In an article published on July 15, 2020, non-governmental organization Chem Trust announced the release of a policy proposal it developed that outlines “a new path” for the management of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the EU. Key components within the proposal include:
- A new overarching legislation on EDCs
- Establishing one system for identifying EDCs, including the addition of a new category for suspected EDCs with both categories based on the full definition as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)
- Requiring more detailed information about endocrine disrupting properties to be provided for substances during the registration process under REACH and during authorization for use as a plant protection or biocidal product
- Placing bans on officially identified EDCs and suspected EDCs in sensitive uses and in consumer products
- Setting up interim criteria during a transition period for identifying EDCs based on current regulation and well-established databases and EU authorities
- Ensuring full transparency and easy access to information through the use of official EU lists and specific labeling of chemical products to inform about the presence of EDCs or suspected EDCs
- Default consideration of EDCs as non-threshold chemicals of concern
Pia Juul Nielsen from Chem Trust commented “we call on the European Commission to urgently move ahead with the protection of EU citizens and the environment from the hazardous effects due to exposure to [EDCs]. Many years of protection have been wasted by internal fights and delaying tactics by certain parts of industry. Now it is time to have full European cooperation, ensure strict controls of [EDCs] and immediately reduce consumer exposure via transition measures. In the end, it is the reproduction and brain development of future generations that is at stake.”
In a separate article published on July 15, 2020, regulatory news provider Chemical Watch reported that a European Commission document has included a ‘preliminary view’ recommending that EDCs should be covered by the EU Classification, Labelling, and Packaging (CLP) Regulation through the creation of new hazard class. It also proposes then incorporating the criteria into the international Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals. The view was reported to be expressed in a document shared in advance of a July 2nd meeting of a sub-group of the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (Caracal) focused on EDCs.
Developed by the Environment Directorate-General (DG Environment) and the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate-General (DG Grow), the document includes three proposed options for including EDCs: (i) creation of new hazard , (ii) creation of new supplemental hazard statements (known as EUH statements), or (iii) creation of new hazard statement codes for existing hazard classes (or modifying existing codes). The first option to create new hazard classes is recommended as having “distinct advantages compared with the other two options.” Experts from the Caracal sub-group have been invited to submit comments on the document until September 2, 2020.
Anna Watson (July 15, 2020). “A new approach to protect people and wildlife from endocrine disruptors.” Chem Trust
Andrew Turley (July 15, 2020). “European Commission mulls endocrine disruption classes under CLP.” Chemical Watch
Chemical Watch (July 23, 2020). “NGO calls for overhaul of ‘inadequate’ EU regulation of EDCs.”
Chem Trust (July 15, 2020). “A new path for EU control of Endocrine Disruptors.” Chem Trust (pdf)