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PVC-free Blood Bag: A cooperation between industry and healthcare for a non-toxic life

Did you know currently used blood bags in healthcare might pose risks to your health? At this moment, no acceptable PVC-free blood bag for red blood cells is available on the market. Today’s bag is made of PVC (polyvinylchloride) and has up to 40 percent plasticizer to make it soft. The most commonly used plasticizer in blood bags is the phthalate DEHP, which is classified as a reproductive disruptor and is also forbidden in toys. The risks of DEHP are emphasized in the directive for medical devices. Demanding PVC-free blood bags means avoiding potential risks from new plasticizers, which is a precautionary act as the consequences of new plasticizers cannot be predicted. To this end, the project PVCfreebloodbag is being implemented.

The project objectives are:
• To show that it is possible to produce a PVC-free blood bag that fulfil requirement specification, including CE-labelling;
• To increase demand by cooperation with European health care by disseminating knowledge and awareness.

The core actions:
• Increased demand for PVC-free blood bags
• Production of compounds, film, tubes and PVC-free blood bags
• Evaluation of blood bags
• User test including economic feasibility

You too can help increase awareness and disseminate knowledge:
• Sign the petition
• Join the LinkedIn group: PVCfreeBloodBag
• Learn more at www.pvcfreebloodbag.eu

PVCfreebloodbag is a project within the EU’s Life+ Environmental Programme. It started in September 2011 and will end in March 2016. The four European companies participating in the project, Melitek A/S, Wipak Oy, Primo Profile and Haemotronic SpA, will work together to produce a PVC-free blood bag. Karolinska University Hospital is responsible for evaluating the bag. Jämtland County Council is in charge of the handling test of the bags.

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EDc free Europe Mosaïque

Environment Council: 9 Member States urge the Council to target chemicals policy and non-toxic environment

WECF Press release, 18th December 2014

Ministers of the environment of the 28 gathered yesterday in Brussels for a last meeting during the Italian presidency. Besides key agenda topics like climate change, 10 countries supported an initiative to address chemicals policy, with the ultimate goal of reaching a non-toxic environment by 2018.

This initiative is very welcome and necessary at a time when priorities set by the Juncker Commission do not cover chemicals and reduction of exposure to chemicals of concern. WECF, as an NGO working towards a healthy environment for all and is involved with many others in the EDC-Free coalition, welcomes the meeting’s outcome as a good signal for 2015.

9 EU member states and Norway join forces to push for a non-toxic environment
With Croatia, Luxembourg and Norway supporting  the initiative of France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, it seems that more and more European countries care about the impacts of chemicals exposure on human health and ecosystems. Impacts of climate change and global burden of diseases associated with exposures to toxic compounds in the environment and consumer products are good reasons for them to care.

EDCs: define to adequately regulate
French Minister of Environment, Ségolene Royal, had announced during the Environmental Conference 2014 in Paris last November, its intention to intensify efforts to achieve a workable definition of endocrine disruptors at EU scale, making it possible to implement restrictions of EDCs in all relevant EU regulations. Several countries, like the Nordic Council, have added to the information available on the urgency address the global impacts of EDCs, whether health, environmental, social or economic.

Nanomaterials: register to reach transparency and knowledge
Last but not least, Member States recommend that the development of Union-wide database of nanomaterials be considered: such a database could be inspired from mandatory declaration a posteriori which exists in France, where nanomaterials’s use in many products have been a concern to citizens, stakeholders and NGOs for years.

“We were longing to see an increasing number of countries voicing their concerns on toxic chemicals’ impacts on health and the environment, and propose appropriate actions. It is very positive that the information note sent to the Council targets topics such as imported articles, textiles for children, EDCs and nanomaterials. As NGO, we see this as a clear signal of the Member States to engage immediately in concrete actions towards effective regulation and reduction of exposure to toxic chemicals. We hope that 2015 will be a starting point to do so”, explains Elisabeth Ruffinengo, health and environment advocacy officer at WECF.

Contacts:

  • Elisabeth Ruffinengo, Health and environment advocacy officer WECF France, + 33 (0)4 50 83 48 13/ + 33 (0)6 74 77 77 00
  • Anne Barre, President WECF France, + 33 (0)4 50 48 14
  • Chantal Van den Bossche, Press Officer, WECF the Netherlands, + 31 (0) 6 28129992

 

Briefing rapport Gezondheidsraad hormoonverstorende stoffen in Tweede Kamer

Volgende week dinsdag, 4 november, vindt in de Tweede Kamer een technische briefing plaats van het rapport van de Gezondheidsraad over “prenatale gezondheidseffecten van schadelijke stoffen’ , dat in maart verscheen.

