A report (pdf) published March 28, 2013 presents the work of scientific experts on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) convened by the EU Joint Research Centre. The scientific expert group with participants nominated by Member States was formed in November 2011 on request by the EU Commission’s Environment Directorate-General. Representatives of industry associations and public interest groups also attended meetings, together with observers from EU agencies and the Commission.

During the last year the international expert group discussed key scientific issues related to the identification of EDCs with relevance for all areas of EU regulation. Expert opinions were diverse and not always in agreement. The report gives an overview of the experts’ opinions relating to key scientific issues. It will inform policy makers tasked with setting criteria for EDC identification.

Experts did agree that there should be a clear separation between the initial hazard identification and, if applicable at a later stage, hazard characterization. Hazard identification will identify an EDC based on its activity, linked to an adverse effect. Hazard characterization would then include aspects like potency, lead effect and irreversibility.

There was also consensus on the fact that currently used standardized tests for toxicity testing might miss certain endocrine disruption relevant endpoints. Further, exposure to EDCs during fetal development can lead to chronic diseases in later life but no standardized assays are currently available for detecting such effects. Finally, existing data on human health issues, as well as negative impacts on wildlife populations, should inform further test development according to the report’s recommendations.

Last updated 02 April 2013


Key scientific issues relevant to the identification and characterisation of endocrine disrupting substances.(pdf)  Report of the Endocrine Disrupters Expert Advisory Group. JRC Scientific and Policy Reports. March 2013

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JRC releases report on key scientific issues for the identification and characterisation of endocrine disrupting substances. 28 March 2013