This is the World Health Organization’s definition from 2002:
“An endocrine disruptor is” an exogenous substance or a mixture that alters the function (s) of the endocrine system and, as a result, has a deleterious effect on the health of an individual, his or her descendants or subpopulations »».
Let’s be a little more specific:
The endocrine system includes organs that secrete hormones: thyroid, ovaries, testes, pituitary … It releases these chemical mediators in the bloodstream, to act from a distance on certain functions of the body such as growth, metabolism, sexual development, brain development, reproduction …
It is therefore a system of communication between organs. Endocrine disruptors alter the functioning of this system by interacting with the synthesis, degradation, transport and mode of action of hormones. These molecules are therefore characterized by a toxic effect that is not direct, but indirect, via the physiological modifications they generate.
What are their risks?
- Accentuation of allergic reactions
- Increased risk of developing certain cancers
- Genital deformities in newborns
- Decreased sperm quality in humans
What are these disrupters?
Take the example of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical substance commonly used in the industrial manufacture of plastics. 2/3 of the global production of BPA is for the manufacture of polycarbonate from the family of thermoplastics, which resist heat and shock (CDs, DVDs, sockets, switches, solar panels, bumpers of cars, motorcycle windshields …) In addition, these products are used in many food-grade materials, including polycarbonate consumer products (baby bottles, dishes, microwave containers and food storage boxes) and packaging with a protective film or epoxy-phenolic coating (cans and metal lids).
How can this substance come into contact with our body and thus alter its functioning?
Bisphenol A has the particularity of being able to extract plastics spontaneously to come into contact with the food. This property is multiplied at high temperature. Water bottles exposed to direct sunlight, airtight containers, microwave-heated baby bottles or water-bath tin cans: all leak out tiny particles that will be absorbed by the body.
In 2012, bisphenol A was banned by the French Parliament in food containers for babies, then in all other containers at the beginning of 2015. However, in January 2018, the European Commission has just set a margin of tolerance for the incorporation of bisphenol A in certain food contact materials, even though it was recognized as an endocrine disruptor in June 2017.
It is like understanding nothing about it! on the one hand BPA is an endocrine disruptor, and on the other hand it is tolerated!
In many of these endocrine disruptors there are pesticides, these chemicals spread over many crops in France:
Published on October 4, 2018, an investigation by the health agency, France Public Health, declares that no cause, including environmental, is at the origin of the cases of malformations of babies born without hands, arms or forearms in the three sectors in France that are subject to an alert.
Indeed the controversy had been swelling for a week, after the broadcast of the television news show L’Oeil du 20 heures de France 2, when the journalists looked “at a troubling medical report long kept confidential.”
The Rhone-Alps malformation registry (REMERA) took this case of congenital anomaly, after a doctor settled in Pont d’Ain was confronted with two cases of birth defects that could not to be explained.
REMERA, which produced the study on malformation cases in the Ain, counted seven total cases between 2009 and 2014, birth defects all recorded within a 17 km radius around the village of Druillat. That’s 58 times more than the average estimates the registry.
All mothers of babies born without hands or arms were interviewed by REMERA. All live in an agricultural environment, in the middle of fields. But the National Public Health Agency believes that there is no established link, challenges the methodology used by the Registry, and merely advocate continued surveillance.
On October 8, 2018, the President of Europe Ecology Greens (EELV), Yannick Jadot spoke on RTL. Given the increase of births in France of children with malformations, he demanded the creation of a national registry of cases of malformations.
“I am absolutely scandalized by this case,” denounced the MEP on RTL. And to add: “What we do not want to see today is that it is very likely that these malformations are related to pesticides, all families that have been affected by these malformations live next to corn fields and sunflower fields. There is a beam of presumptions today that tells us that pesticides are the cause of these malformations. ”
“We remove the means of records that register malformations, the association that makes this record in Rhône-Alpes sees 200,000 euros each year, the Region has just removed 100,000 euros, we want to override the idea of we do not want to see, we do not want to know. ”
The grouped cases of malformations studied by the France National Public Health Agency were observed in Ain (7 births between 2009 and 2014), in the Loire Atlantique (3 births between 2007 and 2008) and in Brittany (4 births between 2011 and 2013), each time within a restricted area. They raised concerns in the areas concerned.
