EU Looks at Including EDCs in the GHS

The EU Commission will examine whether endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can be included in the existing international system for classification of chemicals (GHS). That’s the content of a Communication of the Commission (see the fourth bullet on page 12). With the inclusion, the EU wants to create a globally uniform solution for the identification of EDCs, similar to what has already been realized for other classes of hazardous chemicals, such as mutagens, carcinogens, and reprotoxic substances.

If a GHS classification for EDCs existed at the UN level, argues the EU, the Commission would make it part of the CLP regulation.

Although the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) is open to a dialog, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) has rejected a GHS classification.

A representative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has also taken a stand. In a conversation with Chemical Watch, Bob Diderich, head of the OECD’s environmental, health and safety division stated that many countries find legal dealings with EDCs difficult. He believes that a globally uniform GHS classification would help these countries. Nevertheless, he continued, clarification is needed to determine if the criteria that have applied so far would be adequate for a classification.

According to the Communication of the Commission, the EU is arguing for an integrated approach to ECDs that is both open and transparent. Among other approaches, it is planning a Web portal on the topic for EU citizens. The site should provide easily comprehensible and transparent information on the current status of EDCs.

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