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LIFE-EDESIA Project objectives and actions


The main objectives of the project are:

  • to apply the substitution principle to Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDC) of « equivalent concern », on the basis of i) endocrine disruption effects, ii) high production volume, iii) widespread use and iv) potential exposure of general population) as Substances of Very High Concern, namely: phthalates, bisphenols and parabens;
  • to demonstrate a new, robust and cost-effective in silico/in vitro approach to evaluate suitable chemicals for replacing EDC of equivalent concern, that can support the application of REACH legislative framework on the substitution principle environment;
  • to demonstrate that feasibility of the substitution of the EDC considered in the project in industrial applications.

Accordingly, the following stepwise sequence of secondary objectives are identified:

  • to identify potential substitutive chemicals, both on the basis of the state of the art and using available in silico approaches to identify new potential candidates;
  • to perform a comparative assessment of the different potential substitutive chemicals using the in silico approach;
  • to synthesize the selected substitutive chemicals;
  • to validate the in silico results by a comparative assessment in vitro methods identified previously;
  • to create prototypes that use the substitutive chemicals, and to assess them for release of chemicals;
  • to launch a demonstration and dissemination plan involving other projects (Life+, 7th FP) industry, regulators and consumer’s organizations, so to present the project’s approaches and outcomes as a support to the science-based implementation of the substitution principle.

Actions and means involved

Action A1 identifies chemicals that have already been studied as potential substitutes of parabens, bisphenol A and phthalates. A1) delivers the first list of potential substitute chemicals. Actions B1 to B3 apply in silico tools. B1) creating a second list of substances that can have the same physico-chemical properties as the EDC to replace. B2) screening the first and second lists regarding the overall REACH legislation requirements and any property that may jeopardize the convenience of the substances for replacement of the EDC. That delivers the short list. B3) refining that short list, assessing the absence of endocrine disruption properties of the candidate substances. That delivers the final candidate list of potential substitute chemicals of the project.
Actions B4 and B5 deal with in vitro steps. B4) the synthesis of the chemicals of the short list, if they cannot be obtained commercially. B5) in vitro validation for the absence of (or strongly reduced) endocrine disrupting effects. B5 delivers the Validated list of potential substitutive chemicals to parabens, bisphenols and phthalates.
Actions B6 demonstrates to pharmaceutical, food packaging and cosmetics users that these chemicals are suitable for an industrial purpose. Both by prototyping in three different industrial applications (food packaging, cosmetic, medical devices) and validating these prototypes.
Action C deals with the monitoring of the impacts of the project.
Actions D1 to D5 deal with dissemination activities.
Actions E1 to E3 are dedicated to project management and monitoring of its progress.

Expected results

The expected project results are listed here:

  • a list of about 15 potential substitutive chemicals (3-5 for each chemical class are envisaged) to parabens, bisphenol A and phthalates, that fulfil all the requirements and constraints deriving from REACH regulation;
  • a stepwise system of in silico / in vitro integration and cross-validation for EDC substitutive chemicals assessment, in compliancy with REACH legislation;
  • a report on the potential use of the substitutive chemicals to EDC for industrial purposes (medical devices, cosmetics and food packaging);
  • a report on the stakeholders’ needs (panel of 15 stakeholders, periodic interviews);
  • four notice boards of the project;
  • brochures (1500), newsletters (2000), layman’s report (400);
  • scientific papers (8);
  • presentations to scientific conferences (6);
  • 2 workshops (a total of 100 participants);
  • 2 seminars at the European Chemical Agency/ECHA and European Food Safety Agency/EFSA;
  • initiatives for media (3);
  • a web portal;
  • a discussion forum.


Published 23-09-2013 in About EDESIA , last update 15-03-2016


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