July 17, 2005


In June 2005, over 100 research scientists actively involved in
research on endocrine disrupters from 15 countries issued a joint,
signed statement raising concerns about endocrine disruption. "In view
of the magnitude of the potential risks associated with endocrine
disrupters, we strongly believe that scientific uncertainty should not
delay precautionary action on reducing the exposures to and the risks
from endocrine disrupters."

Their analysis is available on the EDEN website (funded by the
European Commission).

In their statement, the scientists conclude that current safety
standards are ill-equipped to deal with risks caused by endocrine
disrupters and that current testing procedures may lead to serious
underestimations of risk.

Effects on wildlife are well-documented. People are exposed, including
early on in life when sensitivity to disruption can be especially
high. There are inherent difficulties in establishing causality in
humans... having to do with the unethical nature of planned
experiments on people, the reality of ubiquitous mixtures each
component of which may contribute to effects, long latencies between
exposure and effect, etc. such that real impacts may easily be missed.
The Prague Declaration scientists "are convinced that failure to
demonstrate direct links between hormone-related disorders and
exposure to chemicals should not be taken to indicate an absence of

They conclude with a series of policy and research recommendations:


"Scientific uncertainty should not delay precautionary action for risk

"Though screening assays are not adequate as a basis for risk
assessment, they should be utilised to trigger precautionary
regulatory action on the basis of the rebuttable assumption that
positive results may indicate risks."

"The substances already known to have endocrine disrupting properties
should be included in the proposed European chemicals regulation
REACH, and subject to the authorisation procedure."

"Steps should be taken to restrict inherently the use of persistent
chemicals, e.g. brominated flame retardants in order to halt their
build-up in humans and the

"The release of endocrine disrupters from sewage treatment works
should be reduced significantly."

"Relevant data from animal testing, including by industry
laboratories, should be made publicly available whenever possible."


More data are required to obtain a complete picture of the full array
of endocrine disrupters in the environment. This should include
gathering of data on body burden of EDCs that would allow geographic
comparisons across regions with marked differences in relevant health

"Further understanding of the possible modes of action of endocrine
disrupters is required in order to recognise organism functions that
might be at risk. "

"The effects of endocrine disruptors on a wider array of cellular
signalling pathways needs to be elucidated, in particular those
closely linked to disease conditions."

"The development of new assays and screening methods for the
identification of endocrine disrupters relevant to humans and wildlife
should be pursued with urgency."

"More mechanistic information regarding how endocrine disruptors are
involved in human disease is required."

Further systematic work on mixture effects will be needed to underpin
better risk assessment procedures.

"The consequences of endocrine disruption in wildlife for the balance
and well-being of ecosystems should be pursued with urgency because
some case studies have already shown that endocrine disrupters pose a
threat for biodiversity."

"In wildlife research, mechanistic work linking effects seen at the
organism level to population-level and ecosystems effects should be
encouraged. "

Special programmes focusing on the detection of possible effects on
the newborn child giving rise to problems in childhood and adulthood
should be initiated in order to overcome the challenge of possible
long temporary breach between exposure episode and overt adverse