EU Commission criteria for endocrine disruptors

Legislation with a sense of proportion for hormonally active substances

06. June 2016 | Pressemitteilung

Long version of this document

++ VCI: Safe handling of hormonally active substances is possible ++ Clear criteria are needed, relying on a scientific basis.

The association of the German chemical industry Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) wants legislation with a sense of proportion for regulating hormonally active chemicals in the European Union. The EU Commission will soon propose criteria that enable a future classification of chemical substances as endocrine disruptors. According to the VCI, the relevant criteria should only cover substances that have a harmful effect on humans or the environment already in low quantities and doses.

VCI director-general Utz Tillmann emphasizes: “The safe handling of hormonally active substances is possible. A scientific assessment of all potential risks to human health and the environment is necessary to decide whether a substance requires regulation. This approach is practiced successfully in the assessment of chemicals. With this, we are fully in line with the European precautionary principle.”

Concerning the future criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors, the VCI holds that they should mainly include those criteria that are needed for a comprehensive hazard characterisation: potency of the substances, severity of harmful effects, reversibility of a negative effect, and informative value of scientific data.

Tillmann: “This also reflects the position of the German federal government which, in particular, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment – or BfR, for short – repeatedly contributed to the scientific and political debate.”

The VCI’s director-general calls upon the EU Commission to propose clear and workable criteria for endocrine disruptors: “There should be no situation where many substances important to modern plant protection or for efficient materials are unnecessarily regulated or even banned, even though they do not pose any increased risk in their intended use.”

The VCI points out that a number of rules are already in place in existing pieces of legislation for substances that will be identified as endocrine disruptors based on the new criteria. Within the European chemicals regulation REACH they can fall under an authorisation requirement. The regulations on plant protectants or biocidal products even prescribe far-reaching use bans.

More information

VCI's most important arguments and positions around the topic "Endocrine Effects and Endocrine Damage"

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2015 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 189 billion euros and employed 446,000 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail:

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 Oliver Claas

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Dipl.-Pol. Oliver Claas

Chemikaliensicherheit, Digitalisierung, Mittelstand, Konjunktur/Wirtschaft