ChildProtect-Life - ChildProtect-Life – Protecting Children's Health from Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

LIFE12 ENV/NL/000833

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Sascha GABIZON
Tel: +31 (30) 23 10 30 00
Fax: 31302340878
Email: sascha.gabizon@wecf.org

Project description:


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are found in many situations. Phthalates are used for floorings, toys, furniture and homeware. Brominated flame retardants used in curtains, upholstered furniture and mattresses are also likely to be endocrine disrupting. Bisphenol-A is used in plastics, papers and can linings, while parabens continue to be used in many cosmetics. Moreover, many pesticides and biocides contain EDCs and exposure occurs not only via food, but also via spraying in homes, gardens, playgrounds and public parks.

Exposure to endocrine disrupters can cause harmful health effects such as testicular, prostate and breast cancer and fertility problems (reduced sperm quality), hypospadias (abnormality in male genitalia) and early puberty, and may contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and disrupted brain development (autism, attention disorders, developmental delays). Humans accumulate EDCs in their body tissue, and pregnant women transfer these chemicals to the developing child in the womb and later through breast milk. Even very low doses can have life-long, irreversible effects, limiting a child’s full development and future participation in social and professional life.

A number of environmental regulations include procedures for addressing EDCs. The main ones are the chemicals regulation, REACH, and the plant protection regulations. The European Commission is currently working on criteria for EDCs, which will be horizontal and apply to all EU regulations. Many policy-makers, however, are not aware of EDCs and that existing EU regulations already contain procedures for addressing them in national legislation. Public authorities in charge of public health protection and food and product safety also need to be better informed about EDCs.


The ‘ChildProtect-Life’ project aims to speed-up implementation of EU environmental regulations with regard to the substitution of EDCs, in line with the EU 2020 goal of minimising adverse effects of chemicals on public health. The project seeks to develop innovative and multi-sectorial modular actions that speed-up policy measures and voluntary actions that protect children and pregnant women, in particular, from the harmful effects of EDCs. Such modules can then be replicated in other EU Member States.

Specific project objectives include:

  • Providing information to policy-makers in order that they can proactively strengthen the implementation of EU chemicals and plant protection regulation, leading to a quicker replacement of products containing EDCs;
  • Increasing voluntary substitution by the business sector of products containing EDCs, thus speeding up implementation of EU regulations;
  • Increasing access to consumer information on EDCs in products in order to affect a change in consumption patterns and further acceptance for policy measures on EDC substitution; and
  • Creating a ‘Health Sector Alliance’ that involves health experts and health insurance companies with an interest in preventing health effects from EDC exposure.
  • Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results:

  • At least 200 policy-makers in the Netherlands, Flanders and Brussels will understand the need for (extended) requirements on EDCs and measures to speed-up implementation of EU chemicals and plant-protection regulations;
  • Thirty key (national and EU) policy-makers from at least six different ministries will be involved in taking measures on EDCs;
  • Ten NGOs will receive training and implement 10 actions;
  • One thousand citizens and policy-makers will be actively involved and informed on EDCs;
  • At least 50 business/retailers will be informed about the benefits of voluntary substitution of EDCs in consumer products and encouraged to take action;
  • Fifteen retailers/food chains will be nformed about results of EDC-tests in food and the project will be involved in ongoing dialogues with at least two retailers;
  • An event to test EDCs in toys will be held and at least 2 of the 10 retailers taking part are expected to take measures;
  • More than 700 000 consumers will have increased access to information on EDCs in products and at least 700 000 parents will be reached with such information; and
  • One health sector alliance will cooperate to prevent health impacts from EDCs.



Environmental issues addressed:


Information-Communication - Awareness raising - Information
Risk management - Human health protection


public health‚  human exposure to pollutants‚  environmental awareness‚  chemical industry‚  risk management‚  hazardous substance‚  information network

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Women in Europe for a Common Future
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) is a non-governmental organisation focusing on chemicals management and health in the Netherlands. WECF has 150 member organisations in 40 countries and offices in three other EU Member States. Amongst a range of actions, it has raised awareness of EU regulation on chemicals, cosmetics, toys and biocides and the benefits of swift implementation.
Partners Gezinsbond vzw, Belgium Pesticides Action Network Europe, Belgium


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/NL/000833
Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 31-DEC -2015
Total budget 701,068.00 €
EU contribution 349,184.00 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique),Groningen(Nederland),Friesland(Nederland),Drenthe(Nederland),Overijssel(Nederland),Gelderland(Nederland),Flevoland(Nederland),Noord-Brabant(Nederland),Limburg(Nederland),Utrecht(Nederland),Noord-Holland(Nederland),Zuid-Holland(Nederland),Zeeland(Nederland)


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