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Europe studying tighter rules on endocrine disruptors

By: EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

January 31, 2013

BRUSSELS -- A new report is calling for the European Commission to take tougher action over the use of endocrine disruptors.

The report, headed by Sweden member of parliament Åsa Westlund, says that the feared effects of endocrine disruptors are "so serious" that the Commission should take measures to protect humans and animals, despite an absence of "precise knowledge" about the chemicals.

The term "endocrine disruptors" is often taken to mean synthetic chemicals that mediate hormonal activity in the human body. They are present in food packaging, cosmetics and floorings, and "many products made of plastic in our homes and at our workplaces contain one or more types of chemicals which are suspected of having an endocrine-disrupting effect," says the report.

Hormone related disorders include testicular cancer, breast cancer and early onset of puberty.

The report is calling for the Commission to propose testing and information requirements for chemicals on the commercial market, and for European Union legislation to make clear what is regarded as a substance with endocrine-disrupting properties.

Endocrine disruptors should also be regarded as Substances as Very High Concern under Reach, it adds.

The European Parliament will vote on the issue in March.