EFSA cumulative risk assessment of pesticides in food

EFSA is carrying out a public consultation on its pilot assessments of the risks posed to humans by residues of multiple pesticides in food. Interested parties have until 15 November to submit comments on two assessments: one considers chronic effects on the thyroid system and the other looks at acute effects on the nervous system. For further information see here.

Invitation for submissions: "Environmental Toxicology" - Chemical Research in Toxicology, Special Issue

Editors Prof. Jiayin Dai (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Dr. Christopher Lau (US EPA) and Dr. Yang Song (Southwest University, China). Submission deadline 15 January 2020. Further information.


Invitation for submissions: "Future Nanosafety" - Chemical Research in Toxicology, Special Issue

Editors Prof. Harald Krug and Dr. Annette Kraegeloh. Submission deadline now 15 November 2019. Further information.

Future chemical risk assessment - have your say!

There is an opportunity to participate in a survey on using non-animal methods, mechanistic information and the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) Framework in chemical risk assessment. The survey is being run by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, a longstanding collaborator with WHO on chemical risk assessment methodology development.The closing date for the survey is 30 September 2019. Please also see link to the survey and background information.

Save the date: SST Annual Meeting 2019 and 10th Anniversary of the SCAHT

This year's Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Toxicology will be held in conjunction with a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology (SCAHT). Attractive lectures and sessions with well-balanced inputs from academia, industry and regulators will be offered. Beside the scientific presentations there will be various networking opportunities.

For details please visit: SST Annual Meeting 2019 and 10th Anniversary of the SCAHT

Heritable effects of parental phthalate exposure

A recent study by the group of Ariane Giacobino has investigated the underlying reasons for differences in susceptibility of male foetuses to in utero phthalate exposure and its effect on spermatogenesis. The team conducted multigenerational studies that revealed that the exposure inherently affects a number of male fertility parameters and that this effect is dependent on the genetic background of each individual. This genetic background differs in a number of identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes regulating the male organs. Furthermore, the second generational impact of the exposure was found on the sperm transcriptome. See publication in PLOS ONE.

Poor semen quality in Switzerland

The UNIGE researchers conducted the first national study on the quality of Swiss sperm by analysing the profile of 2,523 young men aged 18 to 22 as part of their military recruitment. Based on the WHO thresholds established in 2010, the results of the study indicate that 17% of young men had a sperm concentration below 15 million per ml and 25% had less than 40% motile spermatozoa in their ejaculate. The rate of morphologically normal forms was below 4% in 40% of the subjects. The study as a whole revealed that at least one of the three parameters (concentration, motility and morphology) was below the WHO thresholds for 60% of men, and that 5% had a problem concerning these three factors at the same time.

“We need to be cautious about a single semen analysis,” points out Dr Alfred Senn, an andrologist and co-author of the study. “It isn’t entirely predictive of a person’s fertility. But, in overall terms, the results suggest that the sperm quality of young men in Switzerland is in a critical state and that their future fertility will in all likelihood be affected.”

See press release and publication.

SCAHT Experten-Kommentar zu K-Tipp Artikel über Haaranalysen für Schadstoffnachweis

Der K-Tipp Artikel vom 8. Mai 2019 beschreibt, dass man in Haarproben von 20 Testpersonen unbestimmte Mengen von Chemikalien nachweisen konnte und leitet daraus ein Gesundheitsrisiko für die Bevölkerung ab ... Zusammenfassend lässt sich also sagen, dass der Artikel mit der Frage nach der Gesundheitsbeeinträchtigung durch Umweltchemikalien ein Thema aufgreift, das von grossem wissenschaftlichem Interesse ist und auf grosse öffentliche Resonanz stösst. Gerade deshalb betrachtet es das SCAHT als kritisch, wenn dem Leser suggeriert wird, dass man  aufgrund der gezeigten Daten Rückschlüsse auf mögliche Gesundheitsschäden ziehen kann (vollständiger Kommentar).

AOPs in chemical risk assessment - OECD webcast

Introduction to AOP framework, collaborative development, and application examples in chemical risk assessment. Speakers are Nathalie Delrue (OECD Secreteriat), Kate Willett (Humane Society International), Jason O’Brien (Environment Canada), Dan Villenueve (US EPA). Further information.

Send questions by 26 April to ehs.contact@oecd.org, to help determine the focus topics.

Chemical mixtures in food – EFSA guidance

People can be exposed to multiple chemicals from a variety of sources. Understanding how combined chemicals behave is complex and the number of combinations is potentially infinite. A new harmonised framework developed by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA will help scientists evaluate the potential ’combined effects’ of chemical mixtures in food and feed. Read the full story