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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment can take a serious toll on the health of humans and wildlife. They mimic or block natural hormones made by the body and have been linked to irreversible reproductive and developmental problems like early puberty, infertility and cancer.

Evidence is mounting that these chemicals also interfere with neurological and immune systems and contribute to thyroid disorders, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are found in food, water, air, consumer products, plastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals and fuel. Because most are fat-soluble, they are stored in tissues, rather than excreted, and accumulate in the body. They can be transferred from mother to child through the placenta or breast milk.

The Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act (S 2828 and HR 4190) would authorize the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to conduct research on hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment and determine their safety.

A panel of scientific experts, free of conflict of interest, will evaluate the findings and determine the level of concern. Their findings will be passed on to regulatory agencies, including those listed below, which must propose a course of action in response to the findings.

•    Environmental Protection Agency
•    US Food and Drug Administration
•    Consumer Product Safety Commission
•    Occupational Safety and Health Administration
•    Department of Agriculture

If this bill becomes law, it would create the following protocols to develop reliable and reproducible methods to identify chemicals that can disrupt hormones in the human body and impact health.

•    Address the full range of possible health outcomes, including reproductive, behavioral, intellectual, metabolic, and endocrine disorders
•    Detect effects at levels relevant to human exposure
•    Consider the effects of exposure to multiple chemicals

Congress is back in session but scheduled to recess on October 8, 2010.  There is a lot of work to be done in this short period of time, so please write your elected officials today and encourage them to cosponsor this legislation.

It’s easy to take action with Capwiz. This legislative tool allows you to send emails or printed letters directly to your Senators and Congressman. Follow this link to enter your zip code and contact information, customize the suggested text and send the letter to all of your elected officials.

References:

Diamanti-Kandarakis E et al. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocrine Reviews. 2009 June; 30(4):293-342.

Colborn T et al. Developmental effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in wildlife and humans. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1993 October; 101(5):378-84.

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