June 16, 2017
Washington, DC – The Endocrine Society, the European Society for Endocrinology, and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology sent a joint letter to the European Commission expressing serious concern with the Commission’s proposed criteria on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). In the letter, the three societies claim the proposed criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection.
An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.
The EC’s proposed criteria on EDCs cannot be called science-based as it contains arbitrary exemptions for chemicals specifically designed to disrupt target insect endocrine systems that have similarities in humans and wildlife. The three societies strongly object to the addition of loopholes in the criteria as they create frameworks where potentially dangerous chemicals cannot be defined as EDCs by law.
The three societies urge Member States to work towards improved criteria for the identification of EDCs by incorporating the following recommendations:
- Removing the exemption for biocides and pesticides designed to act on endocrine systems;
- Adhering to a science-based definition of EDCs that include categories for known EDCs and chemicals for which more information is needed to make a determination; and
- Maintaining a hazard-based identification system without derogations based on risk.
Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.
The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.
Yerevan, 8 June 2017
On the 8th of June 2017 a workshop was held in Ani Plaza Hotel, Yerevan, dedicated to the problem of chemicals, in particular pesticides, which cause disorders of the endocrine system. The workshop was organized by the Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment NGO (AWHHE) within the framework of the project “Protecting Women from endocrine disrupting chemicals” supported by GGF. Detailed information on endocrine disrupting chemicals was provided by AWHHE employee Ms. Knarik Grigoryan. These chemicals in very small doses can block the action of hormones or can cause disruption in the endocrine system. The availability of information on the hazardous properties of substances and the use of recommended precautions when handling them make it possible to make production, transportation, handling and disposal processes safe. Many countries already have regulatory systems in these areas. In 2002, the international community adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. In hеr speech Ms. Elena Manvelyan, Head of AWHHE, got the participants familiarized with the content of the GHS and noted the advisability of implementing this system in national legislation, which will reduce the risks of exposure of such substances to health and the environment. She emphasized the necessity for respecting the consumer’s right to know what chemicals they buy together with the goods. In conclusion, Ms. Manvelyan called for increasing the focus on the issue of chemical safety and working more efficiently in this field, noting that the sound management of chemicals and wastes is one of the most important requirements for sustainable development. Mr. Artur Nikotyan, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, briefed the participants of the seminar on the strategy of control and protection of plants and agricultural products against pests, use of chemical means of plant protection and their import into Armenia. A wide discussion arose around the question of the possibility of the transition of intensive chemization to agroecological methods of farming.
According to Mr. Nikoyan, this transition is still very slow, although Armenia is not a country with very intensive use of chemicals. The results of monitoring about the presence of the residual amounts of persistent organic substances in soil, irrigation water and agricultural products were presented by the representatives of the Center for Ecological and Noosphere Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and the American University of Armenia. Ms Lilik Somonyan, AWHHE expert, presented the results of analysis for the content of pesticide residues in breast milk and agricultural products. In conclusion, the audience was informed about the results of the International Conference on the three Chemical Conventions by the representative of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia and a member of the AWHHE who were delegates to that Conference.
On the 31st of May 2017, the launch meeting of the project entitled “Solar Energy for Low-Carbon Sustainable Lifestyles in Solak, Aygavan and Malishka Rural Communities of Armenia” was held in the Garni Hall of Ani Plaza Hotel, Yerevan with participation of representatives from the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia, the Embassy of Japan in Armenia, target villages, NGOs, solar technology companies and mass media. The aim of the meeting was to present the planned project activities in the above-mentioned communities.
The project is funded through the 10YFP Trust Fund established by UNEP ( brochure). The project was selected through an open 10YFP Trust Fund Call for Proposals for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme with the financial support of the Government of Japan.
The project objective is to improve the social and economic situation in these villages through the promotion of solar energy use. The project will use an innovative participatory method for developing and implementing local sustainable development strategies and plans with active involvement of the different stakeholders and the public at large in local communities.
Triple COPs – The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-13), the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-8) and the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-8) were completed on the 5th of May 2017.
The meetings were organized back-to-back and included joint sessions on joint issues. The Conference also included a high-level segment on Thursday, 4 May and the morning of Friday, 5 May 2017. The theme of the meetings and the high-level segment was “A future detoxified: sound management of chemicals and waste”.
