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Danish proposal for criteria for endocrine disruptors submitted to the EU

Denmark is keen to exert influence on the establishment of new criteria for endocrine disruptors in the EU. The Environmental Protection Agency has therefore submitted a Danish proposal to the EU at an early stage in the process. The Environmental Protection Agency emphasises the need to apply the latest findings on the subject.

As part of the Danish efforts in the field of endocrine disruptors, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency submitted a proposal to the European Commission in May 2011 for criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors and for a possible regulatory framework.

The Danish criteria proposal

Endocrine activity is an inherent property of a substance. A substance is therefore an endocrine disruptor regardless of its area of use. However, substances that are characterised as endocrine disruptors may be handled differently in regulatory terms, depending on how they are used and the legislation under which they are regulated.

In their proposal, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency emphasised the need for criteria to:

  1. be scientifically based,
  2. build on the latest knowledge, but also incorporate emerging science,
  3. cover both health and the environment, and
  4. cover applications in all legislative areas.

Read the Danish proposal (PDF)

Background of the criteria proposal

The proposal is based on a project to develop scientific criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors prepared by the Centre on Endocrine Disruptors ( www.Cehos.dk ). The methods used to document the endocrine disrupting effects of substances include testing methods adopted by the OECD.

In order to regulate endocrine disruptors, it is of course important to have criteria to determine the endocrine activity of a substance. And in order to determine endocrine activity, it is important that we use internationally recognised testing methods.

The OECD has been engaged in developing new testing methods for endocrine-disrupting properties for over 10 years and the finishing touches are currently being made to a comprehensive guidance document on how the OECD test methods can be used to assess the endocrine-disrupting properties of substances.

The new pesticide regulation contains a requirement for the European Commission to present criteria for endocrine-disrupting pesticides by December 2013. Under the REACH chemicals legislation, the Commission must produce a review of endocrine disruptors in June 2013.

A number of countries have already contributed ideas on the subject of criteria for endocrine disruptors. However, these ideas are based on the traditional risk assessment of chemicals, which considers health, the environment and areas of use separately. In order to exert the maximum influence on the impending process within the EU, Denmark has decided to submit its proposal at an early stage in the process.

Danish Criteria are effective for the identification of Endocrine Disruptors