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Rising levels of cancer in European Union Member States, along with increasing brain, thyroid and reproductive problems, which may all be connected with exposure to chemicals widely used in industry, have led an international group of scientists to demand a much tougher regulatory regime governing the use of chemicals in the EU.
The call is contained in the 2013 Berlaymont Declaration on Endocrine Disruptors, which has been signed by 89 leading public health scientists from around the world.It explains that the Europe-wide rate of increase in endocrine-related diseases – diseases caused by interference in human hormones – cannot be explained by genetics or lifestyle choices.
It explains that the Europe-wide rate of increase in endocrine-related diseases – diseases caused by interference in human hormones – cannot be explained by genetics or lifestyle choices.
“A major problem is that for many endocrine disrupting effects, internationally agreed and validated test methods do not exist, although scientific tools and laboratory methods are available,” said Professor Susan Jobling, of Brunel University, London. “For a large range of human health effects, viable laboratory methods are missing altogether. This seriously hampers progress in understanding the full risks.
The Declaration says that internationally accepted test methods that have been available for many years have yet to be implemented in the EU. It claims that current EU chemicals regulations are “entirely inadequate” for identifying EDCs.
As well as action to control the use of chemicals, the Declaration calls for a targeted endocrine disrupter research programme, focusing on exposure assessments and the identification of substances with endocrine disrupting properties, assay development to create laboratory models, and further research in support of human health studies.
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