In het rapport worden hormoonverstorende stoffen besproken. Maar in plaats van lezen kun je nu ook een film bekijken waarin met behulp van animatie duidelijk de gezondheidseffecten van hormoonverstorende stoffen wordt uitgelegd.

Bekijk de film hier

In augustus dit jaar werd de documentaire ‘ Endocrination’ uitgebracht door de Franse onafhankelijke journalist Stephane Horel. In deze documentaire spreken wetenschappers, beleidsmakers van de Europese Commissie, NGO’ s en woordvoerders van de chemicaliën en pesticiden industrie over het moeizame proces dat het ontwikkelen van Europees beleid op het gebied van hormoonverstorende stoffen bemoeilijkt en vertraagd.

De film laat duidelijk zien hoe het proces van beleid maken in Europa in zijn werk gaat en belicht de rollen van de verschillende belangengroepen. Aan de ene kant willen de beleidsmakers de burgers beschermen door een verbod op de hormoonverstorende stoffen. Zij hebben de wetenschap en de NGO’s aan hun kant. Aan de andere kant lobbyt de industrie ervoor om geen overhaaste beslissingen te nemen. Hierbij maken zij gebruik van PR middelen die ook de tabaksindustrie gebruikte toen overheden zich gingen richten op het maken van een tabakswet. De industrie gebruikt pseudo wetenschappelijke principes om tegen te gaan dat er wetgeving komt, ze schilderen voorstanders van een verbod op hormoonverstorende stoffen af als ideologisten. In de zomer van 2013 verscheen er een open brief gericht aan professor en secretaris generaal van de EU Anne Glover. In deze brief schreven een aantal toxicologen dat het onderzoek dat werd gebruikt als argument om over te gaan op een preventief verbod van de chemicaliën, geen wetenschappelijke gronden bevatte om dit verbod te rechtvaardigen, een bewering waarvan de meeste ondertekenaars van de brief later afstand van deden, en waar vanuit de wetenschap kritisch op werd gereageerd. Daarnaast bleek later dat een groot deel van de betrokken wetenschappers bij de brief, gelinkt kon worden aan verschillende bedrijven uit de industrie.

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Dit lobbyen in de hoogste regionen van de EU heeft ervoor gezorgd dat er momenteel een ‘impact assessment’ loopt waarin naast het maatschappelijk en milieu aspect ook het economische plaatje rondom een preventief verbod wordt belicht. Dit onderzoek kan zeker in het voordeel kan werken voor de chemicaliën en pesticiden industrie.

Helaas is het onderzoek nog niet gestart, en wordt het steeds verder uitgesteld.

De film belicht het hele proces tot nu toe, de makers laten zien wat de effecten zijn van de lobby van de industrie, en hoe er met een enkele brief, juist getimed en gericht aan de juiste persoon, een enorme vertraging op het proces van beleid rondom hormoonverstorende stoffen is ontstaan. Wat betekent dat er tot op de dag van vandaag nog geen beslissing is genomen door de EU over een verbod op hormoonverstorende stoffen.

WECF is van mening dat de gezondheid van alle inwoners van de EU, en vooral van vrouwen en kinderen, moet worden beschermd en verdedigd. Het WECF mengt zich daarom in het debat over hormoonverstorende stoffen, en dringt er bij beleidsmakers op aan een preventief beleid te voeren op het gebruik ervan in producten die bedoeld zijn voor zwangere vrouwen, baby’s en kinderen.

European Commission is consulting public on identifying EDCs

The European Commission is consulting organisations and individuals on identifying Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs). With the on-line consultation the Commission wants the public to help define criteria for EDCs as required by the regulations on biocidal and plant protection products.

EDCs 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.

The consultation can be found here.

Guest column ChemWatch: Axel Singhofen, Green MEPs adviser

Global Business Briefing, July/August 2014 / Europe

Written by Axel Singhofen, health and environment advisor, Greens/EFA group

The last 12 months have seen a surge of attacks against the EU’s precautionary principle. Some law firms consider it as a potential obstacle to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and UK Conservative MEP Julie Girling considers that “the EU’s expanding embrace of `precautionary’ regulation… may well be the biggest threat” to an agreement being signed off.

