European Union Regulation of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that Affect Reproduction: From Rachel to REACH

Acosta Chan, Karla Feliciana, Laureen Cuvilier & Billiam Pedersen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Evidence in wildlife shows that exposure to synthetic hormone disrupting chemicals results in reproductive and developmental damage, suggesting similar effects in humans. Therefore, it is to be expected that increased exposure to these hazardous substances through consumer products puts human health at risk. This thesis investigates industrial chemicals suspected to have endocrine disrupting effects on human reproduction, and explores how endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) could be managed under the EUs proposed regulation system, REACH. We critique the REACH proposal focusing on the authorization and classification system with respect to EDCs. Analyzing the relationship between regulators and consumers exposes the institutionalized denial by both scientists and policy-makers, that adverse effects in animals are suggestive of similar effects in humans. Additionally, the hegemonic influence of institutions is achieved through defining research parameters and hence subsequent decision-making. We discuss the argumentation of different actors of the chemical regulation debate and analyze the accepted scientific paradigms and the state of human health through consumer issues. By applying the theory of Risk Society, we conclude that regulation thus far has been a continual exercise in applying band-aid solutions. Unless REACH closes existing loopholes and adds compulsory stipulations it may turn out to be yet another band-aid solution. The theory stresses a re-examination of the use of scientific data, allowing us to apply the approach of risk society to the control of endocrine disrupting chemicals. We recommend, among other things, a re-examination of the use of scientific data in order to attain chemical regulation that is consistent, flexible, enforceable and open to public scrutiny.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2005
VejledereJesper Holm


  • endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • risk
  • chemical regulation