ICCA Comments on WHO/UNEP Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Report
BRUSSELS, February 20, 2012 – Several scientists this week published a report, under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), regarding the health effects of human exposure to certain chemicals. Titled “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”, the report attempts to update the 2002 State of the Science report.
The ICCA issued today the following statement in response:
The top priority for the chemicals industry is that its products are used and handled safely throughout their entire life cycles.
Chemical substances undergo rigorous scientific scrutiny regarding possible toxicological or ecotoxicological effects. Through state-of-the-art risk assessment, effects on the endocrine system can be assessed and appropriate risk management measures taken if necessary.
It is important to understand how chemical exposures might impact the endocrine system to cause adverse health effects. Therefore, the global chemical industry has been engaged for over a decade with the scientific community and regulatory agencies to enhance the scientific understanding of chemicals that might interact with the endocrine system, and to promote sound decision-making to effectively manage any risks that might result from exposure to these.
The WHO/ UNEP report suggests that several effects on human health are linked to environmental exposure to chemicals without proof of a causal relationship, ignoring the important role played by other factors such as lifestyle.
Hubert Mandery, Council Secretary of ICCA, commented: “The report fails to meet the standards expected for sound scientific work.”
ICCA encourages both governments and intergovernmental agencies to use consistent and objective criteria for evaluating studies and a transparent framework for evaluating the overall weight of the scientific evidence. This means that agencies should consider all relevant safety data, and not rely simply on one piece of information, and use best practices for obtaining and responding to public review and comments.
The global chemical industry supports ongoing research and programs to develop, standardize and validate methods to study substances and their potential effect on the endocrine system.
ICCA experts are currently reviewing the report and will comment further once this analysis is complete.
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