There is growing evidence that EDCs may result in permanent health damage to the hormone system of children. Children’s health should be our primary concern.
What are EDCs?
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s) are artificial hormones that act as natural ones in our bodies. Our hormones are a product of the endocrine (hormone) system, which comprises of the organs and glands that function, but are not limited to: growth, reproduction, digestion, and even responding to stressful situations. EDC exposure is most critical during stages of development because these artificial hormones can take the place of natural ones, which can hinder the proper development of the endocrine system, thus possibly causing long-term negative health effects.
EDCs in consumer products can cause health problems
EDCs have been linked to several health problems like reproductive abnormalities, cancer, obesity, early puberty and etc. Among the chemicals that interfere with the hormone system are phtalates, pesticides, bisphenol A and many others.They can be found in consumer products like cosmetics, toys, medical equipment, or food packaging. Despite the many known EDCs, many other chemicals are not yet fully tested whether they have endocrine disrupting properties or not.
Pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable group, since EDCs can have longterm and severe negative effects on the hormone system of even unborn babies.
Since foetuses and pregnant women are undergoing some of the most crucial stages of development in a lifetime, they are particularly vulnerable to EDC effects.
Are there laws that protect?
In the EU, The European chemical legislation, REACH (Directive 2006/121/EC) and the Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) are the legal regulations that deal with EDCs. However the are many flaws and loopholes between these two policies that allow for production, manufacture, and sale of EDCs. However, the admittance of negative EDC effects allows for consumers to take their own initiatives regarding EDCs, with the help of scientific and non-governmental awareness raising.
EDCs in SAICM
As participating member of IPEN, WECF contributed actively to the position paper on EDCs presented at the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting in October 2011 in Belgrade, where the issue of EDCs was proposed to be one of the next emerging issues of SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management) in ICCM2 (SAICM’s International Conference on Chemicals Management). However, the OEWG decided not to include it, but at ICCM3 in September 2012, the EDCs were addressed as a global emerging policy issue. WECF was one of the “dedicated public interest groups” that advocated EDCs as an emerging policy issue, and aided its recognition.
ChildProtect calls for a precautionary approach,
A precautionary approach implies that chemicals that are known to have negative impact on the hormone system should be phased out and/or substituted. They should specifically not be allowed for use in products that come in contact with pregnant women and children. Enhanced test methods and sound criteria for EDCs need to be developed.
What are EDCs ?
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