EU experts unable to agree on EDC thresholds approach

The EU’s Joint Research Council (JRC) has issued a new report on thresholds of adversity for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The report Thresholds for endocrine disrupters and related uncertainties recognises that EDC thresholds are difficult to establish and reveals a lack of consensus among the EU’s experts. This follows a meeting of the Endocrine Disrupter’s Expert Advisory Group (ED EAG) in February 2013.

According to the report, the majority of ED EAG members agree that thresholds of adversity are likely to exist, although these may be “very low” and even lower during foetal development. However, other members question whether thresholds exist at all during the developmental stage.

“The scientific uncertainty around whether we can set exposure thresholds for EDCs using existing testing methods, and whether thresholds exist at all for some life stages, supports our position that we need to take a precautionary approach to substances suspected to be EDCs,” stated Laurel Berzanskis, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Policy Officer for Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe.

HCWH Europe believes that promoting safer alternatives and limiting exposure is the best strategy given the lack of consensus on this issue. We encourage those in the healthcare profession to make use of our Safer Medical Devices Database, which offers information on phthalate-free alternatives to potentially harmful chemicals.

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