akropolis-by-night-161201The second half-year meeting of the EDC-MixRisk Project Steering Committee was organized in Athens, 1-2 December 2016. The meeting provided an overview of the progress on various tasks and ongoing activities within the project.

The discussions of the meeting focused mainly on creating the strategy for the next relevant mixture of chemicals to be tested in the different health domains; the risk assessment procedures of mixtures; as well as planning of a White Paper based on the approach, results and outcomes of the project. Also, the scientific progress in the field was discussed.

The meeting provided an excellent forum to address multidisciplinary aspects, information flow and the overall strategy of the project. It was concluded that the project is on track and a lot of interesting and useful data is being produced.

EDC-MixRisk scientists have contributed to another open letter to the EU Commission about the proposed criteria for classification of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The letter is a response to the EC’s recently-published revised draft criteria.

While the redrafted criteria have attempted to address a number of concerns, the changes are insufficient and the proposed criteria are considered not fit for purpose.

Click here to read the letter.


The open letter was originally published by Paul Whaley (16 Nov 2016) on http://policyfromscience.com/another-open-letter-to-the-eu-commission-about-the-edc-criteria/

The work performed in EDC-MixRisk is vital to expand our knowledge on mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Here you will meet the scientist behind the research and hear their story on what they are doing and why it is important.

Vice-Coordinator of the project, Dr. Joëlle Rüegg from Swetox/Karolinska Institutet reveals some preliminary results of experimental studies.


jjoelleruegg_webb_1352Hi JoëlleWhat is the aim of your experiments?

The aim of our experiments is to investigate if Mixture G, a mixture of EDCs that is associated with low birth weight in the SELMA children, changes features in mesenchymal stem cells so that they are more prone to differentiate towards fat cells (adipogenesis) than towards bone cells.


What have you discovered so far?

In our initial experiments, we have investigated the effects of different doses of Mixture G on adipogenesis of these cells. We found that even low doses of the mixture (10 times higher than the mean concentration found in the SELMA mothers) increased adipogenesis within weeks of exposure. We are now in the process of confirming these results. Further, we are investigating which genes are affected by the mixture and could be responsible for this increase in adipogenesis.


What these findings could implicate?

Our findings indicate that an EDC-mixture that is associated with low birth weight (which is, in turn, indicative for metabolic problems) changes features of stem cells so that they can more easily become fat cells. This could implicate that the higher exposed children are more prone to develop obesity later on in life.

EDC-MixRisk Project Partner, Prof. Christina Rudén (Stockholm University) will be discussing the SYRINA framework at an upcoming workshop “Association or causation in miasmas and mixtures: Current reflections on Bradford Hill’s 1965 contribution to Public Health”. The meeting will be organized in London, Royal Society of Medicine 13-14 October 2016.

The title of Prof. Rudén’s speech will be: Bradford Hill and evaluating evidence for action on endocrine disrupting chemicals: SYRINA.

The key messages of her speech point to the need of novel approaches to be used in risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals. The SYRINA framework adds structure and transparency in the assessment process. It also encourages inclusion of all data – both regulatory studies and academic research, and allows integration of data from different streams of evidence to support conclusions. The method has been developed in international cooperation, with a main contribution from the EDC-MixRisk project.

The workshop is organized by the Epidemiology & Public Health Section of RSM in partnership with Brunel University London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London. For more information about the event: https://www.rsm.ac.uk/events/eph01

In a newly published article in Environmental Health, more than twenty researchers propose a new method for handling the risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals. The method is called SYRINA (Systematic Review and Integrated Assessment), and allows an overall assessment of the various sources of evidence . The method has been developed in international cooperation, with a main contribution from the EU project EDC-MixRisk .

We are proud to announce that Ms Stéphane Horel will be our key note speaker at EDC-MixRisk arranged full day symposium on EDCs. Stéphane Horel is a French journalist and documentary filmmaker that present herself as lobby watcher and EU entomologist. For many years she has monitored the EDC issue.

Stéphane Horel will talk about his comprehensive review of the political game behind the EDC legislation, which she describes in the recently published book ” Intoxication ” .

Lena EK, former MEP and former Swedish Environment Minister until 2006, will also participate. Ms Lena Ek was one of Parliament’s main negotiator of the common EU REACH legislation and in her initiative, Sweden took the European Commission to the European Court of Justice for its failure to define EDCs . The Court recently gave Sweden the right and held that the Commission’s failure has delayed efforts to regulate chemicals.

