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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

We live in a world in which man‐made chemicals have become a part of our lives. It is impossible to imagine any products which can be manufactured without the use of chemicals. 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).

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 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 has initiated work on EDCs by exploring these harmful chemicals in baby products. Toxics Link has come up with its first report in 2014 titled “Bottles can be toxics – an investigative study on BPA in baby feeding bottles in India” . This report was first of its kind on EDCs in Indian context and has been able to generate interest of the concern stakeholders in India. 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.”

Later, Toxics Link started a campaign to remove EDCs from several other products and have come up with many reports and still working on the issue. Toxics Link is also organizing conferences and meetings intermittently 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 and other IEC materials for creating mass awareness on EDCs and their health and environmental impact. 

Policy Intervention:

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 many times. Toxics Link is 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.

Subsequently The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has revised the standards for baby feeding bottles in 2015 as per IS 14625:2015 and prohibited the use of BPA in baby feeding bottles. 

The Ministry of Child Welfare has also taken action and mentioned that as per section no. 4.1 of IS 14625:2015, “the material used for plastic feeding bottles and accessories excluding teats shall be of polypropylene conforming to IS 10910 or polyethersulfone (PES) or any other olefin based polymer, co-polyester material or other raw material as given in Annex II for manufacture of plastic feeding bottles. The materials used should pose no health hazards to babies and shall not contain Bisphenol -A (BPA).” 

The Ministry also suggested phasing out BPA from cups, spouts and straws with the possible amendment into the definition of feeding bottles in the infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992. The proposed new amendment on the definition of feeding bottlesis “Any Bottle or Receptacle used for the purpose of feeding infant milk substitute through a treat or drinking accessory attached or capable of being attached to such bottle and receptacle”. However, the proposed amendment has not been notified yet.

  • BPA Campaign

    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...

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  • Interventions

    Toxics Link research study on  EDCs

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  • Publications

    Toxics Link publication on EDCs.....

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  • Media Coverage

    Media Coverage on EDCs......................

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