Last October, 12 CEOs of mainly chemical companies wrote to the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament, calling for the formal adoption of an “innovation principle” as a counterbalance to “precautionary legislation”, because they were concerned that “the necessary balance of precaution and proportion is increasingly being replaced by a simple reliance on the precautionary principle and the avoidance of technological risk.”

Some academics even conjure up a “precautionary impasse in Europe”, claim an “apparent gap between evidence-based analysis and expert-informed recommendations, and policy decisions that can seem disconnected from both”, and conclude there is “a necessity for change in light of the impracticability of a status quo that leads to scattered ill-thought out bans”.

And they seem to get the ear of professor Anne Glover, chief scientific advisor to Commission president José Manuel Barroso, who has stated publicly that she is concerned about the “inappropriate use” of the precautionary principle (CW 7 November 2013).

Do we really suffer from an inappropriate use of the precautionary principle?

Authoritative evidence on the use – or rather neglect – of the precautionary principle comes from the Late lessons from early warnings report, published last year by the European Environment Agency (EEA). This documents many cases in which societies failed to act in time to prevent serious harm to health and the environment. It finds that “if the precautionary principle had been applied on the basis of early warnings, justified by ‘reasonable grounds for concern’, many lives would have been saved and much damage to ecosystems avoided.” It also illustrates the reduced harm and stimulus to innovation that precaution can bring. And it showed that over-regulation due to the precautionary principle is the exception, whereas under-regulation is the rule.

So what is behind these multiple attacks on the precautionary principle? What are the allegedly “ill-thought out bans” that are referred to? It seems that recent measures that have upset the industry are the 2013 ban of three insecticides due to their risk for honeybees, and the Commission’s work on determining criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

According to the 2009 Regulation on plant protection products, EDCs should no longer be allowed to be used as active substances in pesticides, unless certain derogations apply. The European pesticides industry association (ECPA) had desperately tried to stop the adoption of any cut-off criteria during the legislative process – be they for EDCs or substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (CMRs) – but had failed. What was left to them was to make sure that the future EDC criteria do not bite.

With TTIP on the horizon, a new opportunity arose last year for the ECPA to mobilise through its US counterpart against meaningful criteria for EDCs. In May 2013, CropLife America wrote to the US Trade Representative, citing the neonicotinoid ban as an example of the “abuse of the precautionary principle by the EU” and describing as “highly problematic” the “categorisation of chemicals as endocrine disruptors currently taking place” as “this runs counter to the science-based risk assessment approach used by the US Environmental Protection Agency”.

And their arguments were fully taken up in this year’s report on technical barriers to trade by the US Trade Representative – which by its own admission was “created to respond to the concerns of US companies, farmers, ranchers and manufacturers, which increasingly encounter nontariff trade barriers in the form of product standards, testing, and other technical requirements as they seek to sell products and services around the world”.

Is the EU really running rampant, disregarding science and going for ill-thought out bans?

The first warnings about the adverse effects of neonicotinoids on honeybees are from 1996. The EU temporary ban of neonicotinoids is based on the latest two-year review of the science by the European Food Safety Authority, which found clear risks for honeybees. Who is disregarding science here?

The hazards of EDCs were first summarised for policy makers in the report on the Commission’s 1996 workshop in Weybridge. Since then, leading scientists have expressed their increasing concern about the rise of endocrine-related diseases in the EU and globally (WHO/Unep 2013), and have called for regulatory action (2013 Berlaymont Declaration).
A joint attack on the Commission’s activities with regard to criteria for EDCs by 18 editors of toxicology journals was thoroughly rebutted by scientists in the field. They pointed to the perplexing ignorance of the editors about the crucial irreversible adverse effects of endocrine disruptors, arising from their interference with developmental processes. In light of this evidence, isn’t it wise to avoid using EDCs in mass chemicals sprayed on our lands and food-growing cultures, unless there is a serious danger for plant health that cannot be controlled by any other means?

In the complex field of health and environment protection, simple links between cause and effect are the exception. Risks, of course, need to be assessed to a reasonable extent. However, the problem comes when only fully quantified risk assessments count, and when qualitative risk assessments are dismissed as “hazard-based”. In light of the inherent limits of science (and of available resources), those who call for complete quantitative risk assessments on each co-causal factor and their interconnections, before any regulatory action, actually call for no action.

