Report cites worldwide failure to act, calls for transparency on path forward
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A growing global epidemic of endocrine-related diseases in people and wildlife requires immediate attention and action, the World Health Organization and the UN Environment Program said in a report released last week.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals include man-made products such as pesticides and plasticizers. They’re also found in food, indoor and outdoor environments, and a wide range of consumer products.
Adverse effects increasingly linked to exposure to chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties include: effects on reproduction, such as infertility and reduced sperm count and viability; breast, mammary, testicular, and prostate cancers; type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease; neurobehavioral outcomes; and thyroid and immune system dysfunction.
The report found that, “Worldwide, there has been a failure to adequately address the underlying environmental causes of trends in endocrine diseases and disorders.”
Last September, policy advisers agreed on “the potential adverse effects of endocrine disruptors on human health and the environment [… and] the need to protect humans, and ecosystems and their constituent parts that are especially vulnerable.”
At the same meeting, endocrine disrupting chemicals were approved as an “emerging policy issue.” But five months later, civil society organizations are concerned by the slow pace of progress on a work plan to address management and control of the toxic chemicals.
“Today’s report further highlights the need for global measures on endocrine disrupting chemicals,” said Baskut Tuncak, attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law and coordinator of a working group on endocrine disrupting chemicals.
“The organizations tasked with the development of this work plan need to give the development of the work plan the priority it deserves, in an open, participatory and transparent manner, as mandated last fall.”
Filed under: Environment, Health, world news Tagged: | Center for International Environmental Law, EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals, Environment, Environmental health, health, World Health Organization