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Case Study: Science-based regulations of endocrine disrupting chemicals in Europe

Endocrine disruptors are defined by the World Health Organisation as “exogenous compounds or mixtures that alter function(s) of the endocrine system and consequently cause adverse effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, or (sub)populations”.

Endocrine disruptors are regulated under European Union (EU) laws on pesticides (plant protection products regulation [PPPR]) and biocide products regulation (BPR), enacted in 2009 and 2012, respectively. These regulations place restrictions on the use of active substances with severe forms of toxicity, including carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption.

The regulation on the use of potentially harmful compounds have to consider scientific evidences. While some industries are engaged in the development of alternative compounds, many economical interests may hamper the definition of a univocal regulation.

For example, here is a summary on how the issue of EDCs regulations has been debated in EU. Scientists in general, and academia, are the first in line to both evaluate the impact of EDCs but are also positively involved in promoting an effective regulation on them.

If you would like to find out more information on this topic please follow the additional links in the “See Also” section below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Production in a Changing Environment

EIT Food