Filed under: chemicals, Environment/Ecology | Tags: endocrine disrupters, toxicity testing
19 European Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have written to the European Commission to demand leadership in taking urgent action on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs can cause damage to the endocrine systems of humans and other organisms which can have devastating effects such as causing sex hormone imbalance and increasing the chance of certain cancers such as breast or testicular cancers.
This request does not merely dwell on the problems caused by EDCs but, rightly, highlights the fact that current testing protocols are not adequate in identifying which chemicals are or are not EDCs. The problems that this causes are not just that EDCs may be being used in various circumstances, but that ‘safe’ chemicals could be wrongly prohibited causing problems for industry.
Furthermore, the issue of animal testing is highlighted. The strategy to reduce animal testing – indeed, to phase it out completely for cosmetic products – will require that alternative non-animal testing methods to be developed and, crucially, accepted. These tests will obviously need to be validated to prove their worth, and are necessary to carry out the volume of testing required to identify conclusively EDCs used across the EU.
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