On September 23, 2020, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) published a position statement calling for a risk-based regulation in the UK to address endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Following its departure from the EU at the end of 2020, the UK will be responsible for establishing its own chemicals regulations. The position statement reviews the historical and ongoing development of the science surrounding the identification of EDCs and EDC management approaches that can be taken to protect public health. In conclusion, the RSC argues that both the hazard of and exposure to EDCs should be considered. It writes that “exposure should be managed at defined levels of ‘acceptable risk’ as determined by society and policymakers taking into account the best scientific and socio-economic evidence with transparent decision-making.” This suggested approach is in opposition to recommendations being made by non-governmental health advocacy organizations, which have argued for a hazard-based regulatory model that entirely prevents exposure to known EDCs (FPF reported).

In an opinion article published on September 23, 2020 by Chemical Watch, members of animal rights organizations argue in favor of further research and implementation of an adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) approach for identifying EDCs. The authors from Humane Society International, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation (PETA), and Cruelty Free International believe that “the science underpinning the identification of endocrine disruptors is sorely lacking and ill-suited to regulatory action” and there is an “urgent need for investment in advanced information infrastructure to enable ready access to data, data sharing and data analysis.” While animal testing is currently being seen as a ‘golden standard’ for investigating adverse effects of endocrine active substances, the authors see this as an inefficient approach, arguing that animal testing can take years to complete and unnecessarily involves repeated animal experiments. Instead, they suggest that the continuing advancement of AOPs could be a more efficient way to “help establish credible links between mechanistic and diagnostic measurements, and address the need for relevant outcomes in human and wildlife populations.”

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RSC (September 2020). “Risk-based Regulation for Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).” (pdf)

Chemical Watch (September 23, 2020). “UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry calls for risk-based regulation of EDCs post-Brexit.” Chemical Watch

Catherine Willett, Erik Prochazka and Emma Grange (September 23, 2020). “NGO Platform: Why we need 21st century toxicological tools to improve the safety assessment of EDCs.” Chemical Watch