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Rich Liroff - Test Only - Do Not Publish

[Editor’s Note: In this post, Richard Liroff follows up on his earlier article “ What Does the FDA's BPA Decision Mean for Companies?” on GreenBiz.com.]

Companies often ask me, “What's the next chemical I need to worry about?”

Consider endocrine disruptors (EDs).

Talk of the compounds and the concerns over their effects can be found everywhere.

If you turn on your chemical strategic planning radar, you'll detect:

 

  • Steven Colbert's jokes,
  • The New York Times Nicholas Kristof's op-eds (here , here,   and here) 
  •  A petition for EPA to set water quality criteria for endocrine disruptors under the Clean Water Act, 
  • The FDA aligning itself with the US National Toxicology Program on possible hazards from Bisphenol-A,  
  • New legislation proposed to research and possibly speed regulation,  and
  • Recent research from China associating high occupational exposures to Bisphenol A with erectile dysfunction (an ironic closing of a loop where an ED appears to lead to ED). 
  • There's also EPA's overdue endocrine disruptor screening and testing program, though this is emphasizing pesticides, which are regulated in the US differently from the many other chemicals that give retailers and other down-stream users reputational, recall, and litigation headaches.


Colbert interviewed Kristof in July 2009: “My guest tonight is a New York Times columnist who recently wrote about pollution causing genital mutations in frogs. Kermit's right…it's not easy being green.”  A month earlier, The Endocrine Society, a 14,000 member scientific society devoted to research and clinical practice on hormones and endocrinology, released  a scientific overview of endocrine disruptors presenting evidence “that shows endocrine disruptors have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, …thyroid metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.”

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