On April 21, 2016 the non-profit organization International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) released a position paper on criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). ChemSec calls for science-based criteria that do not include any potency cut-offs for EDCs. “Unpredictable dose-effect relations, low-dose effects and the critical timing of exposure make it in practice impossible to identify a true safety threshold, a potency cut-off,” ChemSec states. Further, ChemSec criticizes the European Commission (EC) for including socio-economic considerations in the development of EDC criteria. If necessary, socio-economic impacts can be considered on a case-by-case basis, ChemSec writes and reminds the EC that the relevant legislations “all include provisions for the continued use of identified hazardous chemicals if the consequences of a ban are disproportionately negative.”

On April 25, 2016, a group of scientists published a commentary article in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives on “Scientific issues relevant to setting regulatory criteria to identify endocrine disrupting substances in the European Union.” Rémy Slama and colleagues from the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm), France, and other academic and health institutions in Europe and the U.S., discuss the scientific relevance of the four options for EDC identification as outlined in the EU roadmap for EDCs (FPF reported). The scientists conclude that option 3 – a multi-level classification of EDCs based on the definition by the World Health Organization (WHO), and not considering potency – is most relevant.

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ChemSec (April 21, 2016). “ChemSec: Criteria for identification of EDCs must be based on science.

Inserm (April 25, 2015). “Researchers provide guidance on criteria to identify Endocrine Disruptors in the context of European legislation.

ChemSec (April 26, 2016). “Scientists: ‘The potency concept is not relevant for identification of EDCs.’

Emma Davies (April 27, 2016). “Potency has no role in identifying EDCs, experts suggest.Chemical Watch


ChemSec (April 21, 2016). “Endocrine disrupting chemicals are best identified without the use of potency cut-offs.(pdf)

Slama, R. et al. (2016). “Scientific issues relevant to setting regulatory criteria to identify endocrine disrupting substances in the European Union.Environmental Health Perspectives (published online April 25, 2016).