ERGO aims to improve identification and hazard assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) for the protection of human health and the environment. EDCs are chemicals which mimic natural hormones, harming the endocrine system which regulates important biological functions in humans and animals. Impacts can include breast and testicular cancers, reproductive abnormalities and even neurodevelopmental delay in children.
EDCs are mostly man-made and can be found in plastics, clothes, cosmetics, toys, flame retardants and many other household products. Total avoidance is not practical in modern life, but actions must be taken to reduce their availability and better protect people, animals and the environment. In 2019, the European Union-funded research project ERGO was launched to respond to these challenges. ERGO is part of the EURION cluster, the largest public funding of EDC research in Europe. Eight research projects in the cluster are doing innovative research to improve identification of EDCs and their harmful effects.
ERGO’s research will break down the wall that currently exists between the different research fields (i.e. toxicology and ecotoxicology) that investigate EDC effects. So far, there has been a segregation between EDC research for human health and the environment. However, ERGO believes that research in one field will be applicable to the other and will demonstrate that harmful EDC effects observed in a fish or amphibian will also raise concern for harmful effects in humans.
This video introduces the project, the impacts of endocrine disruption on everyday life and the value of the research being conducted by ERGO