There is growing evidence that Bisphenol A, phtalates and other hormone-disrupting substances are harmful to human health. These substances are used in medical instruments. In an article that will be published today in the Dutch medical journal Medisch Contact, Annelies den Boer of Wemos and co-authors, two medical doctors and a toxicologist, call upon Dutch doctors to actively push for the use of safe medical instruments.
Hormone-disrupting substances, or endocrine disruptors, are a threat to public health and create sky-high costs. Currently, too little is happening in the Netherlands when it comes to tackling exposure to these harmful substances.
Up until now, the Dutch government has remained inactive – but it looks like the tide is turning. A report that was published this March by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) revealed that exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) poses a risk for the endocrine system and the developing immune system. Consequently, Minister Schippers announced she will take measures to reduce exposure to BPA, in particular in the case of unborn babies, infants and adolescents.
While the authors certainly applaud this development, they still think more action is needed. The government should also take measures to tackle exposure to other hormone-disrupting substances by prohibiting their use in medical instruments, children’s toys and packaging materials. Also, more should be invested in scientific research on safe alternatives.
Annelies den Boer (global health advocate, Wemos), Dr. Majorie van Duursen (toxicologist, Utrecht University), Dr. Gavin ten Tusscher (paediatrician, Westfriesgasthuis, Hoorn), Dr. Paul de Jong (oncologist, Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein): ‘Help hormoonverstorende stoffen de wereld uit’, Medisch Contact 20/2016
De Volkskrant, a popular Dutch daily newspaper, published an article about this topic
Medisch Contact, a Dutch medical journal, also published a newsitem about this topic