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Cefas scientists centre stage at UK-Japan endocrine disrupters workshop

29 October 2012

Cefas scientists will play a leading role at an inter-governmental research workshop on the impacts of environmental endocrine disrupters, to be held at Windsor, Berkshire from 31 October to 2 November 2012.

Endocrine disrupters include a wide range of industrial chemicals, natural hormones, pesticides and pharmaceuticals (often collectively termed "emerging contaminants").

These have been shown to affect the reproductive health of fish and wildlife or to pose risks to humans through contamination of the food chain or drinking water sources.

Endocrine disrupters are a major issue in the UK and Japan, both densely populated island nations with public and scientific concern expressed about such emerging contaminants.

The purpose of the workshop - funded by the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Japanese Ministry of Environment - is to build strong collaboration and facilitate the exchange of information between the two countries.

Cefas scientists will be playing a key role during the workshop. The scientists and the subjects they will address are as follows:

  • Dr Ioanna Katsiadaki (Science Leader for Cefas' Aquatic Animal Health division): the use of small fish models, such as the three-spined stickleback, to compare inter-species sensitivity of emerging contaminants likely to impact the reproductive endocrine system
  • Prof Tom Hutchinson (UK Science Leader and Windsor workshop co-chair, plus Cefas Programme Director for Chemical and Nanotechnology Risk Assessment): the use of mechanistic biological information to help guide the identification of sensitive freshwater and marine species to different classes of endocrine-disrupting chemicals
  • Prof Alex Scott (Cefas Emeritus Fellow): a critical review of the endocrinology of freshwater and marine molluscs, an important group of organisms now being included for reproductive and developmental effects assessment in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guideline programme
  • Dr Tim Bean (Research Scientist): the use of biomarkers for endocrine disrupters in marine finfish and shellfish.

The workshop will be attended by over 50 scientists from the UK and Japan, plus representatives from other OECD countries.

The Windsor workshop programme is available to download (PDF, 56.5 KB).

Fact file

Both the UK and Japan have made significant contributions internationally towards protecting ecosystems, whilst continuing to promote free trade between the 44 countries of the OECD.

UK-Japan research co-operation on endocrine disrupters covers four key areas:

  1. the fate of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and emerging contaminants in the environment and their remediation
  2. advancing testing systems for application within the international OECD test guideline programme
  3. promoting the use of molecular and genomic approaches to understanding the impacts of endocrine disrupters on finfish
  4. understanding population impacts on fish and shellfish populations in the field and environmental risk assessment.

For more information about UK-Japan research co-operation visit http://www.uk-j.org/

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Last Modified: 29 October 2012