Additional speakers, including of Swedish Chemical Agency, will talk about how the regulations are designed, why it is so slow and what happens next.

The work performed in EDC-MixRisk is vital to expand our knowledge on mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Here you will meet the scientist behind the research and hear their story on what they are doing and why it is important.

First in line is Christina Rudén, Professor at Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University in Sweden.

Christina_Rudén Fotograf EvaDalin

Professor Christina Rudén. Photo: Eva Dalin

Hi Christina – what are you doing in EDC-MixRisk?

One aim of EDC-MixRisk is to contribute to improving risk assessment procedures of EDCs and mixtures of EDCs. We will coordinate that part of the project. In practice we will compile data in a structured way and – in collaboration with all partners in EDC-MixRisk – empirically test two novel approaches to risk assessment.

What is SciRap?

SciRAP is a framework that contains tools for evaluating the relevance and reliability of toxicological and eco toxicological studies. It also offers a color-coding tool that helps summarize the reliability of such studies, and a reporting checklist of items that is needed for a comprehensive reporting of research studies in toxicology and eco toxicological. All of this is publically available free of charge at www.scirap.org .

Why is it important?

Regulatory risk assessment often focuses on standard testing and studies performed by independent scientists are often dismissed. The aims of SciRAP are to make evaluation of all types of data more systematic and transparent and to apply the same reliability and relevance criteria to both standard and non-standard studies.

How can SciRap make it easier to use research results in risk assessment?

The reporting checklist will help researchers to report their studies in a way that fulfills the regulatory reporting requirements, and thus help risk assessors in their evaluation of the studies. Empirical investigations show clearly that the scientific standards of reporting are not always sufficient for regulatory needs. If the SciRAP checklist is used, the reporting will be (at least) as good as the reporting requirements in standard test protocols and thus fulfill the regulatory needs.

The Centre for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala and Swetox invites to a seminar on Endocrine-disrupting chemicals – female reproduction and embryo development in Uppsala, Sweden 10th of March.


Centre Uppsala 10mars 2016


When:10th of March 2016

Where: Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala, Ekmansalen 9.30-16.00


Register before 2016-02-18, to: anette.forsberg@slu.se

For more information, contact: cecilia.berg@ebc.uu.se



09.30 – 10.00   Registration and coffee

10.00 – 10.10   Welcome and presentation of CRU Cecilia Berg, CRU

10.10 – 10.30   Swetox – a unique center for CHHEEN research Åke Bergman, Swetox

10.30 – 10.45   Prenatal exposure for perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) and its relation to birth weight in 2,000 children in the SELMA study Carl-Gustav Bornehag, MixRISK project, Swetox

10.50 – 11.05   PFAS exposure in mothers and children from the POPUP-study in Uppsala Irina Gyllenhammar, National Food Agency, Sweden

11.10 – 11.25   Wild mink as a sentinel species: associations between the reproductive organs and levels of pollutants Sara Persson, SLU


13.00 – 13.15   The frog as a model to investigate developmental reproductive toxicity Cecilia Berg, Uppsala University

13.20 – 13.35   Thyroid disruption by chemicals present in indoor dust Gunnar Carlsson, SLU

13.40 – 13.55   Is Wnt signaling a target for EDCs?: preliminary results from the MixRISK project Maria Jönsson, Uppsala University

14.00 – 14.15   Epigenetic effects of EDCs – underlying mechanisms and implications for development and beyond Joelle Ruegg, Swetox

14.20 – 14.50   Coffee break

14.50 – 15.05   In vitro models for ovarian toxicity – help from human ovarian tissue culture? Pauliina  Damdimopoulou, Swetox

15.10 – 15.25   In vitro production of bovine embryos as a toxicological model: the impact of pollutants on  oocyte quality Ylva Sjunnesson/ Sara Persson, SLU

15.30 – 15.45   Effects of EDCs in a human in vitro model for endometrial receptivity Matts Olovsson, Uppsala University Hospital

15.50 – 16.00   Reflection on EDCs, female reproduction and embryo development Åke Bergman, Swetox


EDC-MixRisk representative offered our scientific competence and interest in the EDC area to the commission on a meeting DG Santé. The meeting ended with a route forward for science to policy interaction.

