Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals EDCs

D4, a known ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR CHEMICAL has been found in PIP implants, yet according to SCENIHR :


“There is currently no convincing medical, toxicological or other data to justify removal of intact PIP implants as a precautionary approach.” SCENIHR 2014


D4 in PIP

All TGA tests were undertaken on unused, sterile, out-of-the-box PIP implants:

Why haven’t international concerns about Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals been mentioned by SCENIHR in their final opinion?

An article appeared in December 2013 explaining the issues of EDC regulation:

For quite some time, European policymakers have been working on a plan to regulate endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). In the last few months, the process has sparked a furor among researchers and public health experts, with a heated battle of editorials raging in scientific journals that highlights clear conflicts of interest among those critiquing European action.

EDCs are compounds that alter the hormonal systems in an organism, and many of these chemicals are in widespread use. If the European Union (EU) regulates EDCs, it will be the first policy in the world that addresses the endocrine disruptor problem.

Hormones play a key role in our development and reproduction, among other processes essential for life. One prime example is the key sex hormone estrogen, which is critical to normal reproductive function.

The EU has taken steps to define EDCs based on scientific criteria, so they can move forward toward regulation. This set off a heated public debate.

It all started when…

In June, a Leaked document containing recommendations from the European Commission (EC) on criteria for defining endocrine disruptors, and identified the need for “appropriate policy action on the basis of the precautionary principle” to address the “problem” of endocrine disruptors. The document quoted a new EC expert review that:

… identified the lack of agreed criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors as one of the greatest obstacles in the implementation of policy measures aiming to protect human health and the environment from exposure to endocrine disruptors.

The backlash was swift. In the period from July to September, 18 toxicology journal editors signed an editorial that was published in 14 scientific journals. They titled the editorial by Dietrich et al “Scientifically unfounded precaution drives European Commission’s recommendations on EDC regulation, while defying common sense, well-established science and risk assessment principles.”

I have a research background in comparative endocrinology. I found the Dietrich et al letter to be a bit much to swallow.

In late September, an Environmental Health News article reported that 17 of those 18 scientists who came out so strongly against the proposal to regulate EDCs had “past or current ties to regulated industries.”

The data on endocrine disruption are strong, and policymakers should follow the science.


Why hasn’t the precautionary principle applied for women with PIP implants?

Applying the precautionary principle would mean:

– removing all recalled, non-compliant PIP implants from women

– life-time monitoring women and children affected

– more testing and clinical studies

– successful legal claims & compensation for victims


Why is it crucial to protect women with breast cancer diagnoses from EDCs?

The majority of women with breast cancer have an oestrogen-sensitive tumours, and are advised to strictly limit their exposure to synthetic oestrogen.


Why is it crucial to protect pregnant women and children from EDCs?

Until a couple of decades ago, scientists still believed that the placenta shielded cord blood would protect the unborn child from most chemicals and pollutants. However, studies which analyse the blood of newborn babies show that their blood already con- tains hundreds of hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals, flame retardants, dioxins, phthalates and pesticides. Many of the sub- stances that have been found in newborn babies are known to cause cancer, to be toxic to the brain and nervous system and are suspected to disturb the hormonal system.

Contact with EDCs during critical stages of development in the womb seems to cause serious health effects which may become evident only decades later, e.g. when a child reaches puberty or anytime later. Studies with animals showed that hormones during pregnancy “programme” cells, organs, the brain and behavior before birth and thereby set the individual’s track for the entire life- time. It seems that the actual timing of the exposure seems to be more important than the actual dose.

Read More on ECD,s from BUEC consumer organisation in EU


EDCs and Health

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are linked to a wide range of health problems

Because correct hormone signalling is integral to the healthy functioning of the body, EDCs can have a wide range of potential health effects. Timing of exposure is as important as dose, as hormones play vital roles not only in maintaining the state of the body, but also the development of vital organs during foetal and childhood growth. The foetus, infant and adolescent are those considered to be at greatest risk of harm from EDCs.

Reproductive health: Male fertility and physical abnormalities of the male reproductive tract such as malformations of the penis and undescended testicles have been linked with exposure to chemicals, such as some phthalates, which inhibit the action of testosterone during foetal development.

Cancer: Endocrine disruptors can interfere with biological pathways involved in the initiation and progression of cancer and also re-programme organs so they are more likely to become cancerous later in life. For example, man-made oestrogens are thought to be involved in breast cancer development.

Obesity: Exposure to EDCs could also make worse the effects of energy imbalances between diet and exercise, resulting in greater risk of obesity and obesity-related disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Immune system function, cognitive function and behavioural disorders, as well as increase in cardiovascular diseases, have also been linked with endocrine disruption.

Read more: CHEMSEC International Chemical Secretariat



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  1. TOXIC contaminants in PIP Implants – PIP ACTION CAMPAIGN
    TOXIC contaminants in PIP Implants – PIP ACTION CAMPAIGN / 1-12-2018 / ·

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