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Global call to take action on chemicals in consumer products and pesticides

A group of influential scientists from the Endocrine Society have called on the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and other global players to take action to prevent harm from endocrine disrupting chemicals in consumer products and pesticides. These chemicals likely play a role in increased incidences of reproductive diseases, cancer, obesity, and type-2 diabetes worldwide.

The joint letter by scientists, who include authors of a recent WHO/ UNEP report on EDCs, and the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), is part of a growing call to politicians and regulators to identify and control these harmful chemicals that can damage the hormonal systems in humans and wildlife.

Exposure to EDCs during foetal development and puberty is considered to play a role in the increased incidences of reproductive disease, cancers, asthma, behavioural and learning problems such as ADHD and others. EDCs are in many products used by consumers in daily life, and tests show the presence of dozens of chemicals with hormone disrupting properties in people, including children.

In the letter to UNEP, WHO, OECD and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), scientists from the Endocrine Society and the IPEN network urge global action and recommended a number of scientific elements to guide future efforts on EDCs. In the September 2012 meeting of SAICM, more than 100 governments reached consensus agreement that action is needed, but no work plans have yet been made.

HEAL is a participating organisation of IPEN and HEAL Executive Director serves on the IPEN Steering Committee.

Useful documents

WHO UNEP 2012 State of the Science Report

The Impact of Endocrine Disruption: A Consensus Statement on the State of the Science

Global action needed on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) - Letter from IPEN and The Endocrine Society

Scientists urge UN to take action on chemicals in consumer products and pesticides - Press release

Originally posted on 7 June 2013

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