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WECF: Dutch TV Program Zembla on EDCs and their great risk to children

For many years Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) has been raising awareness of the harmful effects of EDCs on children’s health - a risk which has led many European countries to press forward with legislation and information targeted at consumers and pregnant women in particular – however this is not the case in the Netherlands.

WECF recently worked closely with a Dutch TV program called Zembla which travelled to Denmark for a documentary on EDCs. The issue has been high on the Danish political agenda for years and the government has therefore implemented legal measures and public campaigns to inform pregnant women how to reduce their exposure and avoid EDCs. To protect public health the Danish government tries to ban these substances from consumer products. Other European countries such as Sweden, France and Belgium are also taking action.

The issue of EDCs is underestimated by the Dutch government and economic interests are often given priority over public health. During Zembla’s documentary, Dutch scientists and pediatricians discussed their sincere concern of the effects of EDCs on pre and post natal development. There is growing evidence that these chemicals may result in permanent health damage to the hormone system of a baby. Pregnant women are exposed to EDCs on a daily basis, often transferring the chemicals to the child. The Dutch Minster of Health and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) refused to answer questions from the ZEMBLA team.

The Zembla Program can be watched here (in Dutch).

The English translation of the Zembla program can be downloaded here.

After the documentary was aired, an open letter was sent by HEAL Dutch member organisations (WECF, Pesticides Action Network Europe (PAN-E) and Foundation Ecobaby) to the Minister of Health and the Secretaries of State of Environment and Economic Affairs in the Netherlands asking them why the Dutch government fails to protect vulnerable groups against chemicals of concern such as EDCs. The letter presented nine urgent policy measures that the Dutch government should take to protect children from EDCs.

Originally posted on 6 February 2014

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