We live in a world in which man‐made chemicals have become a part of the life. It is impossible to imagine any products which can be manufactured without the use of chemical. However though many of the chemicals are useful and beneficial but some of the chemicals are highly toxics and are extremely harmful to human health and environment. Further some of these chemicals can affect the endocrine (hormonal) system and interfere with important developmental processes in humans and wildlife species. These chemicals are mostly termed as the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals generally known to interfere with hormone action by altering the endocrine system thus having adverse impact on the human beings and other fauna including wild life. After carefully analyzing the scientific research conducted across the globe, the International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a joint program of WHO, UNEP and International Labor Organization constructed the definition of EDC:
The United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO) in the document “The state of Science of Endocrine Disputing Chmeicals-2012, presents information and key concerns on the impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals on human health and environment.
The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) was established by the International Conference on Chemicals Management in February 2006, with the overall objective to achieve the sound management of chemicals throughout their lifecycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are used and produced in ways that minimize significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. In the SAICM, EDC has been considered as an emerging issue and urged the nations to take appropriate action to mitigate the chemicals to minimize the impact on environment and health.
Research and Advocacy:
The issues of EDCs have been a global issue and the countries across the globe are trying to phase out these chemical from the products as far as possible. However in India the public information on EDC is very limited though India is one of the biggest markets for the chemical use. To enhance the public information and the desired policy changes, Toxics Link initiated its work to explore more on EDCs in baby products with the launch of first report titled “Bottles can be toxics – an investigative study on BPA in baby feeding bottles in India 2014” this was followed with two other reports i.e., “Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals (EDCs) in Personal Care Products – 2016” and “Beware of Toxic Sippy Cups - An Investigative study on Bisphenol - A (BPA) in Sippy cups in India -2016.” These studies are first of its kind report on EDCs on Indian context and have been able to generate interest of the concern stakeholders in India. Further Toxics Link also organized a conference on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals involving the policymakers, scientists, public interest groups to draw a future road map in Indian context.
Toxics Link has also developed fact sheets factsheets and other IEC materials for creating mass awareness on EDCs and their health and environmental impact.
Toxics Link also raised the issue of BPA in baby feeding bottles with the parliamentarians and the concern ministry including the Consumer Ministry and Bureau of Indian Standards. The issue was also raised and discussed in the parliament of India. Toxics Link was persistently engaged with the Bureau of Indian Standards to create regulations and resulting ban the use of BPA in the baby feeding bottles in India since 2014.
Bisphenol A (BPA) belongs to the group of diphenylmethane derivatives and Bisphenols. BPA was first synthesized in 1881 and is primarily used as a monomer in the manufacture of polycarbonates, a high performance transparent, rigid plastic...Explore More
* "Missing Pieces" An international poll on consumer and company views and concerns on chemical safety work a report By SSNC and Toxics Link
Factsheet 46 on BPA.; 2014.