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Chemicals and REACH

19 July 2011

France: Endocrine disruptors in Senate firing line

French MPs’ concerns about the spread of breast and prostate cancer, infertility and the sharp rise in hormone system diseases are set out in a report entitled Les perturbateurs endocriniens, le temps de la précaution [Endocrine disruptors: precaution now] issued on 13 July by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology Assessment (OPECST). It notes that the incidence of breast cancer has doubled in France since the 1980s, as has testicular cancer since the 1970s in developed countries. "The available scientific evidence suggest a credible causal link between these diseases and the action of endocrine disruptors", says the report. Endocrine disruptors may be natural or synthetic substances, and include pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A, and others.
The report's author, Senator Gilbert Barbier, offers three policy pointers - knowledge, prevention, prohibition – and calls for international restrictions on the use of the culprit substances and introducing a pictogram to warn consumers of their presence in all types of products, including cosmetics.

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