To better identify congenital malformations, France Public Health wants to create a national federation of six registers (Brittany, Paris, Antilles, Reunion and two in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes including the REMERA – Register of Malformations in Rhône-Alpes) to have a common database.
The head of REMERA is surprised that the trail of pesticides has been abandoned so quickly. Emmanuelle Amar, the epidemiologist who launched the alert on the alarming number of birth defects, says that if the organization has called for increased vigilance on possible new cases, this is proof that the track of pesticides was considered by France Public Health.
In a 2013 study on the effects of pesticides on health, INSERM indicated that “there are now numerous epidemiological studies suggesting a link between prenatal exposure to pesticides and child development, in the short and medium term.”In the context of a residential exposure during pregnancy, the link was made with” an increased risk of congenital malformations in the children of women living in the neighborhood of ‘an agricultural zone or linked to the domestic use of pesticides’, without mentioning particularly cases of ATMS (transverse agenesis of the upper limb).
Nevertheless, in the context of the impact of pesticides on health, Yannick Jadot denounces what he calls “the factory of doubt”.
“As soon as an independent study comes out, you have 10 studies funded by lobbies that say the opposite. It is a factory of doubt organized on the question of pesticides. You have enormous external resources, with a whole farming model that lives off that. The system is organized not to see. ”
“From the moment we have excess cases, nothing says to us that we will find their cause, but everything forces us to seek” says Emmanuelle Amar before adding that “from a scientific point of view, but also from a moral point of view, because we do not have the right to not do anything if we have a measuring instrument that sends up a red flag.
“These chemicals found on our plates:
The anti-pesticide association “Generation’s Futures” claims that the majority of pesticides found in the diet can disrupt the functioning of the hormonal system of our body.
“More than 60% of the pesticides found in food can be classified as endocrine disruptors,” it revealed last September.
The association hopes to weigh in the public debate as the Department of Ecology works on a national strategy on these substances.
“No strong action on food is considered in this plan, while it is clearly an important source of exposure for the population,” regrets its spokesman, François Veillerette.
Generations Futures has analyzed the annual report of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which publishes the results of all food controls conducted by the Member States. In 2016, half of the commodities tested had no quantifiable pesticide residues and 96% of the samples were within the limits allowed by European legislation. A stable rate of compliance from one year to the next, which the European institution considers “high”.
But for the association, these “good” results hide a problem: a detailed analysis of the molecules detected shows that nearly two thirds of these residues are endocrine disruptors, substances that can interfere with the hormonal system and alter certain functions(like reproduction, growth and development).
However, scientists today agree that some endocrine disruptors are likely to produce low-dose adverse effects in the case of long-term exposure. They can also act in synergy with each other. This “cocktail effect” is not taken into account by the current legislation, based on the respect of maximum residual limits per substance.
Finally, the sensitivity varies with the periods of life, with greater vulnerability for the fetus, infants and young children.
“The concept of threshold is not relevant to prevent the effects of endocrine disruptors”, summarizes François Veillerette, who advocates for a policy leading to the disappearance of these pesticides.
The consequences of exposure to these substances are difficult to grasp.
“We do not yet have clear ideas about their long-term effects in humans,” confirms Professor Gerard Lasfargues, Deputy Director General of the “Science Pole for Expertise” at the National Health Security Agency for Food, Environment, and Labor Safety (ANSES) which has been working on the subject for about ten years. According to the Agency, “it is important to study substances on a case-by-case basis, because their mode of action varies, and to concentrate our efforts on the prohibition of proven disrupters”.
But the subject is further complicated by the fact that there is no reference list of all products that can be endocrine disruptors. Generation Futures has chosen a larger list of products than the one currently selected by ANSES’s experts.
The Anti-Zionist Party calls on citizens to be more vigilant and alert to the dangers around us, especially in terms of our daily consumption. Whether in our plates, cosmetics, hygiene products or our household products. The same goes for our own fruit and vegetable crops.
Is the agriculture that kills our land with pesticides and makes us sick or disabled a fatality to which we must resolve?
Could permaculture be a solution for the future?
No study or means are put in place by our government to allow us to see more clearly.
Hence, to think that a sick man would be more profitable than a healthy man, this is one step that many have already crossed.