AEIDL has produced reports for the first three editions of the Annual Forum on Endocrine Disruptors, and the soon-to-be-published report for the Fourth Annual Forum on Endocrine Disruptors. This year’s Forum was held on 21-22 September in Brussels, and was also followed by a large global audience online.
The Commission’s Communication ‘Towards a comprehensive European Union framework on endocrine disruptors’ (November 2018) initiated the Annual Forums, to bring together all interested parties to help guide policy. The Fourth Annual Forum was co-organised by DG Environment and ANSES, the French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety.
In his opening remarks, Virginijus Sinkevičius (European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries) explained how lasting adverse effects and diseases are caused by chemicals that disrupt the body’s hormone system. They particularly affect developmental processes in the foetus and children. Endocrine disruptors are also an environmental threat, for example, to fish and amphibian populations.
The Fourth Annual Forum was structured around four sessions. Firstly, the Commission and its agencies presented updates, with a focus on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, new hazard classes for endocrine disruptors, and the revisions to the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and CLP (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) regulations.
Secondly, there was a series of presentations on the validation of test guidelines for endocrine disruptors. The third session focusing on the thyroid hormone system; while the final session looked at developments on bisphenols, particularly bisphenol A.
Concluding the Forum, Cristina de Avila (DG Environment) said they organised the Forum to listen to different perspectives, exchange information, and to seek synergies. Endocrine disruptors are a very specific form of hazard and they are probably the most complex, she said, and it is extremely important that we make the right decisions now.