The EU should take action to reduce risks from hormone disrupting chemicals "within three to five years," the Austrian environment ministry said this week. In its role as current EU presidency, Austria hosted a conference in Vienna to discuss the scientific and policy issues raised by hormone (or endocrine) disrupters, which are rising rapidly up the EU's political agenda. Speaking at the meeting, officials from the European Commission's environment and research directorates stressed that the EU would take action if warranted by scientific data, and that more research and the will to finance it are both needed. Action on hormone disrupters "is overdue," Austrian environment ministry official Thomas Jakl told ENDS Daily. Mr Jakl added that the Austrian government has already begun analysing sewage at 14 treatment plants to check for the presence of industrial chemicals such as alkylphenol ethoxylates, phthalates, bisphenol A and butyl hydroxansisol. He said that a strategy paper on how to address the issues should be completed within weeks.
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