ANSES operates the National Research Programme for Environmental and Occupational Health (PNR EST), funded from budgets delegated by the Ministries of the Environment and Labour, as well as by the proceeds of the tax on radiofrequency transmitters and funds from partner institutions. In this context, each year the Agency issues calls for projects, essential tools for developing scientific knowledge with which to support public policy-making and health risk assessment work in its field of competence. This year, an additional budget from the Ministry of the Environment is providing support for projects on the theme of endocrine disruptors.
In 2018, 350 projects were submitted in response to the two calls for projects, an unprecedented number for the PNR EST. After a rigorous selection process based on the assessments of a scientific committee, 43 projects were selected: ANSES will fund 37 projects from the budgets delegated by the Ministries of Environment and Labour (€4.71M), two projects will be supported by the AVIESAN ITMO Cancer (€0.36M) as part of the Cancer Plan, two projects will be funded under the Ecophyto Plan (€0.25M) in conjunction with the French Agency for Biodiversity, and two others by the Environment & Energy Management Agency (ADEME) (€0.40M). In addition, ANSES will finance nine projects on the theme of "radiofrequencies and health" using the proceeds from the tax on radiofrequency transmitters (€1.67M).
The research projects selected in 2018 relate to one or more types of environmental exposure, in particular:
- 23 projects relate to chemical agents, 13 of these are specifically on endocrine disruptors, supported by a specific budget, and two are on plant protection products;
- ten concern physical agents: nine on radiofrequencies and one on exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields;
- three projects are on nanoparticles;
- three projects focus on biological agents, including one on vector control;
- five projects are devoted to the theme of air, two of which are related to climate change;
- five projects concern emerging issues, such as microplastics (two projects).
In addition, these research projects will generate knowledge in different fields or disciplines such as occupational health (11 projects), ecosystems (four projects, including three on aquatic ecosystems), cancer (two projects), antimicrobial resistance (one project), and the human and social sciences (one project).
The National Research Programme for Environmental and Occupational Health aims to encourage scientific communities to produce data of use in the different phases of the analysis of risks to health and ecosystems, thereby bringing research and scientific expert appraisal closer together.
In particular, these calls for projects develop the research priorities for the national Environmental Health, Occupational Health, Cancer and Ecophyto 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 the work financed within the framework of the PNR EST, every year ANSES organises its Scientific Conferences event to enable the research teams to present their projects to stakeholders from the voluntary and professional sectors, scientists, public institutions, etc.