Representatives from IPEN Participating Organizations and Partners in 30 countries met today in Geneva for an IPEN preparatory meeting prior to the beginning of the Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. The meetings begin on the 24th of April with a joint session of the three Conventions.
IPEN focal point in Armenia for chemical conventions AWHHE NGO participated in the meetings of the BRS Conference. The full information on the conference is available at the IPEN website: www.ipen.org
4 – 5 May 2017, Geneva, Switzerland
AWHHE representative participated in the Workshop on setting targets under the Protocol to support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=44749#/) and the Ninth meeting of the Task Force on Target Setting and Reporting (http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=45258#/) which were held back to back on 4-5 May 2017 in Geneva.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and the SDGs were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 as a next step in the world’s development agenda. As water is at the core of sustainable development, the implementation of SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation and of other water related goals and targets will be key to fulfill the aspiration of the 2030 Agenda.
The Government of Armenia was represented by delegates from the Ministries of Health and Nature Protection.
On April 7, 2017, the EUWI NPD Steering Committee held its 16th meeting to discuss national priorities for the water sector in the next 4 years.
The meeting was attended by the representative from the EU Delegation to Armenia Mr. Gregory Tsouris, OECD representative Ms.Tatiana Efimova and UNECE representatives Mr. Peep Mardiste and Ms. Chantal Demilecamps, as well as representatives from the relevant agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations.
The agenda focused on the latest developments in the water sector in respect of water resources management, use and maintenance of water systems, cooperation with the international program implemented in Armenia, as well as the draft Action Plan 2018-2020 for the Provision of Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation developed by the Working Group of Experts in frame of the ongoing project “Development of an Equitable Access Action Plan in Armenia” based on the self-assessment results of Equitable Access Score–card for Water and Sanitation implemented by AWHHE NGO in the Republic of Armenia under the Protocol on Water and Health.
Webinar on HHPs problems, belonged to EDCs was held on 13th of March 2017. Experts from EECCA countries participated in the webinar. Five presentations were prepared by Olga Speranskaya IPEN/ EcoAccord; Oleg Sergeev, Russia Chapaevsk; Eugenia Koreneva, Ukraine; Elena Manvelyan, Armenia; Oleg Pechenjuk, Kirgistan.
- Общие проблемы стран ВЕКЦА по обращению с особо опасными пестицидами и как их решать, Ольга Сперанская, IPEN/Эко-Согласие
- Вещества, нарушающие работу эндокринной системы – введение в проблему, Олег Сергеев, Ассоциация медицинских работников г.Чапаевска
- Влияние пестицидов на репродуктивную систему (гипофертильность), Евгения Коренева, МАМА-86
- Результаты проекта по анализу содержания пестицидов в грудном молоке и сельскохозяйственной продукции, Елена Манвелян, AWHHE
- Кампания по внесению глифосата в списки пестицидов, запрещенных к применению в странах ВЕКЦА, Олег Печенюк, «Независимая экологическая экспертиза»
Participants of webinar agreed to continue the discussion and attract additional specialists and experts, in particular agroecologists.
From 26-27 March 2017, AWHHE representative participated in a regional seminar on the problems of mercury pollution in the countries of the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). The seminar was organized in Moscow, Russia, by Eco Accord (http://www.ecoaccord.org/ ) jointly with the “Scientific Research Institute for Protection of atmospheric air » (http://www.nii-atmosphere.ru/) . The seminar was attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations, research institutes, international organizations and private companies involved in the collection and processing of mercury-containing waste. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the results of the GEF / UNEP project on the development of a mercury inventory in the Russian Federation, data on the health effects of mercury in EECCA countries, information on hot spots of mercury pollution.
Riga, Latvia from 21 March to 23 March 2017
The meeting took place from 21-23 March 2017 in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Riga, Latvia, and was hold back to back the working session to address regional specific issues related to ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention on 24 March 2017 at the same venue.
Meeting objectives: The objective of the regional preparatory meetings is to give Parties within regions the possibility to consult each other in advance of the 2017 COPs, consider meeting documents, discuss substantive matters, identify regional priorities and challenges, and facilitate the preparation of regional positions.
Observers, from the AWHHE, ARNIKA and IPEN participated in the meeting on behalf of IPEN network.
AWHHE (a focal point of SAICM) Participates in the First Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 that opened on Tuesday, 7 February 2017, in Brasilia, Brazil.