EPA issues second list of endocrine disruptors

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on 17 November 2010 a second list of chemicals for which it intends to issue test orders under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).

This list of 134 chemicals includes a large number of pesticides, two perfluorocarbon compounds and three pharmaceuticals (erythromycin, nitroglycerin, and quinoline). This list also consists of an array of other chemicals, ranging from those used for industrial manufacturing processes, as plasticizers, or in the production of pharmaceutical and personal care products.

These chemicals, some of which have been found in public water supplies, will be screened for their potential to disrupt the endocrine system. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interact with and possibly disrupt the hormones produced or secreted by the human or animal endocrine system, which regulates growth, metabolism and reproduction.

“Endocrine disruptors represent a serious health concern for the American people, especially children. Americans today are exposed to more chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies than ever before, and it is essential that EPA takes every step to gather information and prevent risks,” said EPA administrator Lisa P Jackson. “We are using the best available science to examine a larger list of chemicals and ensure that they are not contaminating the water we drink and exposing adults and children to potential harm.”

The list includes chemicals that have been identified as priorities under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and may be found in sources of drinking water where a substantial number of people may be exposed. The list also includes pesticide active ingredients that are being evaluated under EPA’s registration review program to ensure they meet current scientific and regulatory standards.

The data generated from the screens will provide robust and systematic scientific information to help EPA identify whether additional testing is necessary, or whether other steps are necessary to address potential endocrine disrupting chemicals

Also announced on 17 November were draft policies and procedures that EPA will follow to order testing, minimize duplicative testing, promote equitable cost-sharing and address issues that are unique to chemicals regulated under the SDWA. After public comment and review, EPA will issue test orders to pesticide registrants and the manufacturers of these chemicals to compel them to generate data to determine whether their chemicals may disrupt the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways of the endocrine system. 

EPA is already screening an initial group of 67 pesticide chemicals. In October 2009, the agency issued orders to companies requiring endocrine disruptor screening program data for these chemicals.

EPA will begin issuing orders for this second group of 134 chemicals beginning in 2011.