article_thumb_311_RC17QZS67LAYDMore than 120 countries along with industry representatives and public interest NGOs, including member organizations of MIO-ECSDE, reached a consensus agreement that Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) are a global emerging policy issue! This took place at the third session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3) held in Nairobi, from 17 to 21 September 2012.

ICCM is the governing body of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which provides a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. SAICM has as its overall objective the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. This “2020 goal” was adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 as part of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

A dedicated group of public interest NGOs fought very hard to include EDCs as an emerging global policy issue at the ICCM3. The recommended actions to address EDCs for the time period from 2012 – 1015 include the following:

  • Provide up-to-date information and scientific expert advice to relevant stakeholders for the purpose of identifying or recommending potential measures that could contribute to reductions in exposures to or the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, in particular among vulnerable populations;
  • Raise awareness at all levels;
  • Provide international support for activities to build capacities in countries, in particular developing countries and countries with economies in transition, for generating information and for assessing issues related to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in order to support decision-making, including the prioritization of actions to reduce risks;
  • The development of case studies and advice on translation of research results into control action.

MIO-ECSDE has identified the need for increased public awareness on the issue of EDCs in the Mediterranean. In that respect it has included in its Annual Work Programme of 2012 the development of an information leaflet on EDCs aiming to deepen the understanding of the implications when it comes to health and the environment. The leaflet is expected to be finalized (in English and French) by the end of 2012.