Cost-benefit analyses add another safety net for the industry: while short-term costs to business can be identified, long-term benefits of regulatory action are often impossible to quantify (for example, reducing health impairments or maintaining eco-system services). This leads to a significant imbalance in favour of short-term interests of industry.

All of these issues have been described in detail before. The real issue at the heart of these controversies is a very simple one – it is all about economics. The EEA report showed that “in virtually all reviewed cases it was perceived to be profitable for industries to continue using potentially harmful products or operations”. European pesticide manufacturers have taken dozens of court actions against non-approvals of active substances – non-approvals which were based on comprehensive risk assessments.

This indicates that it is all about business, not about hazard versus risk – a false dichotomy decried by industry advocates in an attempt to discredit EU efforts to protect public health and the environment. The aim of the call for “sound science” is still the same as when it was originally designed by the tobacco industry: “to manipulate the standards of scientific proof to serve the corporate interests” (American Journal of Public Health, 2001).

The real dichotomy is between public versus private interests, between power of the regulator versus corporate control. In 1990 in the US, a landmark court judgementstopped the EPA from adopting a ban of asbestos in almost all products. But the consequences were far larger: with this judgement, the court raised the level of evidence (to be provided on the risks and on the costs and benefits for a restriction) so high that it basically made it impossible for the EPA to restrict chemicals in commerce through regulatory means from then on. It is exactly this disempowerment of the US regulator that industry on both sides of the Atlantic now tries to achieve in the EU via “regulatory co-operation” under the TTIP in the name of the seemingly reasonable call for “science-based risk assessment”.

Due to the particular meaning of science-based decision making in the US, it is still in the last century when it comes to chemical control. It has consistently opposed REACH and EU restrictions of chemicals. And it is an outsider in international chemical policy: unable to ratify the lowest common denominator of UN chemical treaties, such as the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions, due to shortcomings in US laws on chemicals, and unwilling to change that. This is not a very good reference for regulatory co-operation.

Unhappy with the entrenched adversarial positions, professor Glover recently suggested a new structure to the Commission as a possible way forward.She seemed to suggest that the problem lay with the way that the Commission gathers evidence, and that this could be solved if the scientific assessment was separated from those in charge politically. However, this fails to acknowledge that the key question remains: what strength of evidence is necessary to justify a certain action: reasonable grounds for concern, proof beyond reasonable doubt or full proof beyond any doubt? This decision is inherently political, and a function of many factors, including the nature and scope of the potential harm, those likely to be affected, the uncertainties involved, and the availability of safer alternatives. Vested interests will always call for the highest, if not impossible, levels of evidence – yet, the EEA report makes a very convincing case “for taking early warning signals more seriously and acting on lower strengths of evidence than those normally used to reach ‘scientific causality’.”

The current trench warfare between public and private interests is likely to continue, unless we integrate the hazards to health and the environment from industrial products into business decisions. As long as it remains profitable to sell chemicals that are not safe to use, it is no wonder that companies will oppose any restrictions on their business. Policy makers should create the conditions for businesses to meet the needs of both society and shareholders. The burden of proof must be reversed, external costs need to be internalised through taxes and charges, and plausible future damage must be minimised, eg by the use of anticipatory insurance bonds that are refundable if no harm ensues. Innovation, the latest buzzword of industrialists, cannot be a goal in its own right: what we need is innovation for sustainable development. We should move from quantitative risk assessments that unduly slow down regulatory action, and, thus, mainly help to defend “business as usual”, to comparative assessments that can show the way forward, involving a wider range of stakeholders.

The EU is at a crossroads: do we want a regulatory system that works for the benefit of all, or one that only suits short-term economic interests at the expense of human health and the environment? The outcome of the TTIP negotiations will decide which road will be travelled.

The views expressed in contributed articles are those of the expert authors and are not necessarily shared by Chemical Watch.

Article ChemWatch: EU countries to closely monitor DG Sanco on EDCs criteria work

Member States expecting progress with new Commission

Chemical Watch 25 September 2014 / Europe

Written by Leigh Stringer

Member States Competent Authorities (CAs) will be monitoring how the European Commission’s directorate general for health (DG Sanco) develops the criteria for defining endocrine disruptors (CW 18 September 2014). DG Sanco is to lead the development of EDCs criteria following changes planned for the new Commission that is scheduled to start its mandate on 1 November (CW 10 September 2014).

