Endocrine disrupters: EFSA opinion delivered

By 21. March 2013Blog, Health, Risk Management

The opinion is in and recommendations have been made. Here are the basics:

There are assays available (or in the pipeline) for chemicals that interfere with pathways for oestrogen, androgen, thyroid, or steroidogenesis in fish and mammals, but these are seriously lacking for birds and amphibians. This should be addressed.

Irreversible changes can occur in organs or tissues if exposed to certain substances at particular developmental stages. In fish there are assays available for the complete life cycle. In mammals, the tests may not cover changes set in motion by exposure in the womb or during puberty that do not present themselves until later in life. This should be addressed with further study.

Exposure to multiple endocrine active substances can lead to a combined toxicity. This will be considered separately at a later date.

Endocrine disrupters, like other substances of concern for human health and the environment, should be subject to risk and not only hazard assessment.

The opinion is available from the EFSA website.