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Reduce exposure to EDCs and advocating for better legislation

Protect children and pregnant women against exposure to EDCs by engaging the health sector and informing policy makers and activate German civil society to enhance EDC policy

17.05.2014 | WECF Project

Countries: European Union
Donors: EEHI – European Environment and Health Initiative, Life+ project European Commission, DG Environment
Issues: Chemicals & Health
Duration: 01/2014 - 02/2015

Many products used in everyday life, like toys, cosmetics, plastic products, etc. contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Especially pregnant women and developing children are highly vulnerable to these substances, which are linked to reproductive abnormalities, cancer, obesity, early puberty etc.

Among the chemicals that interfere with the hormone system are phtalates, pesticides, bisphenol A and many others substances. Pregnant women and children as well as girls and boys in puberty need to be protected especially. Banning chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties in products used by this groups would be the strongest protection. Since years the EU is in a process identifying criteria for EDCs to be used across all relevant EU legislation without results so far. German government is playing a crucial role in this process.

But as long as policy do not achieve a strong regulation regarding EDCs awareness-raising is an important tool to avoid lifelong health effects.

Objectives and outcomes of this project

  •  Inform and engage the health sector and pregnant women by
  • publishing an information guide on textiles for consumers in German

  • publishing an information leaflet for pregnant women

  • Developing and conducting a workshop/presentation on EDCs at the Congress of Paediatricians, Berlin, June 14th, 2014

The association of paediatricians (BVKJ - Bundesverband der Kinder- und Jugendärzte) decided to dedicate 2014 to the topic of environmental health. WECF will

  • contribute to the annual congress of the BVKJ, which will take place in June 13th – 15th, 2014 in Berlin by carrying out seminar on EDCs
  • set an info booth and present the new textile guide as well as the exhibition on EDCs

Information about WCEF´s participation in this congress you can find here.

Here you can find an article (in German) on endocrine disrupting chemicals and children’s health which was published in the specialist magazine of BVKJ. More articles (in German) regarding this issue you can find here.
  • Inform policy makers and activate German civil society to enhance EDC policy by achieving joint German NGO activities, a critical number of submissions to the EU impact assessment, and in the frame of SAICM

Germany as one of the influential and critical EU countries on the topic of EDCs needs a positive push and pressure from various German civil society actors.

WECF will

  • Coordinating the exchange of information of German NGO activities, which may lead to more joint activities targeting German and EU policy makers, like joint letters etc.
  • Activate German NGOs and other civil society actors to participate in the EU impact assessment on EDCs.
  • Monitor and influence the activities and position of crucial policy actors, especially regarding to our new government

Advocating for a sound work programme for EDCs as emerging issue in the frame of SAICM. WECF will participate in:

  • the OEWG meeting of SAICM, which will take place in December 2014,      
  • where we expect a decision on the EDC work programme.

The project links also to other activities of WECF on EDCs, which can be seen here:

This project is funded by EEHI – European Environment and Health Initiative and Life+ project

For more information please contact Johanna Hausmann

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