Amsterdam, June 24, 2018 – Endocrine Disruptors, or EDs, pose a potential health risk. This group of substances is now being linked to impaired fertility, as well as with chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Employees in construction and in the plastics industries come into contact with these substances more than other people regularly would, and are therefore at a higher risk of increased health problems. The substances, which include plasticisers, are added to plastic to give it the desired properties. The construction industry has been using more and more plastics the past few years to, among other things, construct buildings that are more energy-efficient.
Worldwide, millions of people work in these two industries. An international group of scientists argues in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that this group of employees need a separate risk-based approach. They point to a study, for instance, which alleges that employees in both industries are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
It’s not just the amount of exposure that’s relevant; the moment of exposure and the sex of the person being exposed are important, too. Factors like these make it hard to prove causal links. Additionally, it can take time before harmful effects actually start to manifest. This is an important explanation for the fact that there still isn’t any clear legislation which regulates the use of EDs.