EU Policy on EDCs
An Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) or Endocrine Disruptor (ED) is any chemical that can interfere with normal hormone functions in humans. There is growing scientific concern that EDCs could be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
EDCs are regulated at the EU level, but this regulation is complex and inconsistent. While we have seen some progress in recent years, EDCs continue to be used widely across Europe in a range of different products.
The EU Commission has developed criteria for identifying EDCs, which was finalised and adopted in 2018 after several years of delay. Despite vigorous campaigning from scientists and charities the criteria are not ideal, as the burden of proof required to identify a substance as an EDC is too high. But it is a start.
Currently the criteria apply to EDCs used a in plant protection product (PPPs) and biocides The Commission is now developing a new EDC strategy that will cover areas such as toys, cosmetics and food packaging.
Breast Cancer UK is working with partners in Europe to press for a robust and comprehensive EDC strategy which promotes the phase out of potential and suspected EDCs and their replacement with safer alternatives.
Breast Cancer UK policy and position papers
- BCUK Background Briefing on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (last updated October 2014)
- Parliamentary Briefing On Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (July 2016)
- Comments submitted to EFSA regarding their draft guidance on methods for risk assessment of combined exposure to chemical mixtures (Sep 18)
- Comments on the European Commission's Roadmap: Towards a more comprehensive framework on endocrine disruptors (July 2018)
- Comments on ECHA's call for evidence on intentional use of microplastics in products (May 2018)
- Comments on consultation report on pharmaceuticals in the environment (Feb 2018)
- Comments on draft screening report on assessment of whether flame retardants TCEP, TCPP and TDCP in articles should be restricted (Feb 2018)
- Comments on draft guidance for the identification of endocrine disruptors in the context of regulations (EU) No 528(2012) for biocidal products and (EC) No 1107/2009 for plant protection products (Jan 2018)
- Response to the opinion of the EU committees on Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis on restricting 4 phthalates, DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP (May 2017)
- Response to United Nations Environment Programme draft proposal for EDC list (September 2016)
- Response to Health and Saftey Executive consultation on proposed criteria (September 2016)
- Response to EU Commission's proposed criteria for identifying EDCs (July 2016)
- Comments on the EU Annex XV report proposing 4-methylbenzylidene camphor as a substance of very high concern (April 2016)
- Response to draft opinion of the EU Committee of Socio-Economic Analysis on PFOA (November 2015)
- Response to the EU consultation on the EDC Roadmap (December 2014)
Letters and joint statements
- Joint letter to REACH Committee on DEHP and other Phthalates (February 2017)
- Letter to Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Life Opportunities regarding revised EDC criteria (November 2016)
- Letter to Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Life Opportunities regarding EDC criteria (November 2016)
- Joint letter to the EU Commission regarding EDC criteria (June 2016)
- Letter to UK Representatives of the REACH Committee on DEHP and other Phthalates (March 2016)
- Joint letter to Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for DEFRA (January 2016)
- Joint letter to EU Commissioner Andriukaitis (January 2016)
- Letter to Rory Stewart MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA on DEHP (September 2015)
- Joint letter to Rory Stewart MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (July 2015)
- Joint letter to Jane Ellison MP Minister for Public Health (June 2015)