ECETOC and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) co-hosted a workshop entitled “Use of markers for improved retrospective exposure assessment in epidemiology studies’ this 24-25 June in Brussels.
ECETOC and ECPA partner on biomarker’s workshop
Epidemiology studies on chemicals, and particularly pesticides are often lacking reliable data on exposure to the chemical in question. Accordingly, ECPA (European Crop Protection Association) asked ECETOC to organise a workshop to explore the extent to which new molecular technologies might permit retrospective quantification of chemical exposure.
The workshop explored the rapid advances in molecular biology and biomarker techniques which might allow identification of “fingerprints” resulting from chemical exposure. Experts from industry, academia and government research institutes met in Brussels this 24-25 June to discuss the developments in proteomics, metabolomics, epigenetics and other new methodologies might allow chemical specific signatures to be developed.
Presentations from top experts in their fields allowed a review of the most promising analytical techniques and their inherent limitations. Subsequently the 28 scientists attending were split into 4 groups to consider the following:
- Identify the most promising biomarker technologies that could be developed in the short term (1-3 years) for retrospective exposure assessment in epidemiology studies.
- Propose further research which would be helpful to develop these promising biomarkers.
- Recommend ways to link the use of biomarkers with current exposure assessment methods to allow an integrated retrospective assessment of exposure in future studies.
- Understand the likely limitations of the interpretation of information derived from biomarkers for retrospective exposure assessment.
The findings of the workshop will be reported in an ECETOC workshop report which will be available later this year.