The Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act of 2009
What is the Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act?
The Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act is an amendment to the Public Health Service Act that authorizes the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to coordinate and build upon the cutting-edge research related to endocrine disruption, in order to develop assays that will identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and determine their safety.
Why is the Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act needed?
We swallow, inhale and absorb through our skin, plastics, pesticides, fire retardants, exhaust fumes, fragrance and much more every day. They are in our homes and automobiles, our cleaning products, cosmetics and clothing, even in our children’s toys, contributing to our continual, ubiquitous exposure to EDCs.
A growing pandemic of endocrine-related disorders, such as ADHD, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, early puberty, infertility and other reproductive disorders, and childhood and adult cancers, is seriously undermining the health and wealth of our nation. Data from NIEHS and its grantees shows that all of these diseases can be caused by developmental exposure to EDCs in animal models.
What is the purpose of the Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act?
The purpose of this act is to establish a multidisciplinary intramural and extramural research program to
1) improve the understanding of endocrine disruption,
2) design and develop research protocols to identify EDCs, and
3) determine their safety.
How is the Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act related to other proposed chemical regulatory legislation?
This Act is to facilitate broader and sweeping legislation (for example, TSCA reform and the Safe Cosmetics Act). Regulatory decisions cannot be made without the ability to identify chemicals with the potential to disrupt the human endocrine system.
Who will develop the scientific program dictated by the Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act?
The research agenda will be developed by scientists and health professionals who are knowledgeable about the endocrine system and environmental exposures that may influence it.
How will the scientific program inform regulatory agencies?
An expert panel will be appointed by the NIEHS director, made up of scientists free of conflicts of interest, with established expertise in endocrine disruption research. Fields of expertise include, but are not limited to, developmental and neurological biology, endocrinology, embryology, biochemistry, physiology, epidemiology, endocrine driven oncology, and medical research.
The panel will determine the hazards posed by EDCs. NIEHS is not responsible for regulatory action. The panel will submit its findings to the appropriate federal agency with jurisdiction over the route of human exposure for a given chemical (e.g., in consumer products, in the environment, in food and drugs). This will give regulatory agencies the evidence they need to protect the public health from endocrine disrupting chemicals.
How will this Act assure the sustainability of endocrine disruption research?
Funds are provided to support undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral training in academic laboratories where endocrine disruption research is taking place in order to build the future of this discipline.
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