The overall concept underpinning EDC-MixRisk is that early life exposure to EDC mixtures induces changes in the organism that underlie increased susceptibility to diseases during the entire life span. Three health domains will be addressed in the project: growth and metabolism, neurodevelopment, and sexual development. Furthermore, the project integrates research from three relevant scientific modules: 1) epidemiology, 2) experimental systems and 3) risk assessment and societal impact. In the epidemiological module, mixtures of EDCs are identified, through associations between exposure and health outcomes in the three domains. These mixtures are tested in different experimental systems relevant for the respective health outcomes, whereas the experimental data are integrated into the risk assessment methods developed in module 3.
In contrast to the vast majority of studies that focus on one chemical and one physiological outcome at the time, EDC-MixRisk has developed a multiple-exposure-to-multiple-outcome approach, which mimics the real life exposure situation. Our first results demonstrate that EDC mixtures associated with adverse health outcomes in population based epidemiology evoke relevant molecular and physiological effects in experimental systems in cells and animals, even at low concentrations. This demonstrates the validity of our approach in interacting between epidemiology and experimental toxicology and the need to take mixture effects into account for risk assessment. The major innovative potential of EDC-MixRisk lies within the improved risk assessment methodologies directly linked to the data obtained in the project, and strategies to systematically engage policy-relevant stakeholders. Improved regulatory processes will be important for the general populations globally, for national regulatory agencies and organizations; for chemicals manufacturing industry and down-stream users of these chemicals.
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