A partnership to better control bacteria in food processing facilities
The presence of Listeria and Salmonella bacteria in food processing facilities poses several problems: pathogenic for humans, these bacteria are capable of persisting for a long time in the environment and resisting treatment with biocidal products. The Actia Fastypers Joint Technology Unit (UMT) was recently created by the French Ministry of Agriculture for a five-year period, in order to work on these issues. It brings together research teams (ANSES, INRAE) and agro-industrial technical institutes (Actalia, for the dairy sector, and the French Pork and Pig Institute (IFIP)).
Health risk assessment: ANSES renews ten of its expert groups
In order to assess health risks, ANSES relies on collective, independent expert appraisals, conducted by multidisciplinary groups of scientific experts that it coordinates. It is now issuing a call for applications to renew ten of these expert groups in the following fields: human food and nutrition, animal health and welfare, and plant health. Nominations for these groups, open to scientists from a wide variety of disciplines, must be submitted online in French until 31 March 2022.
Electronic cigarettes: which inhaled substances should be monitored as a priority?
Electronic cigarettes have been widely adopted by part of the population, yet the health risks potentially associated with the inhalation of the substances emitted by these devices have yet to be assessed in detail. ANSES has drawn up a list of substances to be studied as a priority in order to assess the risks associated with their inhalation. Prioritising substances, an essential first step in risk assessment In 2019, 4.4% of the French population said that they vaped every day, according to Santé Publique France . To assess the potential health risks arising from the use of electronic cigarettes, we need to identify the substances included in their composition and those that can be inhaled by vaping. ANSES has established a list of 1,775 substances, including 106 that it considers as priorities by reason of their carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic characteristics. This is the case, for example, of formaldehyde, acrolein and lead. To draft this list of priorities, ANSES drew upon the reporting statements made by the manufacturers of vaping products as well as on scientific literature. The next stage in risk assessment is to estimate the real levels of exposure experienced by vapers . At the same time, the Agency will initiate a measurement campaign to establish the concentrations of these priority substances in emissions. After completing this work, ANSES will produce an assessment of the health risks associated with the substances of greatest concern. Extending the regulations to nicotine-free and homemade e-liquids ANSES has observed the widespread use by vapers of nicotine-free vaping liquids, particularly homemade products made from aroma concentrates in multiple flavours. According to a survey conducted in 2020 by BVA for ANSES, 33% of vapers use DIY liquids on a regular or exclusive basis. However, neither DIY liquids nor nicotine-free products are covered by protective health measures, such as the bans placed on certain ingredients, or by the reporting obligations applicable to manufacturers of vaping products. In order to identify all the substances to which vapers are exposed, European regulations , and particularly the associated reporting obligations, should be extended to all the vaping products on the market, whether or not they contain nicotine, and whether they are sold ready to vape or made by the users themselves. Regulations applicable to vaping products Electronic cigarettes and nicotine-containing e-liquids are consumer products governed by regulations that ban certain ingredients representing a direct or indirect danger. In addition, these regulations require companies marketing the products to declare the composition of their products to ANSES, with this information subsequently being made public . Looking beyond the compliance of the ingredients used in their products (no vitamins, no stimulants such as caffeine or taurine, no CMR substances, etc.), companies marketing e-liquids must also make sure that these ingredients, whether heated or not, do not represent a risk to human health .
A new role for ANSES in monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater
ANSES's Laboratory for Hydrology has been appointed National Reference Laboratory for the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and sewage sludge, by the Ministries of Health and Ecological Transition. Its responsibilities include harmonising the methods used to detect the virus and assessing the abilities of the laboratories tasked with carrying out the analyses.
Disorders on two cattle farms highly unlikely to be due to wind turbines
Farmers from two cattle farms located near a wind farm in Loire-Atlantique have reported various problems with their animals, including a reduction in milk yield and quality, behavioural problems, and an increase in mortality. ANSES stresses that these particular situations require support measures. However, it has concluded that the disorders encountered are most likely unrelated to the presence of the wind turbines. The Agency recommends establishing a suitable comprehensive diagnostic protocol, in order to be able to act promptly in the event of disorders occurring in other farms close to wind turbines.
Lack of physical activity and overly sedentary lifestyles: public health priorities
Ninety-five percent of the adult population in France is exposed to a risk of deteriorated health because they do not get enough exercise or spend too much time sitting. These risks are increased when lack of physical activity is combined with an overly sedentary lifestyle. Some population groups are more exposed than others. ANSES considers that promoting lifestyle behaviours that encourage exercise and combat physical inactivity should be a priority for the public authorities.
Following the removal from the Canadian market of certain FFP2 protective face masks containing graphene in April 2021, the French authorities suspended their distribution while ANSES assessed the health risks of wearing these masks. Due to a lack of data on the toxicity of graphene, the Agency now recommends giving priority to the marketing of graphene-free masks.
Surgical masks: health thresholds not exceeded for chemical contaminants
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, surgical masks have been used daily by millions of people. Based on the investigations conducted by the DGCCRF, ANSES assessed the health risks associated with the presence of chemicals in surgical masks. The results showed no cases where health thresholds were exceeded, when the recommended conditions of use were followed.
Parce que 90 % des espèces végétales à fleurs dépendent uniquement des insectes pollinisateurs pour leur reproduction, le phénomène d'affaiblissement et de mortalité des colonies d'abeilles constaté dans le monde constitue aujourd’hui une préoccupation majeure. La mortalité des abeilles a-t-elle évolué entre 2019 et 2020 ? Quels sont les impacts de la loi santé animale sur les colonies d’abeilles ? L’utilisation d’échantillonneurs d’air dans les colonies d’abeilles est-elle efficace ? Comment sont prises en compte les abeilles dans l’évaluation des produits phytopharmaceutiques ? Pour répondre à toutes ces questions, l’Anses, laboratoire de référence de l’Union européenne sur la santé des abeilles, organise la 9e édition de la journée scientifique dédiée à la santé des abeilles et des insectes pollinisateurs. Apiculteurs, chercheurs, décideurs publics, entreprises ou journalistes, venez prendre connaissance des dernières avancées scientifiques et échanger avec des intervenants reconnus qui œuvrent au quotidien à la préservation de la santé de ces pollinisateurs. Replay of the Conference