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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

2017: Facing exposure on a daily basis and anticipating emerging risks

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News of 30/01/2017

Today, ANSES is presenting its work programme for 2017. Changes in consumption modes and habits, the development of new technologies, the presence of multiple sources of contamination in the general environment or in the workplace, and changes in factors relating to the organisation of work; all of these may expose people to new risks, through food, at home, at work, when travelling or while engaging in leisure activities. After a particularly active year in 2016, which yet again saw the Agency's missions expanded and many expert appraisal studies published, in 2017 ANSES will focus on tackling these new risks of everyday life.


Through its integrated approach to risk assessment, research and reference, ANSES takes into account the exposure of various population groups (citizens, consumers, workers) in a cross-cutting and all-encompassing way that enables it to assess risks and formulate recommendations that reflect the realities of everyday life as closely as possible. Given the globalisation of trade, the change in consumption modes and habits, the diversity of supply, the development of new technologies, and changes in the world of work, vigilance is needed to prevent current and future risks, and identify the threats of tomorrow.

Accordingly, over the coming year the Agency will be publishing the results of the third national individual survey on food consumption in the population (INCA3), which for the first time includes children under three years of age, in order to adapt the public health recommendations to changes in consumption habits. Work will also begin on updating the nutritional guidelines for the most sensitive or exposed populations (children, pregnant women, the elderly) and for special diets (vegetarians).

Faced with the risks associated with new technologies, ANSES will be examining the potential health impact of using virtual reality, and the health effects and social impact of using these new technologies in general.

The Agency will focus more specifically on exposure and multiple exposures in the workplace, in the framework of the Third National Occupational Health Plan (PST3), and will continue its work on the exposure of workers and residents to pesticides. For the Agency, preparing for the future also means working to identify and assess alternatives to certain plant protection products, in particular agronomic and biocontrol solutions, in order to ensure that innovative practices and products, which are safer and more efficient, can be made available on the market in the best conditions.

With the strengthening of its monitoring and vigilance capacity in human, animal and environmental health, the Agency is also gaining new sources of data as input for its expert appraisal and research activities, for the benefit of public policymaking.

Moreover, to continue protecting populations on a daily basis and keeping one step ahead of tomorrow's risks, ANSES remains mobilised, together with its French, European and international partners, on all the major health challenges: air quality, endocrine disruptors, nanomaterials, radio frequencies, plant protection products, biocides, combating antimicrobial resistance, veterinary drugs, etc., which will be addressed by expert assessments and research studies. The Agency’s research and reference laboratories in animal health, food safety and plant health, which all play a major role in safeguarding health, will continue to provide their support to the public authorities on a daily basis to prepare for or respond to crisis situations such as avian influenza.