National Research Programme on Environmental and Occupational Health: calls for research projects issued for 2019

ANSES is today issuing its annual calls for research projects as part of the National Research Programme on Environmental and Occupational Health. The 2019 edition of this programme will include two calls for projects with total funding of 8 million euros: a general one on the themes of environmental health and occupational health, which includes a budget of 2 million euros devoted to the topic of endocrine disruptors, and a second specific one on the theme of radiofrequencies and health.

The National Research Programme on Environmental and Occupational Health (PNR EST), run by ANSES, supports research to develop scientific knowledge that is essential for risk assessment and health-related expert appraisals to support public policy-making.

To do this, calls for projects are issued each year that focus on all the environmental risk factors for human health, either in general or in the workplace. They also cover risks to ecosystems and the quality of different environments. The projects funded therefore help further research and knowledge on these key questions by considering new risks associated with the development of new technologies or changes to our environment, such as climate change for instance.

The first call for projects, of a general nature, focuses on the following fields related to the themes of environmental health and occupational health:

  • physical agents (noise pollution, non-ionising radiation, light pollution);
  • nanomaterials and mineral fibres;
  • risks of cancer associated with environmental or occupational exposure;
  • exposure to plant protection products;
  • chemical agents;
  • endocrine disruptors;
  • human and social science approaches to health and environmental risks;
  • biological agents;
  • emerging contaminants;
  • waste;
  • air quality;
  • climate change; 
  • vectors and vector control.

The second call for projectsis devoted to the theme "radiofrequencies and health", which is receiving special attention because of the need to enhance knowledge on this subject and broaden the number of scientists studying it.This call for projects focuses on four subjects:

  • research on mechanisms of action of radiofrequencies at the cellular level;
  • research on the physiological or health effects of radiofrequencies;
  • electromagnetic hypersensitivity;
  • characterisation of exposure.

These projects are financed by ANSES from budgets delegated by the Ministries for the Environment, Agriculture and Labour, along with several other co-funding partners: the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), the multi-agency thematic institute for cancer (ITMO Cancer) from the AVIESAN alliance as part of the national Cancer Plan, as well as the Ecophyto Plan. A number of projects may also be funded as part of support provided by the Directorate General for Food of the Ministry of Agriculture on the "vector control" topic.

The National Research Programme on Environmental and Occupational Health aims to encourage scientific communities to produce data of use in the different phases of analysing 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 this work, every year ANSES organises Scientific Conferences to enable the research teams to present their projects implemented in the framework of the PNR EST. These conferences are open to stakeholders from the voluntary and professional sectors, scientists, public institutions, etc.