(2002; 91 pages)
Endocrine disrupting chemicals
Are chemicals that have the potential to interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system threatening future generations of humans and certain wildlife species? An IPCS report concludes that further research and information is needed on endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs.
The report, entitled Global Assessment of the State-of-the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors, is the result of a global comprehensive review of the publicly available scientific literature on EDCs organized by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS). The IPCS is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Labour Organization.
The report states that there is sufficient evidence that adverse effects have occurred as a result of exposure to EDCs in some wildlife species. Therefore, because of continuing concerns and scientific uncertainties, studies on the potential effects posed by these chemicals should remain a high global priority requiring coordinated and strengthened international research strategies. There is, in particular, an urgent need for studies in vulnerable populations, and especially in infants and children, since exposure during critical developmental periods may have irreversible effects.
This assessment was requested in 1997 by the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety, the 1997 Declaration of the Environment Leaders of the Eight on Children’s Environmental Health, and endorsed by the 50th World Health Assembly in 1997. The assessment is unique in providing a global perspective on the endocrine disruptor issue, and in providing a framework by which strength-of-the-evidence analysis can be performed to determine whether there is a causal association between an adverse biological effect and exposure to an endocrine disrupting chemical.
Global Assessment of the State-of-the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors is available at http://www.who.int/pcs/pcs_new.html. Printed copies of the report are available from: email@example.com