During the European Commission’s Second Annual Forum on Endocrine Disruptors, the JRC presented the findings of the recently completed Fitness Check of the EU legal framework on these chemicals.
Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are chemical substances that cause adverse effects by interfering with the hormonal (endocrine) system.
The JRC led a Fitness Check last year aiming at evaluating whether EU legislation on EDs meets its objective of minimising exposure of people and the environment to endocrine disrupting substances.
JRC scientists presented the findings of the Fitness Check at the Forum, which also served as a platform to discuss the recommendations and follow-up actions in the European Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. The Forum took place online on the 17-18 December 2020 and attracted 875 participants from 44 countries.
- introducing a common (horizontal) system for the identification of EDs;
- updating data requirements based on new and improved methods;
- increased transparency and simplification of the regulatory framework.
There was a high-level session at the Forum led by the Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius accompanied by ministers from six Member States, adding their voices in support of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy.
Progress in EU-funded research
In addition, researchers took the opportunity to showcase the progress in EU-funded research projects such as EURION on new testing and assessment methods to improve the identification of endocrine disruptors. The role of human biomonitoring initiatives in understanding exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals was also highlighted.
EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability
In October 2020, the European Commission launched the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. It aims to better protect European citizens and the environment from the effects of dangerous chemicals. The Commission also wants to boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals.
The Chemicals Strategy aims to tackle EDs by:
- proposing to establish legally binding hazard identification criteria to be applied across all legislation;
- ensuring that sufficient and relevant information is available by strengthening information requirements across legislation;
- accelerating the development and uptake of methods to generate information;
- proposing to ban EDs in consumer products, allowing their use only where they can be shown to be essential for society;
- strengthening the protection of workers by introducing endocrine disruptors as a specific category of substances of very high concern under REACH.
Now that there is political agreement on the objectives of the Chemicals Strategy, the task of implementing the commitments has started.
- Publication date
- 30 March 2021