Responding to the changes, CAs in France, Denmark and the Netherlands say they will be taking a particular interest in DG Sanco’s work on the criteria to ensure progress is made. All three have been calling for stronger action on the issue, for the last few years.
Vincent Designolle, head of the chemical substances and preparations unit at France’s Ministry of Ecology, the CA for REACH, says the ministry would like the Commission to move forward in full consistency with France’s own strategy and proposals for an EU-level strategy on EDCs (CW 1 May 2014).

The Netherlands and several other EU countries are preparing to present their interests, regarding chemical regulation, to the Commission, says Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment’s (I&M) Jan Wijmenga. It is still in a preliminary stage, he says, but a first meeting has been held. He also says that the discussion centred on subjects that may be included in a letter to the EU’s environment ministers or to the commissioners-designate. “There have been meetings discussing the areas that should be regulated under REACH, like EDCs and nanomaterials. So these countries will be asking the new Commission many questions,” he says.

He adds that the Netherlands has been very clear in its aspirations for the old and new Commission. In 2012, they, along with nine other EU countries, sent a letter to the Commission on the lack of progress made on nanomaterials within REACH (CW 11 July 2012). “In the current framework, REACH is not very capable of handling nanomaterials or EDCs,” he says.

However, Mr Wijmenga says it makes little difference which DG deals with EDCs criteria because “whoever has control, we are all expecting to see action from the Commission.” “This expectation doesn’t change with the movement of responsibilities,” he adds.

Work has been ongoing in Denmark, which continues to call for progress on EDCs at national and EU level (CW 2 July 2014). The country’s environment minister, Kirsten Brosbøl, said in July that she will take the case of EDCs up with the new Commission, when it is in place. Henrik Søren Larsen, head of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemicals division, says the agency has “a special interest in the development of criteria for EDCs and will be following intensely” how DG Sanco conducts its work on the subject.

CAs in Germany and Hungary declined to comment, while Sweden’s Competent Authorities say they could not provide a response, due to the ongoing government transition.
Environment commissioner Janez Potocnik says a revised strategy on EDCs is ready but disagreements inside the Commission are preventing the directorate general (DG) for Environment from proposing it officially (CW 25 September 2014).

Meanwhile, member states are not fully clear on whether the changes will impact REACH, despite speculation that Sanco will be joining the directorate generals (DG) for environment and enterprise in overseeing the Regulation. Jukka Malm, director of regulatory affairs at Echa, says the agency’s role is to implement legislation. “If there are changes to the legislation, we have to adapt to those changes,” he says.

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Conference: Breast cancer, women’s reproductive health and EDCs

WECF France is co-hosting an international conference on ‘Breast cancer, women’s reproductive health and EDCs: from knowledge to prevention’ in Lyon on 14 October.

This is a unique opportunity to find out more on cancer prevention and share information, expertise and science with high-level scientists, professionals dedicated to cancer research and prevention of the Lyon area, health professionals, policy-makers, breast cancer groups and other stakeholders, with the common objective of making primary prevention a reality.

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world: in France and Europe, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives. Almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries (GLOBOCAN 2008).  The World Health Organization estimates that 19% of all cancers worldwide are attributable to the environment, which amounts to 1.3 million deaths each year.

A growing body of evidence makes it urgent to devote a consistent part of public health policies to the primary prevention of exposures.

For more information and to register click here

 

 

Article ChemWatch: “DG Sanco to assume responsibility for EDC criteria”

No comment from industry as NGOs worry about implications

Chemical Watch 18 September 2014 / Europe

Written by Carmen Paun, Leigh Stringer and Vanessa Zainzinger

The European Commission’s directorate general for health (DG Sanco) will lead development of criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), according to Bjørn Hansen, head of the chemicals unit at DG Environment, which has been in charge of the work until now. The switch is part of the changes planned for the new Commission, which is scheduled to start its mandate on 1 November (CW 10 September 2014).

The EDC criteria feature in the EU’s biocidal products (BPR) and pesticides Regulations (PPPR), and with DG Sanco in charge of the two policy areas starting next year, it will have “a higher stake” in proposing the new criteria, says Mr Hansen. His unit has been working with DG Sanco over the past few months on the issue (CW 16 June 2014), and he expects the two DGs will launch a public consultation on the criteria, before the end of the year.

