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25 June 2013

Endocrine disruptors: calls for a paradigm shift

Endocrine disruptors - chemicals that interfere with the hormone system – are the focus of growing concern in Europe. Istas, the research arm of the Spanish trade union CC.OO, sounded the alarm in a recent report, while European NGOs launched the "EDC Free – Stop Hormone Disrupting Chemicals” campaign at the end of March.

Both Istas and the NGOs want Member States and the EU to rethink their approach based on the old precept that "the dose makes the poison". Research has found that endocrine disruptors can have harmful effects at very low doses, especially in young people.

France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) has published an alarming collective survey report on pesticides showing that insecticides, herbicides and fungicides contain many disruptors that are endangering the health of workers, their children and the wider community even when used at low doses.

In February 2013, the United Nations put out a report establishing a link between exposure to endocrine disruptors and the increase in certain cancers (breast, testicular, prostate, thyroid, etc.), premature births, diabetes and obesity.

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