News from EOM

Aquatic pollution provides threats to human health

25 November, 2017

Threats to human health by great ocean garbage patches

Marine plastic pollution has been considered a remote environmental problem. However, a latent threat to marine life has become an acute threat to human health. Biochemical pathways of degraded and decomposed materials and xenobiotics released by great ocean garbage patches are clear enough to alert us and stimulate us to work on prevention of an otherwise immense health problem.

Thomas Efferth, Norbert W Paul. The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol. 1, No. 8, e301–e303


Challenges in characterizing the environmental fate and effects of carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanomaterials in aquatic systems

The release of highly persistent carbon nanotubes (CNTs) from nanocomposites is determined to be a potential source of environmental contamination. Furthermore, the nanomaterials play a role in dissolution and the contribution of ions versus particles to nanomaterials toxicity. A phenomenon of particular relevance for the environment is photoactivation of nanomaterials. This is elucidated with regard to its consequences in complex aquatic ecosystems.

Peter Laux et al., Environmental Science, 2017, in press


Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today

20 October 2017

Philip J Landrigan et al

The Lancet Commission on pollution and health

“Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015—16% of all deaths worldwide—three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence. In the most severely affected countries, pollution-related disease is responsible for more than one death in four”
The Lancet Commission on pollution and health addresses the full health and economic costs of air, water, and soil pollution. Through analyses of existing and emerging data, the Commission reveals pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease. It uncovers the economic costs of pollution to low-income and middle-income countries. The Commission will inform key decision makers around the world about the burden that pollution places on health and economic development, and about available cost-effective pollution control solutions and strategies.


The Lancet commission on pollution and health:

New work of the EOM fellows

Budnik LT, Austel N, Gadau S, Kloth S, Schubert J, Jungnickel H, Luch A: Experimental outgassing of toxic chemicals to simulate the characteristics of hazards tainting globally shipped products. PloS one 2017, 12:e0177363.


Abrahamsen R, Fell AK, Svendsen MV, Andersson E, Toren K, Henneberger PK, Kongerud J: Association of respiratory symptoms and asthma with occupational exposures: findings from a population-based cross-sectional survey in Telemark, Norway. BMJ Open 2017, 7:e014018.


Thurston GD, Kipen H, Annesi-Maesano I, Balmes J, Brook RD, Cromar K, De Matteis S, Forastiere F, Forsberg B, Frampton MW, Grigg J, Heederik D, Kelly FJ, Kuenzli N, Laumbach R, Peters A, Rajagopalan ST, Rich D, Ritz B, Samet JM, Sandstrom T, Sigsgaard T, Sunyer J, Brunekreef B: A joint ERS/ATS policy statement: what constitutes an adverse health effect of air pollution? An analytical framework. The European respiratory journal 2017, 49(1)



An academic researcher's guide to increased impact on regulatory assessment of chemicals

by  Marlene °Agerstrand et al, in Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, April 2017

DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00075H, Link:

The interactions between academic research and regulatory assessment of chemicals may in theory seem straight forward: researchers perform studies, and these studies are used by regulators for decision-making. In practice, even for chemicals that have been researched by independent scientists, the regulatory chemical assessments have been shown to be based primarily on toxicity studies sponsored and/or conducted by the chemical industry. This is problematic for at least two reasons. First, we run the risk of making less informed decisions when excluding peer-reviewed studies. Second, there is an inherent conflict of interest in the system when the main responsibility for data gathering and risk assessments lies on the party that has economic interest in having the chemical on the market. To help bridge the gap, °Agerstrand and her colleagues give an overview of the general workings of legislation of chemicals and propose a set of actions to increase the usability of independent studies.

see also SYRINA, below:


A proposed framework for the systematic review and integrated assessment (SYRINA) of endocrine disrupting chemicals

by Laura N. Vandenberg et al. in Environmental Health, (2016) 15:74

The issue of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is receiving wide attention from both the scientific and regulatory communities. When using the SYRINA framework, the overall objective is to provide the evidence base needed to support decision making, including any action to avoid/minimise potential adverse effects of exposures. This framework allows for the evaluation and synthesis of evidence from multiple evidence streams. Finally, a decision regarding regulatory action is not only dependent on the strength of evidence, but also the consequences of action/inaction, e.g. limited or weak evidence may be sufficient to justify action if consequences are serious or irreversible.

DOI 10.1186/s12940-016-0156-6, Link: