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Landmark UN report on EDCs published

The State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals report acknowledges that synthetic chemicals can have significant health impacts

25.02.2013 |UNEP/ WHO




The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) published a joint study on the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). It is the most comprehensive report on EDCs to date. It asserts that EDCs have a negative health impact, but also calls for more research. The WHO has also called EDCs a "global threat".

Medical science has shown that EDCs are far more complex and pervasive than assumed in previous decades. With wide gaps of knowledge on their exact functioning, global collaboration on testing, research and reporting is needed. The cost of exposure to EDCs needs to be understood to minimise risks and highlight greener options.

EDCs are additives in many household and industrial products and can also be found as contaminants in food. EDCs are very common in pesticides, electronics (as flame retardants) and cosmetics. Humans are mostly affected by exposure via ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. EDCs interfere with the bodyís sensitive hormonal system and contribute to many severe health problems. Among them are non-descended testes in young males, breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, developmental effects on the nervous system in children, attention deficit /hyperactivity in children and thyroid cancer.

With unregulated use of harmful chemicals such as EDCs, no sustainable development can be achieved. The WHO calling EDCs a "global threat" emphasizes how important it is to adequately deal with chemicals on a globally coordinated strategy level. WECF also contributes to raising awareness with EDCs forming a major focal point of international campaign work. WECF also especially highlights the health implications of EDCs for vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women in its Nesting Project (available in different languages). You can also download or order the English flyer on avoiding EDCs from our website.


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