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Endocrine disrupters – consumer protection by soft regulatory measures

image of Endocrine disrupters – consumer protection by soft regulatory measures

During the 2010 Danish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers environment and health was a prioritized subject. The aim was enhanced Nordic information exchange. To support this aim a number of Nordic workshops were held to strengthen the capacity building and discuss future regulatory aspects in the area of endocrine disruptors, combination effects, and soft regulatory measures and effective risk communication. One of the workshops held in November focused on soft regulatory measures to reduce the exposure of sensitive population groups to chemicals, with a special focus on endocrine disruptors. This report describes the workshop presentations, the ensuing discussions, and the outcome.

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Introduction

For politicians to pass legislation and agree on appropriate regulation of chemicals, knowledge and a solid scientific foundation are needed. But more often than not – and especially within the field of chemicals – the present knowledge is insufficient to draw any firm conclusions. However with the introduction of REACH this situation will improve. At the same time, different scientific results can contradict each other making it more difficult for regulators to decide on more stringent legislation, because the benefits of chemicals for society and in our everyday life cannot be overlooked. Still our knowledge of chemicals’ potential effects on human health suggests caution. We are seeing an increase in occurrences of for instance testicular cancer among adults and early puberty among children and our exposure to chemicals is likely playing a role.

English

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