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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

EDCs are substances that alter functions of the endocrine (hormonal) system.

In 2002 the joint International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) of WHO, UNEP and ILO developed a “Global Assessment of the State of the Science of Endocrine Disruptors”. The report concluded inter alia that the understanding of the effects of to wildlife and humans EDCs was incomplete and that strengthened international collaborative efforts in a number of areas was of high priority.

After 2002 there were a a lot of initiatives to improve the understanding of EDCs, but 10 years later there still remain many gaps. 

On 19 February 2013, UNEP and WHO have launched a new report:  State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012, and the companion volume State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012: Summary for Decision-Makers at a press briefing in Nairobi.

In 2010 UNEP proposed that EDCs be considered an emerging policy issue under SAICM. This proposal for international cooperation to build awareness and understanding and promote actions on EDCs was considered and agreed to by ICCM3 in September 2012.The conference also agreed a resolution on EDCs, which is annexed to the report of the meeting.

During the third International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3), 17-21 September, 2012 in Nairobi, there was a technical briefing and a side event held on the EDCs issue. The report of these two events is here, while presentations for these events are available here