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

7 New AOPs

The OECD Environment, Health and Safety Division requests review and endorsement of 7 Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs):

  • AOP 6: PPARα antagonism leading to body-weight loss
  • AOP 10: Blocking iGABA receptor ion channel leading to seizures
  • AOP 21: AhR mediated mortality
  • AOP 42: TPO Inhibition and Altered Neurodevelopment
  • AOP 54: NIS inhibition and learning and memory impairment
  • AOP 131: AhR activation-uroporphyria
  • AOP 150: AhR activation to ELS mortality, via VEGF

Deadline for comments is 29 March 2019. See further details.

EU-ToxRisk Update

EU-ToxRisk is a Horizon2020-funded European ‘Flagship’ Programme driving mechanism-based toxicity testing and risk assessment for the 21st century. The ultimate goal is to deliver testing strategies for reliable, animal-free hazard and risk assessment of chemicals. The latest newsletter can be found here.

EFSA lowers safe level for toxic dioxins in food by a factor of seven

The EFSA expert panel on contaminants in the food chain (CONTAM) set a new tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for dioxins in food of 2 picograms per kilogram of body weight, based on new epidemiological and animal data and more refined modelling approaches for predicting dioxin levels in the human body. See reference.

SCAHT on Twitter

You can now follow @SCAHTorg on Twitter.

SCAHT office

The SCAHT office will be closed from 22nd December 2018 until 1st January 2019.

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