The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nation’s Environmental Program (UNEP) today published a report on the State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) stating knowledge gaps on EDC are too important to be ignored. The report points out that there is mounting evidence for the link between EDCs and certain hormone-related diseases and disorders including some cancers and developmental effects. It states that endocrine disrupting chemicals may enter the body through ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact, and that chemical products contribute significantly to human exposure and risk. The report also considers other non-genetic and environmental factors as contributing to the observed increase in endocrine-related disease prevalence.
Thus the report concludes that better testing methods and more research are necessary in order to understand the full environmental and human health impacts of endocrine disruptors. It recommends more adequate testing methods, research into mixture effects, more complete reporting on chemical exposures and more data sharing amongst scientists and countries in order to fill knowledge gaps.
The current report updates the last 2002 WHO State of the Science of EDCs report, where scientific evidence for a link between human health effects and EDCs was assessed as ‘weak’.
Martin Scheringer, president of the Food Packaging Forum’s foundation board and researcher at the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland, as well as Angel Nadal, Food Packaging Forum board member and researcher at the University Miguel Hernandes de Elche, Alicante, Spain contributed as scientific reviewers of the report.
Brian Bienkowski (February 19, 2013). “UN, WHO panel calls hormone-disrupting chemicals a ‘global threat’.” Environmental Health News
Robert Evans (February 19, 2013). “Man made chemicals cited in health scourges: UN Report.” Reuters
WHO (February 19, 2013). “Effects of human exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report.”
UNEP & WHO (February 19, 2013). “Effects of human and wildlife exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report.” (pdf)
Bergman, Å. et al. (2013). ”State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012.” UNEP & WHO