More than 25 years after the Wingspread Conference, concerns about the potential health threat posed by endocrine disruptors (EDs) are higher than ever. Accumulating data indeed indicate that adverse effects of EDs could largely exceed classical reproduction and fertility endpoints, with lasting effects on development, immune system, endogenous metabolism, cognition, behaviour or carcinogenic processes. This broad spectrum of EDs’ effects clearly illustrates the finely tuned and intricate nature of the many components and layers of the endocrine system.
Research in the field of EDs has also highlighted new paradigms or has reinforced previous ones in the field of toxicology, including low-dose and non-monotonic effects, windows of susceptibility and perinatal imprinting, issues of species-specificities, as well as mixtures and transgenerational effects. The complexity and variety of mechanisms underlying the action of EDs therefore require transdisciplinary and integrated approaches, involving chemists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, bioinformaticians and risk assessors to work together in order to better evaluate exposure to EDs, predict their impact on wildlife, ecosystems and humans and design specific regulatory tests for these compounds.
In this context, the 2018 edition of the EDCEH will address key issues related to endocrine disruption, including:
- Definition of EDs within the regulatory context.
- Emerging approaches for assessing the exposure to EDs.
- Models and (non-)standard tests for endocrine disruption.
- Innovative methods and predictive tools to investigate endocrine disruption.