The 2nd of December, Professors Barbara Demeneix, Carl-Gustaf Bornehag and Åke Bergman from EDC-MixRisk met with Mr. Michael Flueh, Head of Unit Pesticides and Biocides at Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, DG SANTE. Novel data on EDC where presented and EDC-MixRisk researchers also managed to raise important questions regarding EDCs, see below. They also and stressed the importance of mixtures toxicity of EDCs for human health and wildlife safety of chemicals.

– Åke Bergman was satisfied with the meeting: We offered our scientific competence and interest in the EDC area to the commission as a route forward for in-depth and continuous science to policy interaction.


Critically important questions regarding EDCs

The following questions were raised by EDC-MixRisk at the meeting but the time did unfortunately limit the discussion. Hence the questions are only raised here with some explanatory text from the EDC-MixRisk.

Controversy in science on EDCs

As active scientists in the field of ED we do not experience a controversy in the science on ED. There are some different interpretation of data strengths and agreements on lack of enough of data to certify some conclusions. What is DG Santé’s definition of “controversy” and when it is appropriate to use this wording in the context of ongoing work to find solutions to find criteria for management of EDCs?

Need of Causality – Evidence based decisions?

How DG Santé see the requests for application of “causality”, as raised by some stakeholders in the debate on endocrine disruptors. What does DG Santé mean by “evidence based decisions” and when it is appropriate to use this wording?

The potency of EDCs is under debate.

What is DG Santé interpretation of “potency” of EDCs and when is it appropriate to apply the concept of “potency” in the context of ongoing work to find solutions to find criteria for management of EDCs?

We are happy to welcome you to a one day symposium on EDCs on May 10, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The symposium consists of three sessions; one presenting national and international research initiatives, one to set the stakeholder context and one purely scientific session with invited speakers.


To participate at the symposium you need to register and pay a registration fee 625 SEK/65EUR that will cover lunch and coffee. The registration is now closed.



Venue: Main Auditorium, The Swedish Museum of Natural History, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm

Moderator: Eva Krutmeijer, Senior Science Communicator


8.30 Registration and breakfast (Fossilen)
9.00 Opening and Welcome address – Dr. Åke Bergman, Swetox Södertälje


Session I: Ongoing Projects relevant to EDC research in EU.

9.10 EuroMix – Dr. Jacob van Klaveren (Coordinator), RIVM, Utrecht
9.30 EDC-MixRisk – Dr. Joëlle Rüegg (Vice Coordinator), Swetox Södertälje
9.50 EU ToxRisk – Dr. Ian Cotgreave, Swetox Södertälje
10.10 The Swedish research project: EDC-2020 – Dr. Emma Wincent, Swetox Södertälje
10.30 Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring (IPCheM) – Dr. Sharon Munn, Systems
Toxicology, Institute for Health & Consumer Protection, JRC
10.50 Coffee break (Fossilen)


Session II: Science to policy on EDCs

11.10 The most important messages from science to policy in 15 minutes
11.25 Dialogue w Ms. Lena Ek, former MEP and Minister of Environment and Dr. Åke Bergman
11.45 Regulations on EDCs – the process – Dr. Gregory Moore, Swedish Chemicals Agency
12.00 The science, lobbying and policy – Key note by journalist Stéphane Horel
12:30 Lunch (Linnérummet)


Session III: Scientific highlights on EDC research

13.30 Experimental EDC mixture research – Dr. Ulla Hass, Technical University of Denmark
14.00 Thyroid research highlights – Dr. R.Thomas Zoeller, University of Massachusetts Amherst
14.30 Coffee break (Fossilen)
15.00 Methods in EDC research – Dr. Juliette Legler, Brunel University London
15.30 Japan Environment and Children’s Study – Dr. Shoji Nakayama, National Institute for
Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan
16.00 A solution to the UNEP/WHO request on methods for evaluating evidence on EDCs
– Dr. Marlene Ågerstrand, Stockholm University
16.30 Closure


Download the program, pdf version:




For more information please contact Project Manager Gabor Borbely, Swetox

gabor.borbely@swetox.se, office: +46 8 524 88532, mob: +46 76 4000227


Organisers: EDC-MixRisk and EDC-2020

EDC-2020 is a five-year research program on endocrine disrupting chemicals financed by approx. one million euro a year by the Swedish Research Council Formas on behalf of the Swedish Government. The core of the project is five research areas and a training program. Eleven national universities are joint together in the efforts of EDC-2020. Read more at: http://swetox.se/en/research/edc-2020/