DG Environment will still be in charge of the European Commission’s overall strategy on EDCs, as well as overseeing rules for test methods needed to detect chemicals with endocrine-disrupting properties, according to Mr Hansen.
Chemical Watch understands the delays (CW 28 May 2014) and controversy over the EDC criteria, prompted the Secretariat General of the EU Commission to advise the incoming president to move biocides policy from DG Environment to DG Health. The Secretariat General has not responded to a Chemical Watch request for comment on the issue.

“All the inter-services movements announced reflect President-elect Juncker’s determination to make the different policies and DGs more compatible with the new dynamic and collaborative team work he expects from the whole Commission and to break down silos,” a spokesperson for Mr Juncker says. The changes will not necessarily see the people responsible for EDCs in DG Environment moving to DG Sanco.

The International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (Aise) commented that its initial reaction to the move of biocides from DG Environment to Sanco is that it will not have “any positive or negative impact for industry. We look forward to see whether this means that the health aspect of biocides is going to take a more prominent role, because up until now the issue was only looked at from an environmental point of view,” says external affairs manager, Blanche Lermite. Several other industry associations contacted by Chemical Watch, including the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), declined to comment on the changes.

Meanwhile, a number of NGOs voiced concerns about DG Sanco taking over biocides and leading development of the EDC criteria. Gwynne Lyons of ChemTrust said: “Moving biocides from DG Environment to Health makes a mockery of the good work done in DG Environment, which had solicited democratic input from member states, all stakeholders and scientists to come up with draft criteria for EDCs back in June 2013. This restructuring and reassignment of the file is short-term politics to appease industry and it bodes ill for the environment and human health.”

She notes that DG Environment had been pursuing a hazard-based approach, but it seems that “powerful forces” have resulted in a more risk-based approach emerging, she says, pointing the finger at industry and the trade negotiations currently underway with the US. Ms Lyons also points out there is a legal issue, as the criteria are written in the BPR and PPPR. The NGO is keen to see the interim criteria implemented – these would see category 2 reprotoxins and carcinogens, and substances toxic to endocrine glands, classified as EDCs. This would catch a lot of EDCs so it is important they are imposed, she says. DG Sanco declined to comment on the changes.

Hans Muilerman of the NGO PAN Europe says that DG Sanco is not a good home for biocides, based on its work on pesticides. He claims DG Sanco has shown “zero commitment” to the sustainable use of pesticides Directive. The BPR requires the Commission to present a report by 18 July 2015 on the sustainable use of biocides and if there is a need to introduce additional measures, in particular, for professionals, to reduce risks posed to health and the environment through use of biocides.

The Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL) says: “It’s crucial that the momentum of the endocrine-disruptor policy process is not slowed down or the content weakened. If cutting edge EDC science is to be properly incorporated into the outcome, DG Environment’s expert work, in clarifying that a potency cut off has no place in scientifically robust EDC criteria, should remain a central component.”

Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) has similar fears. It is concerned that the change “would mean moving to a socio-economic approach rather than health and environment-based approach, especially given the forthcoming impact assessment which is foreseen for the next months. We fear that this means delays and postponing of decisions, while losing some key elements that have been agreed before, when DG Environment was in charge of developing EDC criteria.”

Henrik Søren Larsen, head of the Danish EPA’s chemicals division, says: “We have a special interest in the development of criteria for EDCs, so this is an important development of EU legislation, and clearly we will be following intensely how DG Sanco will deal with that topic.”
Emma Lindberg, political advisor to Sweden’s environment ministry, has confirmed that Sweden sued the Commission in July for its delay in publishing the EDC criteria. The Commission has two months to respond. “We are expecting an answer within a couple of weeks,” she says. Once the case has been published in the EU Official Journal, member states that wish to intervene must tell the Court within a specific timeframe.



Zoek je Nederlandstalige informatie over hormoonverstoorders?

Zoek je Nederlandstalige informatie over hormoonverstoorders? De WECF website Een Veilig Nest biedt veel informatie aan over hormoonverstorende stoffen (EDCs) met als doel om kinderen in een zo gezond mogelijke omgeving op te laten groeien.

Hier vind je een overzicht van alle informatie omtrent hormoonverstoorders op Een Veilig Nest.

