The European commission will look into 700 different chemicals to analyze their endocrine disrupting potential. This comes after a recent study showing that endocrine disrupting chemicals in the EU may cause over $209 billion in costs due to their effects on the health of those who are exposed to them. Will the United States follow suit, or continue to let these health-damaging chemicals run rampant?
As Endocrine.org reports:
“A new economic analysis found exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals likely costs the European Union €157 billion ($209 billion) a year in actual health care expenses and lost earning potential, according to a new series of studies published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.”
The research will prioritize the effects of ‘biocides’ or pesticides and insecticides used in managing plants and produce, and then look at the more subtle potential sources. There will be two major studies, first to determine what qualifies as an endocrine disruptor and subsequently identifying which chemicals in various products fit the criteria and why they were chosen.
Then, a second study will examine the effects of these chemicals on health and the environment, agriculture, and how the economy would be effected if there were regulatory laws in place to control them. The second study will use the data from the first to make conclusions. A comprehensive report is expected in 2016.
Endocrine disruptors are being found in some of the most unexpected places, including your toilet paper and coating your receipts. But the most concerning is being found in the food we eat, whether leeched from the plastic containers which are heated or microwaved, or in the pesticides sprayed on our fruits and veggies, that eventually also find their way into the drinking water of many populations.
The effects of these chemicals contribute to hormonal imbalance, which in turn leads to everything from infertility to weight gain, behavioral disorders, and other negative effects. The EU study offered a unique approach on the issue, examining how the effects of these chemicals on a population and agricultural environment would result in long term costs due to the negative effects on health as well as the environment these chemicals are introduced into.
The study along with many others pushing the issue into the open have even made the EPA consult and engage in a similar screening process, though the effectiveness of their methods will yet be seen. Like many health issues, making them known and educating others will lead to positive action being taken.