Today ChemSec publishes a position paper urging for the Commission not to include potency cut-offs in its proposed EDC criteria, expected ”before summer”. To not include potency as part of EDC identification has been the message from scientists in the field repeatedly over the last years and is also expected to be part of a scientific consensus statement soon to be published.
The statement is the result of 23 scientists meeting 11-12 April in Berlin. The meeting was arranged by scientists to ”reach scientific consensus on endocrine disruptors”. As the Commission is to soon present scientific criteria for EDCs, Commission representatives also attended the meeting.
– It is great that scientists engage and put effort in guiding decision makers in scientific topics, such as the identification of endocrine disrupters. We know that the participants at the meeting have different backgrounds and different standpoints in some issues, wherefore we much welcome that they managed to agree on a number of things. Now we are all excited to soon read the actual paper, says Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist.
The German Agency BfR, who hosted the meeting, has published some videos and presentations from the conference already. The meeting and the upcoming consensus statement is however just a minor part of the scientific base for the criteria development that the Commission has available. There are extensive reports and expert groups since years back.
In the light of this it was very surprising that the Commissioner for the Environment, at a press conference in March, stated that potency “will of course” be used in EDC criteria.
– We hope this was some kind of a misunderstanding and that the recent meeting has helped to clarify the difference between scientific criteria for identification and the legislative measures following after identification. Identification of EDCs must be based solely on science, meaning that potency cut-offs should not be included, says Dr Lennquist.
As is explained in the position paper; the Pesticides regulation, Biocides regulation and REACH all include provisions for the continued use of identified hazardous chemicals if the consequences of a ban are disproportionately negative.