in general.”

Additionally, the article explains why potency is not relevant for hazard identification in general. There are several reasons for this, including that potency must be established endpoint by endpoint, and that it must consider relevant exposure data. The scientists also argue that potency is not used to identify other hazardous chemicals, such as carcinogens or reprotoxic chemicals.

Very much in line with this, ChemSec recently published a position paper explaining why potency cut-offs should not be part of criteria for identification of EDCs.

– We now have strong messages from member states, from the Parliament, from the EU Court of Justice and from scientist that the impact assessment should not be part of the establishment of scientific criteria. This scientific paper again also emphasise that potency cut-offs are irrelevant to identification of EDCs, says Dr Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist. The Commission cannot ignore this and if they still do, by proposing criteria with potency cut-offs, it would be a true scandal.

The authors also emphasise that there is scientific consensus to regulate EDCs, and regret the delay of delay of the criteria:

“We believe that scientific criteria identifying EDs should follow the logic of the EU criteria for other serious hazards such as carcinogens and reproductive toxicants. We regret that several years have been spent on trying to issue scientific criteria defining a hazard that actually has been defined years earlier by a state-of-the-science report from WHO.”

Scientific article from ”Environmental Health Perspectives”

ChemSec position paper on EDCs