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Åsa Romson is no longer a government minister, Minister for Climate and the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister


EU must act on endocrine disruptors

Sweden and the other Nordic countries want to see the incoming European Commission take strong action on chemicals. Endocrine disruptors have been singled out as a particularly important area.

A meeting of Nordic environment ministers was held in Stockholm. Among the topics discussed was how the countries can jointly push for effective and scientifically-based EU legislation on endocrine disruptors. The Nordic Chemicals Group has produced a report on the costs to society of damage to male reproductive capacity. The report shows that it is a matter of several hundred million euro per year – for just a small proportion of the illnesses and damage that can be linked to endocrine disruptors. In a letter to which the report is annexed, the Government now urges the incoming European Commission to take the action necessary to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors.

- “In contrast to the intensive efforts in the Nordic countries, the efforts of the outgoing European Commission on endocrine disruptors had come to a complete standstill. The Nordic environment ministers now wish to clearly state that we demand measures to safeguard people’s health and environment,” says Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson.

The Swedish Government has previously brought action against the European Commission because it had neglected its obligation to adopt scientific criteria for endocrine disruptors in accordance with the requirements of the EU Biocidal Products Regulation.

The Government signs letter on ‘Reach up’

At the initiative of Denmark, the environment ministers of Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Norway signed a letter addressed to incoming Commissioners Bieńkowska and Vella at the Environment Council on 28 October. The letter states that compliance with the commitments in the EU’s Seventh Environmental Action Programme requires better and more effective implementation of the EU Chemicals Regulation (Reach), reduced exposure to endocrine disruptors and adequate consideration of nanomaterials in all relevant legislation.

On endocrine disruptors

Endocrine disruptors are substances that disrupt the body’s endocrine system. Disturbances in the endocrine system due to exposure to certain chemicals can sometimes lead to the development of certain forms of cancer, earlier onset of puberty, malformed genitalia, impaired sperm production, obesity, diabetes and behavioural disorders (ADHD). Endocrine disruptors are found everywhere. We come into contact with such substances through everyday products such as food packaging, clothing and toys.