ANSES launches its two calls for research projects on the themes of "Occupational and Environmental Health" and "Radiofrequencies and Health"
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News of 19/11/2014
One of ANSES’s missions is to organise and support research. This is expressed in its work as part of the National Research Programme on Environmental and Occupational Health (PNR-EST), a vital tool for acquiring the knowledge with which to support public policy-making and health risk assessment work. In this context, calls for research projects focused on environmental health and occupational health topics are issued and financed with funds entrusted to ANSES by the Ministries for Ecology, Agriculture and Labour, to which is added the proceeds of the tax on radiotransmitters and funds from partner institutions. For the 2015 edition of PNR EST, two calls for projects are being issued today, with total funding of around six million euros.
The 2015 calls for projects focus on the assessment and analysis of environmental risks to human health, affecting both the general and worker populations. Their scope is vast, extending from health risks associated with chemical and biological agents or pesticides, to questions raised by the rapid development of certain technologies.
They also include cross-cutting approaches for which researchers are encouraged to use their projects to develop concepts, methods or tools from different disciplines.
The first call for projects, designed to bemore general in purpose, was funded from sums provided to ANSES by the Ministries of Ecology and Labour, and also from other partners: the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the multi-agency thematic institute for cancer (ITMO Cancer) as part of the national Cancer Plan, the Ministry of Agriculture under the French Ecophyto Plan (in cooperation with ONEMA, the French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments) and the 2017 EcoAntibio Plan. This call for projects focuses on varied themes:
- risks associated with physical (noise pollution, non-ionising radiation), chemical and biological agents (antimicrobial resistance, vector control);
- risks associated with nanoparticles;
- risks associated with mineral fibres;
- risks associated with exposure to pesticides;
- risks associated with environmental carcinogens;
- risks associated with exposure to industrial waste and discharge;
- risks associated with air quality;
- approach to health risks from the perspective of the human and social sciences.
The second call for projectsis devoted to the theme “Radiofrequencies and health", which is receiving special attention because of the call for knowledge on this subject and the need to broaden the number of scientists studying it. Financed from the proceeds of a tax on radiofrequency transmitters, its aim is to develop research actions that will support expert appraisal and in particular the recommendations from the previous assessment report on "Radiofrequencies and health" published by ANSES in October 2013. The text in this call for projects focuses on five themes:
- research on mechanisms of action of radiofrequencies at cell level;
- research on the physiological or health effects of radiofrequencies;
- electromagnetic hypersensitivity;
- effects of the uses of new technologies;
- characterisation of exposure situations.
The National Research Programme on Environmental and Occupational Health (PNR-EST) aims to encourage scientific communities to produce data of use in the different phases of health risk analysis, thereby bringing research and scientific expert appraisal closer together.
These two calls for projects in particular establish the research priorities for the national environmental health, occupational health, cancer, Ecophyto and EcoAntibio 2017 plans, and by doing so, provide support for public policy making. They are aimed at research questions posed by the ministries and State agencies affected by these topics.
As part of its efforts to promote this work, ANSES organises twice-yearly Scientific Conferences to enable the research teams to present the work funded under the PNR-EST. Each of these conferences, organised over an entire day, attracts a generally well-informed audience of between 300 and 500 people, from a variety of backgrounds: stakeholders from the voluntary and professional sectors, scientists, journalists, public institutions, etc.
The next Scientific Conferences event will take place on 28 November 2014 at the Institut Pasteur, and will be devoted to the effects of chemical pollutants on human health, a subject that is central to the health issues assessed by the Agency.