The work on endocrine disrupters, testing and assessment is managed by the Task Force on Endocrine Disrupters Testing and Assessment (EDTA). EDTA is made up of national experts, nominated by the National Co-ordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme. Other stakeholders also participate including industry, environmental non-government organisations and recognised (national and regional) centres for validation of test methods for hazard identification.
The EDTA Task Force provides a focal point within OECD to consider and recommend priorities for the development of testing and assessment methods for endocrine disrupters.
The actual work on endocrine disrupters is carried out by the contributions of many scientists from Member countries, industry, and non-governmental organisations. The work of these individuals is consolidated by their participation as members of Expert Groups and Task Forces ultimately making recommendations to the Working Party of the National Co-ordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme
The validation work is predominantly carried out by the following groups, which report to the EDTA:
Three Validation Management Groups (VMG) are established to oversee and manage the conduct of the practical validation work.
The Validation Management Group for Screening and Testing of Endocrine Disrupters for Mammalian Effects (VMG-mam)
The Validation Management Group for the Screening and Testing of Endocrine Disrupters for Ecotoxicological Effects (VMG-Eco)
The Validation Management Group for Non-animal Testing and QSARs
In the broader international context OECD co-ordinates its work with other international organisations and together with the WHO (International Programme on Chemical Safety) is working to address growing concern expressed at the second Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) about endocrine disrupting chemicals that have the potential to cause adverse effects in both humans and wildlife.
The work of the OECD is focused on:
Providing information on national and regional activities concerning endocrine disrupters;
Developing appropriate OECD Test Guidelines;
Serving as a focal point for validation activities amongst OECD countries as needed; and
Harmonising hazard characterisation and testing strategy approaches.
The WHO's International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) took the lead for implementing a global inventory of research on endocrine disrupting chemicals and the international assessment of the state of the science of EDCs. The outcome of this activity was published in December 2002 ( www.who.int/ipcs/publications/endocrine_disruptors/en/ ).
If you are interested in finding out more about the work of EDTA or any of the three Validation Management Groups; you should first contact the National Co-ordinator of your country.