Sharyle Patton, Lisette van Vliet and Genón Jenson
A major step forward in the discussion and development of policy to regulate chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties occurred last week when the European Commission released an important report, “State of the Art of the Assessment of Endocrine Disruptors.” The voluminous report, written by Professor Andreas Kortenkamp and a specially constituted research team, was contracted by the Directorate-General of Environment in the European Commission, a unit which is responsible for the overarching strategy document guiding European Union actions on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The report will inform both the revision of this strategy, now 12 years old, and the Commission’s deliberations on how to improve existing and develop specific future EU regulatory processes that define, identify and regulate EDCs. In particular, the report will serve to inform the EU’s work over the next two years to develop the criteria that will be used to identify and regulate hormone disruptors under the EU Pesticides and Biocides laws, and to some extent REACH *(the so-called industrial chemicals regulation). Later these criteria will potentially be deployed in other relevant EU laws, such as those on cosmetics, food contact materials, and toys safety.