Renowned Scientific Journal Highlights Importance of EDCs in Two-Part Series


FullSizeRenderOur Science Director, Mackenzie strives to translate the newest research from peer-reviewed journal articles into summaries we all can understand. While we are not scientists, we want to know the most up-to-date information available. Our digestible tips on social media are borne out of this research so that a Safer Self-care September is informed.

In its August 2020 publication, the renowned medical journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology released a two-part series highlighting the impact of endocrine disruptors (EDCs). Part One evaluated the effects of EDCs on human health, while Part Two analyzed policy, regulatory, and economic implications. The series’ message is the “growing body of evidence implicating EDCs as human health hazards supports urgent action to reduce exposure to EDCs” (Lancet, 2020). 

In Part One of the series, over 200 studies on EDC exposure and possible health outcomes were analyzed and compared to verify findings. The analysis group reported strong associations between PFAS and organophosphate pesticides with breast cancer. Other findings include a strong correlation between perfluoroalkyl substances and bisphenols with negative effects on men’s reproductive health, such as reduced semen quality. 

In Part Two, researchers evaluated regulations related to chemicals of concern on the national and international level. It was discovered that the U.S. has some of the weakest regulatory policies for chemicals of concern in everyday products. For example, “the FDA has no specific requirements for EDC testing” and “EDCs such as nonylphenol, BPA, tributyltin, triclosan, and several phthalates are legally and intentionally used in food contact materials”. 

The study affirms there is a sufficient body of evidence to require new policy development to evaluate and regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals. This group made three key recommendations to address the issue: 

  • Use a hazard-based approach when regulating chemicals. This means banning chemicals solely on hazardous, or harmful, properties rather than requiring evaluation of an exposure to a chemical, which can be time-consuming for EDCs due to the oft-delayed onset of their effects.
  • Establish a clear definition of endocrine disruptor at the international level.
  • Create an international research group specifically for EDCs. 

Determining which chemicals directly cause health outcomes can be challenging. There are a wide variety of variables that can influence effects, such as chemical mixtures or mobilization during windows of susceptibility. Nevertheless, emerging technologies and tools in science have been able to shine a greater light on the extent that chemicals in our everyday products impact our body. 

The overarching message of the series is clear: EDCs are capable of producing a vast amount of negative health effects and comprehensive regulatory action is absolutely necessary to further protect the health and wellbeing of all individuals and to ensure businesses are held to the highest standards in the development and production of everyday products.

Protect Our Breasts has been fortunate to be aware of early findings on EDCs since 2011 thanks to support from leading endocrine disruption scientists. We will always be grateful.

The information provided herein is the author’s opinion. Our authors are not scientists. We are not providing medical advice, but simply sharing publicly available information. When we reference data and databases, we do so with the caveat that most are only as good as the data they are based on. While POB strives to make the information as timely and accurate as possible, we make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the completeness, or adequacy of the contents of any site that is shared, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of these sites.  POB goes to great lengths to avoid declaring shared products as “safe” as there is no legal definition of the word “safe” at this time.  

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