Speelgoed zonder schadelijke stoffen
Wil je praktische tips over hoe je hormoonverstorende stoffen in het dagelijks leven kan vermijden?:  Wat verstoort jou? De lijst met te vermijden hormoonverstorende stoffen per productgroep op een rij. Ook bieden we een overzicht van de meest voorkomende schadelijke stoffen in consumentenproducten. En wil je meer weten over oorsprong en werking lees dan dit informatiesheet:  Hormoonverstorende Stoffen. Ook kun je  onze brochure over hormoonverstorende stoffen downloaden: Vermijd hormoonverstorende stoffen (EDCs).
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Praktische tips voor jonge ouders
Op 19 december 2014 was Zembla in zijn geheel gewijd aan hormoonverstorende stoffen, het programma met de titel “Zorgwekkende Stoffen” kun je hier bekijken.  Zembla vertaalde ook de Deense brochure voor jonge ouders in het Nederlands als extra service.
Voor andere praktische tips zie onze pagina’s over klussen, wonen, verzorgen en spelen op Een Veilig Nest. Over hormoonverstoorders in voeding kun je hier meer lezen. Je kunt natuurlijk ook de Facebook pagina van Een Veilig Nest volgen om altijd direct op de hoogte te blijven van het laatste nieuws.

Op de website van WECF vind je nog meer  informatie over onze campagnes en projecten rondom EDC’ zoals ons project ‘ChildProtect – bescherm kinderen tegen hormoonverstorende stoffen’.

Druk op de Europese Commissie neemt toe om actie te ondernemen tegen hormoonverstoorders

Na het Europees Parlement heeft nu ook het Franse Parlement een rapport gepubliceerd waarin het bij de Europese Unie aandringt om maatregelen te nemen tegen hormoonverstoorders. Het rapport stelt dat de volksgezondheid wordt bedreigd door de schadelijke effecten van hormoonverstoorders, wat zal leiden tot stijgende ziektekosten in de toekomst. Ook in Frankrijk rijst de vraag aan de Europese Commissie om een nieuwe strategie over hormoonverstoorders (EDC’s) uit te brengen waarin onder andere een definitie voor hormoonverstorende stoffen vastgelegd moet worden.

Eind februari 2014 heeft Childproof een standpunt over hormoonverstoorders aangenomen. Childproof roept de nationale en Europese politiek dan ook onder andere op om:

  • Europese criteria te ontwikkelen om EDC’s te identificeren, waarbij er rekening wordt gehouden met de specifieke kwetsbaarheid van jonge en ongeboren kinderen voor zelfs al zeer lage concentraties van deze stoffen.
  • Alle EDC’s te identificeren en uit te bannen, vooral bij producten waar kinderen en zwangere vrouwen mee in contact komen.
  • Indicatoren te ontwikkelen om de blootstelling van kwetsbare groepen (prenatale en postnatale kinderen) aan EDC’s te meten.
  • In beleidsmaatregelen m.b.t. EDC’s rekening te houden met het feit dat prenatale en postnatale kinderen het gevoeligst zijn voor de effecten van hormoonontregelaars.
  • Zolang EDC’s nog aanwezig zijn in producten moeten consumenten worden geïnformeerd over de gezondheidsrisico’s van hormoonontregelaars, zodat zij met kennis van zaken keuzes kunnen maken en hun gedrag en levensstijl kunnen aanpassen. Informatiecampagnes dienen in het bijzonder op de meest kwetsbare groepen te focussen (bv. informatiecampagne die zich tot zwangere vrouwen richt).

 

Daarnaast is de Gezinsbond samen met WECF (Women in Europe for a Common Future) en PAN-Europe (Pesticides Action Network Europa) in juli 2013 een LIFE+ project gestart, genaamd CHILDPROTECT. LIFE+ projecten worden gefinancierd door het Directoraat Generaal Milieu van de Europese Commissie. De komende drie jaar zal de Gezinsbond beleidsmakers, bedrijven en consumenten bewust maken van de problematiek van hormoonverstorende stoffen voor kinderen in onze leefomgeving. CHILDPROTECT past daarmee heel goed binnen het kader van het door de Gezinsbond gelanceerde concept ‘kindnorm’ waarin we onder andere pleiten voor veilige en gezonde product- en milieunormen voor de meest kwetsbare groep binnen de samenleving, onze kinderen.

Op 19 februari 2014 heeft CHILDPROTECT een seminar gehouden om met het project ‘Bescherm kinderen tegen hormoonverstorende stoffen (HVS)’ een politieke dialoog aan te gaan met Europese politici en beleidsmakers.

Meer info: Danielle van Kalmthout, attachee Studiedienst  – danielle.van.kalmthout@gezinsbond.be – 02 507 88 76 (niet op woensdag en vrijdag)

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