Project Overview

Programme    Horizon 2020
Type of action    Research and Innovation Action (RIA)
Total budget    €6.9 million
Duration    January 2019 - June 2024 (66 months)
Consortium    15 partners from eight countries
Coordinator    Syddansk Universitet (SDU) Denmark

The Challenge

In the European Union (EU), legislation requires screening and testing of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) according to the EU test methods regulation. However, current testing tools do not always appropriately identify effects, particularly those related to certain less-studied or newly emerging EDCs. New and improved approaches are urgently needed to better protect human and environmental health against the hazards of EDCs. Currently, regulatory procedures for identification and assessment of EDCs are separated for human health and the environment. This means that useful data from non-mammalian vertebrate research tests have so far been disregarded in human health research.

Project Objectives

ERGO aims to improve hazard assessment of EDCs for the protection of human health and the environment by breaking down the wall that currently exists between the different research fields that investigate adverse effects of EDCs in different vertebrate classes, from fish and amphibians (non-mammalian vertebrates) to humans (mammalian vertebrates) by demonstrating that it is feasible to extrapolate effects of EDCs across the vertebrate classes, i.e. an adverse effect observed in a fish or amphibian will also raise concern for an adverse effect in humans.

Expected Results

  • Improved identification and safer assessment of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs);
  • A new approach developed in the regulatory use of standardized test guidelines for EDCs;
  • Improved and harmonised testing and screening methods to identify EDCs;
  • Improved tests and approaches for assessment of the hazards and risks of EDCs to protect human health and the environment;
  • Increased quality, efficiency and effectiveness of existing methods to identify EDCs to meet demanding and evolving regulatory requirements;
  • Supporting industry in the development and promotion of EDC-free products benefitting both the environment and human health;
  • Publication of a guidance document on extrapolation of thyroid disrupting effects across mammalian, fish and amphibian Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test Guidelines;
  • Enhanced international cooperation.

The three key societal impact areas of ERGO, which are affected by improved ED testing and screening methods