How are endocrine disrupting chemicals affecting women’s reproductive health? Research project FREIA releases infographic and factsheet

It is well known that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are negatively associated with human health and the environment. Despite this, how exactly they affect women’s reproductive health is unknown. 

Despite mandatory safety evaluations for chemicals prior to market release, EDCs are often overlooked and female reproductive health is not adequately assessed.  Current President of the European CommissionUrsula van der Leyen, as well as Environmental and Health Commissioners stated they are committed to making endocrine disrupter regulation a priority and we anxiously await the progress of this mandate. 

Today, the FREIA Project in collaboration with the Health and Environment Alliance (HEALreleased an infographic and factsheet on EDCs including what is currently known with regards to women’s reproductive health. FREIA is an EU-funded project that aims to improve identification of chemicals that affect women’s health through disruption of the hormone system.  

As the name suggests, EDCs interfere with the production, transport, excretion and/or function of endocrines, more commonly known as hormones. Hormones are important to regulate many bodily functions including growth, metabolism and reproduction. 

Included in the report is where EDCs, most of which are human made, are currently found in every day products and at which stages of reproduction EDCs are most detrimentalUnlike other known toxic chemicals, the authors underline that the woman’s reproductive stage can increase her vulnerability and even very low doses can cause harm. EDC exposure early in life may be activated or worsened due to additional EDC exposure throughout a woman’s life. 

 The infographic and factsheet are also available in Dutch.