kid playing with plastic toys

EU Commission must face reality over hormone-disrupting chemicals

ClientEarth has rejected the European Commission’s view that current regulation governing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) is sufficient when blatant gaps still exist.

Environmental lawyers from ClientEarth have also criticised the Commission’s glowing evaluation of its own work regulating EDCs, which has been punctuated by undue delays and illegal criteria.

The evaluation was part of a public consultation response to the Commission’s ‘Roadmap’ for EDCs – chemicals that can disrupt the sensitive endocrine systems of people and wildlife. The Commission has now finished the consultation, which was supposed to be a first step in the long-awaited revision process of its 19-year-old EDC strategy.

In their contribution to the public consultation, ClientEarth’s lawyers have exposed the many gaps that still prevent the EU from effectively protecting people and environment against EDCs. They also detailed the actions the Commission needs to take to solve the issues.

ClientEarth lawyer Dr Apolline Roger said: “We’re concerned both by the celebratory tone of the Commission in describing the existing regulatory framework’s capacity to address the challenge of EDCs and by the absence of real commitments to fill the current gaps in environmental and health protection.

“We welcome the roadmap as a recognition that the Commission needs to propose a strategy on endocrine disruptors but we invite the Commission, following the roadmap, to seize the opportunity to adopt the indispensable and long awaited updated EU strategy on EDCs.

Currently, EDC properties of chemicals are not systematically identified and regulated, which precludes the EU from effectively preventing their adverse effects in toys, cosmetics and other everyday use items.

Roger added: “The strategy needs to contain commitments going beyond what is already done or planned, in line with what is required by the 2013 European Parliament resolution, the 2016 Council conclusion and the EDC-free coalition’s eight demands for an EU strategy”

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Markus Spiske

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