Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), a lurking threat for Bangladesh

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A report issued in March 2013 jointly by the United Nations and the World Health Organization states that “Endocrine Disrupters (EDCs) are a global threat to fertility and the environment.”

Bangladesh Situation

Developed or industrialized countries are doing advanced EDCs related research where developing countries are becoming aware about EDCs now-a-days. Realizing the threat of EDCs to children and future generation; Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO from Bangladesh along with IPEN support the nomination of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) an emerging global policy issue under SAICM and the SAICM stakeholders’ action to prioritized EDCs.

 Initiatives of ESDO to address EDCs

There is little research done on the EDCs and there is even gap in the knowledge about historic trend of EDCs, for instance due to lack of knowledge it could not be confirmed if EDCs are responsible for increased reproductive problems. Considering the situation ESDO has already started a study to assess countries situation on EDCs and its impact on environment as well as on human health. In accordance to the study we are expected to publish a report by June, 2015. ESDO also initiated public awareness campaign on EDCs since end of 2013

Harmful Impacts of EDCs on Wildlife

  • Reduction in the population of Baltic seals.
  • Eggshell thinning in birds of prey.
  • Decline in the alligator population in a polluted lake.
  • Reduction in frog populations.
  • Adverse effects on fish reproduction and development.
  • Development of male sex organs in female marine animals such as whelks and snails.

Primary initiatives to avoid EDCs containing products- Bangladesh Perspective 

  • Using of glass containers, glass drinking glasses, stainless steel water bottles, ceramic plate and bamboo cutting boards in daily routine.
  • Using of eco-friendly products those contain castile soap, lemon, and vinegar like ingredients rather than anti-bacterial soaps.
  • Buying local, organic foods and products made from organic grass-fed animals raised without antibiotics or hormones as much as possible.
  • No preservatives like parabens, no synthetic UV-filters (using mineral UV- filters) and no phthalates in fragrances.

 Policy and Regulations in Bangladesh

Considering the risks which have been pointed out by scientists, the regulatory development to restrict use of EDCs in consumer products has been rather slow in Bangladesh. The Essential Commodity Act, 1990 should imply on EDCs. The purpose of administering this act is to include broad spectrum of activities like storage, transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition, use or consumption of any essential commodity containing synthetic chemicals.


factsheet on EDC-Pratitee.pdf (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals A lurking Threat in Bangladesh)



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