Endocrine disruptors are chemical substances that alter the functioning of the endocrine system and negatively affect the health of humans and animals. They may either be of synthetic or natural origin.
On request of the EU Commission ICADA prepared a report of various endocrine disruptors („hormones“) in natural cosmetics , some of which had 10.000 fold potential compared to the denigrated parabens.
In the ICADA report the following potential natural substances with endocrine disruptor acitvities are included (precaution principle based) :
1) chemical group isoflavonoids
Genistein, Daidzein (plants, in which compound is found: soy, red clover, chick pea, peanut)
Biochanin A (plants, in which compound is found: red clover, soy, alfalfa, sprouts, peanuts, chickpea)
2) chemical group stilbenoids
resveratol (plants, in which compound is found: grapes, variety of berries, senna/cassia gum)
pinosylvin found in pine tree
3) chemical group flavonoids
kaempherol (plants, in which compound is found: aloe vera, moringa, rosmary, grapes, apple, green tea, cucumber, variety of berries, ginko biloba)
quercetin (plants, in which compound is found: sea buckthorn, apple, variety of berries, citrus fruits, horse chestnut, cork-tree-bark, gingko biloba)
baicalein found in scutellaria baicalensis)
pinocembrin found in propolis
naringenin (plants, in which compound is found: orange, grapefruit; water-mint, hop (humulus lupus/beer)
4) chemical group lignane
prenylpropanoids (plants, in which compound is found: sesame, taiga root, valerian root, linseed, cork oak)
5) chemical group pentacyclic triterpenes
glycyrrhetinic acid found in licorice
EU Commission activities
In 2018, the Commission adopted the review on the cosmetic regulation 1223/2009 on cosmetic products containing endocrine-disrupting substances. The report takes stock of how substances considered as potential endocrine disruptors were tackled under the cosmetics regulation. In the report, the Commission committed to creating a priority list of potential endocrine disruptors that weren’t covered by the regulation bans yet. After input from EU countries, industry (like the ICADA report), consumer organisations and the SCCS, the Commission consolidated a list of 28 substances.
The 14 substances that merit a higher priority for assessment include Benzophenone-3, kojic acid, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, propylparaben, triclosan, resorcinol, octocrylene, triclocarban, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), benzophenone, homosalate, benzyl salicylate, genistein and daidzein.
The remaining 14 substances could take place in the future, taking into consideration any relevant developments. These substances are Butylparaben, tert-butylhydroxyanisole/Butylated hydroxyanisole/BHA, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate(EHMC)/octylmethoxycinnamate (OMC)/octinoxate, benzophenone-1/BP-1, benzophenone-2/BP-2, benzophenone-4/BP-4, benzophenone-5/BP-5, methylparaben, cyclopentasiloxane / decamethylcyclopentasiloxane/D5, Cyclomethicone, salicylic acid, butylphenyl methyl propanol/BMHCA, triphenyl phosphate and deltamethrin.
New lists of endocrine disruptors
Under the leadership of Denmark, the five EU countries Denmark, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden have drawn up three lists of endocrine disruptors (ED) and made them available on a new website:
List I: Substances identified as endocrine disruptors at EU level
List II: Substances under evaluation for endocrine disruption under an EU legislation
List III: Substances considered, by the evaluating National Authority, to have endocrine disrupting properties
The lists should be updated continuously. This enables companies to keep up to date with ED substances. The initiators see this as a practical solution to avoid endocrine-disrupting substances – at least until an EU-wide ED regulation is found.