Forty-five projects have been selected from the 208 applications received in response to the two calls for proposals issued by the National Research Programme for Environmental and Occupational Health (PNR EST) in late 2022, the first on a general nature and the second devoted to "radiofrequencies and health". These projects were chosen after a transparent selection process involving assessment by a scientific committee for each call, made up of experts from outside ANSES.
A diverse range of projects
The 45 projects selected will help meet the need to provide new knowledge for ANSES's expert appraisals in the fields of environmental and occupational health, in particular on health risks to the general and professional populations, as well as on risks to ecosystems and the quality of different environments. Some projects will focus in particular on the health of children and infants, or on mothers, with work on post-partum depression.
The calls for proposals encouraged applications from multidisciplinary teams, and this is reflected in the projects selected for 2023. Some teams include researchers from the human and social sciences. The projects will concern a variety of themes:
- twenty-four projects will address chemicals, including 14 on endocrine disruptors,
- eleven projects will focus on air quality, including five on atmospheric pollution,
- ten will examine the aquatic environment, in particular the effects of climate change and the impact of noise pollution on marine species,
- six will focus on radiofrequencies, including five on 5G deployment and two on assessing the biological effects of radiofrequencies,
- six will address occupational health, and will include studies on exposure to cleaning products and improvements to aids worn by hearing-impaired workers in the workplace,
- three will focus on pathogenic micro-organisms, including their resistance to antibiotics,
- two will be on vector control.
Some of these projects will also examine the links between environmental exposure and diseases such as cancer, respiratory disorders, liver disease and rheumatoid arthritis, while others will look at the exposome, i.e. the health effects of all the exposures to which an individual is subject.
For the sixth year running, a specific budget from the Ministry in charge of the Environment provides funding for projects on endocrine disruptors. Additional funds are supporting projects on air quality related to atmospheric pollution.
Forty projects will be financed by ANSES from budgets delegated by the Ministries responsible for the Environment, Labour, Health and Agriculture (€6.7M), two will be supported by the Aviesan alliance's multi-agency thematic institute for cancer as part of the national Cancer Plan (€0.4M), and three others by the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) (€0.3M).