15 leading scientists: New criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals will not protect us

In an open letter today to the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, and the EU Commissioner Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis, 15 renowned scientists argue that the redrafted criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals must be reformulated, again.

Text: Marie Löf

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are chemicals that can disrupt hormone systems in humans as well as in organisms in the environment, which can have far-reaching consequences even in low doses.

Researchers, environmentalists and even countries, including Sweden, have criticized the Commission for not providing sufficient protection for either humans or the environment with its legislative proposal on endocrine disrupting chemicals. The original proposal has now been reformulated but the result is inadequate, according to the researchers.

But time is short. On November 18 a meeting is planned in Brussels between the Commission and representatives for the member states for discussion on the new criteria proposal.

– The most important critique concerns the level of proof needed to identify an endocrine disrupting chemical. We must ensure that this process will not be dependent on hazard data from exposed humans. A system that requires humans to be exposed and injured before a chemical can be considered an endocrine disruptor is neither proactive nor sufficiently protective, says Christina Rudén, professor in regulatory ecotoxicology and toxicology at Stockholm University.

The wording in the redrafted criteria also prevents the full and fair use of the existing evidence to identify endocrine disruptors. 

Further, the phrasing in the criteria has been changed from “negligible exposure” to “negligible risk”, thus raising the bar for when a chemical can be regulated as an endocrine disruptor and decreasing the protection for humans and environment.

– We really hope that the President, the Commissioner and the Member states representatives will heed our advice. This is a very important question for our future health, says Christina Rudén.

The full letter can be accessed below.

Marie Löf


Hanna Sjölund

Hanna Sjölund

Advocacy and Analysis Officer