Campaign alerts pregnant women to dangers of hormone disruptors

The Federal Public Service (FPS) Health has launched a campaign to better inform pregnant women and women who want to become pregnant about endocrine or hormone disruptors. These are chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that are not produced by the human body and can disrupt the functioning of the hormone system. They can have harmful effects on health, including that of unborn children.

Hormone disruptors are especially dangerous for pregnant women, children and young adults. If pregnant women are exposed to the substances, it can have lasting effects on their unborn child. For instance, it can increase the risks of loss of IQ, autism, diabetes, endometriosis and certain types of cancers.

The campaign aims to offer future mothers and their families simple tips to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors and the related health risks. For example, not heating food in plastic in the microwave, washing new sheets or clothes before use, limiting the use of beauty or care products and regularly ventilating the house.

The campaign is part of a broader national action plan on endocrine disruptors, which aims to ensure prevention measures, scientific research and the strengthening of Belgian and European legislation on endocrine disruptors.

In 2023, Belgium included endocrine disruptors in the codex on well-being at work to better protect workers, especially pregnant women in the workplace. At European level, there are measures in place to limit the presence of endocrine disruptors in the environment, namely the European chemicals legislation REACH and the CLP regulations that determine how chemicals are classified and labelled.


A pregnant woman getting an ultrasound scan © BELGA PHOTO IMAGEBROKER

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