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Assessing endocrine disruption in birds, fish and amphibians

Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that can affect human health or wildlife by interfering with the normal functioning of hormones.

In 2018, the European Union adopted scientific criteria to identify the pesticides that are endocrine disrupters. Then, in June 2018, the European Food Standard Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published guidance on how to interpret test results, including recommendations on how to perform hormonal measurements in mammalians. However, there are gaps when it comes to non-mammalian vertebrate species such as birds, fish and amphibians.

For example, in the test models which do address endocrine-specific endpoints in amphibians and fish, there are no specific recommendations on which hormones to measure, how or when to measure hormones or how to interpret the results. In addition, in the current bird test for reproduction, not only is there no recommendation relating to hormonal measurements, but there is also little guidance on which tissues or organs to investigate.

Through a systematic mapping of the literature on methods to measure hormones in fish, birds and amphibians and a survey of laboratories routinely carrying out such chemical testing, this project will fill that gap and form the basis for European guidance on how to perform, report and evaluate hormonal measurements in fish, birds and amphibians, and how to perform, report and evaluate on gross pathology investigations in birds.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Olwenn Martin

Related Research Group(s)

scientist testing water next to plant

Pollution Research and Policy - Predictive approaches in toxicology, including combined chemical exposures and development of new frameworks for non-animal approaches for predicting toxicity; Endocrine disruptor research with an emphasis on mechanisms of disease and test method development; Pollution monitoring, clean-up technologies and chemical analytics.

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Project last modified 13/11/2023