strategy on endocrine disruption
Community Strategy for Endocrine
short-, medium- and long-term strategy
1. Short-term strategy
One of the first key short-term actions identified
in the European
Commission’s Communication [COM(1999)706 final,
PDF file - 167 Kb] is the establishment of a priority
list of substances for further evaluation of their
role in endocrine disruption. The priority list was
to be established in two steps, first an independent
review of evidence of endocrine-disrupting effects
and human/wildlife exposure, and second a priority-setting
exercise in consultation with stakeholders and the
Commission’s Scientific Committees. The establishment
of this list is managed by the Environment
DG of the European Commission and is ongoing.
Short-term action also encompasses the need for communication
to the public and international co-operation. For
further info, download “Information
Exchange and International Co-ordination on Endocrine
PDF file - 4,530 Kb].
Communication to the public: Increased activities
in the field of research, sponsored by the European
Commission’s Research DG, will considerably
increase the visibility of the phenomenon of endocrine
disruption, as project results are made available
to the public through leaflets, press releases,
websites, and workshops. The European Commission
has also created two websites: the endocrine
disrupter website and the present endocrine
disrupter research website.
2. Medium-term strategy
Medium-term action includes
Identification and assessment of EDCs.
The availability of agreed test strategies/methods
to identify and assess endocrine-disrupting chemicals
is a basic requirement for comprehensive legislative
action aimed at protecting people and the environment
from the potential dangers posed by these chemicals.
Research and development. Further research
is needed on test methods and testing strategy;
effects on humans/wildlife; ED mechanism of action,
effects at key stages of life cycle; models to estimate
exposure; development of monitoring tools). As a
result, the Research
DG of the European Commission has substantially
increased spending on research
projects linked to endocrine disruption.
3. Long-term strategy
Long-term action focuses on legislative action.
Policy action is needed to further substantiate harmful
suspected effects, then control use/production of
harmful substances. Independent advice, e.g. that
or more recently created committees such as the Scientific
Committee on Environmental Health Risks, will
be sought and legislative instruments will be adapted
to cover the hazard identification, risk assessment
and risk management stages. In this context,
both the REACH
and the SCALE
initiatives will provide new legislative support.
Further information on policy relevance of endocrine
disruption can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/endocrine/index_en.htm.