The European Commission will be taking a serious look at a whopping 700 common chemicals to determine whether or not they act as endocrine disruptors, putting human health and the environment at risk for illnesses and disease.
The decision comes after more than 27,000 responses were received about the criteria being used to determine whether or not a chemical is an endocrine disruptor.
According to Food Quality News, the focus will be on analyzing existing data, “no additional tests will be done.” The researchers will look at the criteria for defining endocrine disruptors and how that broad definition relates to the chemicals in question. A second study will assess the health impacts for humans and the environments exposed to the chemicals, as well as for any implications that might be felt by agricultural industries and trade.
The Commission says it does not yet have a timeline for when the final outcome of its assessment will be rendered, but the agency is providing “interim criteria” designed to offer protection until the assessment is complete.
Endocrine disruptors have recently become a significant concern over their impact to human health, in particular, the risks for unborn fetuses, a strong connection to obesity, fertility issues and even risks of more serious issues including autism and cancer.
Bisphenol A is perhaps the best-known endocrine disruptor, which the European Union has already significantly restricted. But new research also implicates Bisphenol A alternatives (most notably Bisphenol S) as being just as risky to human health, if not more so.
Another area of concern lies in agricultural pesticides and herbicides, which the Commission will be studying as well. The World Health Organization also just recently listed glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, as a “probable” carcinogen.
For more complete information on the research project, visit the European Commission’s website.
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