AQUA seminar: Assessing ecotoxicological effects in the Arctic and SubArctic
Dr Perrine Geraudie, Akvaplan Niva
We are exposed to a cocktail of chemical substances through our daily life that can constitute a threat to our health. Endocrine disruptive compounds (EDCs) are a class of contaminants which can interact with hormonal system of human and induce severe health injuries. EDCs are commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food or toys. They can impact male and female reproduction, induce breast and prostate cancer, disturb child development (fetal growth, pubertal development and obesity). Using different concrete examples, Perrine Geraudie will describe different models and methods to assess environmental ecotoxicology in Arctic and SubArctic areas, and what do we know about health status of polar marine region.
Anthropogenic activities (e.g. oil and gas exploration, shipping and tourism) lead to an increase amount of chemicals which are released into the environment. Moreover, even if low emission of contaminants occurs in Arctic, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals are often found in Arctic ecosystems due to long distance transport through atmospheric currents. These compounds accumulate in marine organisms due to their high lipophilicity and can induce deleterious effects in contaminated animal. Therefore, Arctic marine organisms are exposed to a complex mixture of chemicals, and thus there is a concern for the health of exposed wildlife as well as for human consumers of seafood such as scallops. Because complex mixture of contaminants are challenging to study using traditional biomarker analysis in whole exposed organisms, alternative approach should thus be considered. Small scale experimental systems including in vitro and ex vivo methods provide cost effective tools particularly relevant for ecotoxicological studies related to mixture effects and mechanisms of actions.