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Vol. 25 No. 2
March-April 2003

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Environmental Implications of Endocrine Active Substances

The International SCOPE/IUPAC Symposium on Endocrine Active Substances (EASs), held 17—21 November 2002 in Yokohama, Japan, was a major milestone in the project coordinated by the Chemistry and the Environment Division and led by Dr. Junshi Miyamoto. (SCOPE is the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment of the International Council for Science.) The project objectives are to critically evaluate the issues relating to the effects of EASs on man and the environment, to prioritize research needs, and to offer some manageable actions facilitating risk assessment and risk communication. The symposium was organized around four major topics:

  • molecular mode of action of nuclear receptors
  • environmental fate and metabolism of EASs
  • toxicological effects of EASs and risk assessment for humans
  • effects of EASs in wildlife species

Eminent international experts were invited to cover these issues in a total of 55 sub-topics and there were 6 supplementary workshops addressing related issues. Additionally there were poster sessions for submitted papers and for the 55 main, orally presented sub-topics (a rather unique, but effective way of encouraging dialogue). The excellent facilities of the Yokohama Convention Center proved equal to the task of accommodating over 350 participants. The culmination of the project will be the publication during 2003 of the final report in Pure and Applied Chemistry containing the 55 manuscripts for the sub-topics (with conclusions and recommendations) and an executive summary.

Efforts are underway to improve EAS exposure assessments in humans and animals.

The overall recommendations for risk management of EASs are as follows:

  • Environmental monitoring programs should be focused on high priority EASs, including relevant metabolites, and be designed to support exposure assessment.
  • Quantitative correlations for chemical analyses and bioassays (TIE) should be used to reevaluate the biological relevance of target EASs for monitoring programs.
  • In addition to source control, available technologies for reducing environmental entry should also be considered.
  • Research priorities to improve exposure assessment of humans and wildlife are as follows:
  • increased reliability of detection methods for EASs
  • elucidation of metabolic pathways, including potential activation vs. detoxification
  • key environmental fate parameters should be generated for highly active EASs (e.g., steroid hormones, certain industrial chemicals, drugs)
  • improved models for exposure assessments
  • development of more efficient processes for reducing environmental loadings

Overall, this timely project of broad and far-reaching scope will result in authoritative reviews, conclusions, and recommendations for all topics important to understanding significance of EASs. Publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry is planned for 2003. The symposium was a very successful step in progressing toward these objectives.

This project update was prepared by Patrick T. Holland <patrickh@cawthron.org.nz>, secretary of the Chemistry and the Environment Division. For more information contact Dr. Junshi Miyamoto <miyamoto-junshi@cerij.or.jp>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2000/2000-016-1-600.html


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