Immediate Measures Requested to Control Endocrine Disruptors

Article excerpt

Civic groups yesterday called on the government to work out more concrete and substantial measures to monitor and control endocrine disruptors, or ``environmental hormones.''

The Citizens' Alliance for Consumer Protection of Korea (CACPK) also urged the government to ban the use of 13 chemicals which are found to disrupt the hormone and immune systems of both humans and animals.

The request came one day after the Environment Ministry reported that endocrine-disrupting toxic substances, including cancer-causing dioxin, were widely detected in the environment throughout the country. The ministry also announced countermeasures.

The report was the first of its kind in Korea. It was based on 17-month-long inspection into the residue of endocrine disruptors in 113 locations in river water, air and soil.

Kim Jai-ok, executive director of CACPK, said the government came up with lukewarm ones at a time when there are growing public concerns about the dangerous hormone disruptors.

``We've called for strict control on the use of 13 endocrine disruptors over the last two years. However, the government has done nothing to regulate the toxic chemicals,'' Kim said.

She said the 13 materials included dioxin and bisphenol A, which are widely used in the process of making plastic products and coating the inside surface of cans containing soft drinks and food.

Kim urged the government to make manufacturers mandatory to attach labels to their products so that consumers can recognize which products contain endocrine disruptors harmful to human health.

She also called on businesses not to use the harmful compounds in manufacture of toys to protect children.

As for the government measures revealed on Tuesday, the consumer rights activist said that they lacked concreteness and promptness in dealing with endocrine disruptors. …