German Environment Agency UBA

Dessau, Germany

German Environment Agency UBA

Dessau, Germany
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Anke J.,Consultancy for Integrated Solutions BiPRO | Schwedler G.,German Environment Agency UBA | Choi J.,German Environment Agency UBA | Kolossa-Gehring M.,German Environment Agency UBA
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2017

Following the success of the 1st International Conference on Human Biomonitoring (HBM) in Berlin in 2010, the 2nd International Conference on Human Biomonitoring took place in Berlin from April 17-19, 2016 for an exchange and updates among participants on all aspects relating to HBM. Entitled "Science and Policy for a Healthy Future", the conference brought together international experts from the scientific sector, politics, authorities, industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other involved associations. The conference took a critical look at today's chemicals that have a potential impact on human health and should be investigated as a matter of priority. It also discussed current activities and research efforts on HBM occurring worldwide, presented HBM success stories, and emphasized areas, where further research and focus are needed to improve the use of HBM for policy making. In many countries, HBM has been proven to be a useful tool and warning system to indicate problematic human exposure to pollutants and to evaluate the effectiveness of existing chemicals policy and regulations. However, important challenges remain such as exposure assessment of mixtures of chemicals, the development of analytical methods to detect new chemicals of concern (e.g., substitutes for phthalates), the identification of exposure sources, and the assessment of the impact of exposure on health. This brief report summarizes the discussions and contributions from this conference, which was jointly organized by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). © 2017.


PubMed | Public Health England, University of Leipzig, European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra, German Environment Agency UBA and 12 more.
Type: | Journal: Environment international | Year: 2016

The exposome encompasses an individuals exposure to exogenous chemicals, as well as endogenous chemicals that are produced or altered in response to external stressors. While the exposome concept has been established for human health, its principles can be extended to include broader ecological issues. The assessment of exposure is tightly interlinked with hazard assessment. Here, we explore if mechanistic understanding of the causal links between exposure and adverse effects on human health and the environment can be improved by integrating the exposome approach with the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept that structures and organizes the sequence of biological events from an initial molecular interaction of a chemical with a biological target to an adverse outcome. Complementing exposome research with the AOP concept may facilitate a mechanistic understanding of stress-induced adverse effects, examine the relative contributions from various components of the exposome, determine the primary risk drivers in complex mixtures, and promote an integrative assessment of chemical risks for both human and environmental health.


Wohde M.,Justus Liebig University | Berkner S.,German Environment Agency UBA | Junker T.,ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH | Konradi S.,German Environment Agency UBA | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Sciences Europe | Year: 2016

The spread of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) and biocides via manure onto agriculturally used areas represents a very important emission into the environment for these product groups. Within this literature study, publicly available transformation studies with liquid manure are summarized. Transformation studies were evaluated regarding the transformation fate of tested substances, the origin and characteristics of used manure, the experimental setup, and the measured parameters. As main topics within the 42 evaluated transformation studies, the high dependency of transformation on temperature, redox potential, dry matter content, and other parameters is reported. Test duration throughout the studies ranged from 2 to 374 days and study temperature ranged from 5 to 55 °C. Only seven publications gave information on the redox potential of the manure. Further, the characterization of the matrix in many cases was inadequate due to missing parameters such as dry matter content or pH. Only three publications studied transformation of biocides. To allow for a consistent assessment of studies within the registration process, a harmonized internationally accepted and validated test method is needed. Additionally, monitoring data of VMPs in manure were collected from literature and evaluated regarding the origin and characteristics of the manure, the minimum/maximum found concentrations, and the percentage of identified compounds. Within the 27 evaluated publications, 1568 manure samples were analyzed and 39 different active substances for VMPs and 11 metabolites and transformation products of VMPs could be found in manure. Most often, the samples were analyzed for sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and fluoroquinolones. Not one study searched for biocides or worked with a non-target approach. For sulfadiazine and chlortetracycline, concentrations exceeding the predicted environmental concentrations were found. © 2016, The Author(s).


PubMed | Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, German Environment Agency UBA, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Institute for Dipterology IfD KABS and University of Heidelberg
Type: | Journal: Parasitology research | Year: 2017

The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus has undergone a dramatic expansion of its range in the last few decades. Since its first detection in 2007 in Germany at the motorway A5 coming from Italy via Switzerland to Germany, it has been continuously introduced by vehicles, most probably from Italy. After a hint from an alert gardener in an allotment garden area in Freiburg, Southwest Germany, in 2015, a surveillance programme was started focusing on the garden area and adjacent areas as well as most of the cemeteries as potential infestation areas. The surveillance programme confirmed a high infestation of the allotment garden. The container index (CI) exceeded almost 30% in August 2015. In lethal gravid Aedes traps (GATs) and BG-Sentinel traps, 4038 adults were caught. It could be proven that the Aedes population is more or less still spatially restricted to the allotment garden area which is adjacent to a train station where trucks from Novara, Italy, arrive loaded on trains. Outside the garden area, only a few breeding sites with developmental stages and adults were found within a radius of approximately 600m from the highly infested garden area. It is most likely that Ae. albopictus females are constantly introduced as blind passengers to Freiburg via trucks from Italy to Freiburg, Germany. After the first detection of the mass development of Ae. albopictus immediate and comprehensive control measures were initiated to reduce or even eliminate the Aedes population. Citizen awareness, especially of the gardeners, was increased by providing thorough information about the biology and control of Ae. albopictus. Beside environmental management, tablets based on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) were applied. The success of the control activities by the gardeners is reflected by the data gained during monthly inspection of the garden plots. The number of gardens without any container increased from 17% in July to 22% in August and 35% in September, 2015, resulting in a successful reduction of the Ae. albopictus population. The study underlines the importance of a comprehensive surveillance programme to assess the population density of Ae. albopictus as a basis for integrated control activities.


PubMed | Sterling, Smithers Viscient Laboratories, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Monsanto Corporation and 10 more.
Type: | Journal: Integrated environmental assessment and management | Year: 2016

In this paper existing regulatory frameworks and test systems for assessing potential endocrine-active chemicals are described, and associated challenges discussed, along with proposed approaches to address these challenges. Regulatory frameworks vary somewhat across geographies, but all basically evaluate whether a chemical possesses endocrine activity and whether this activity can result in adverse outcomes either to humans or the environment. Current test systems include in silico, in vitro and in vivo techniques focused on detecting potential endocrine activity, and in vivo tests that collect apical data to detect possible adverse effects. These test systems are currently designed to robustly assess endocrine activity and/or adverse effects in the estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone signaling pathways; however, there are some limitations of current test systems for evaluating endocrine hazard and risk. These limitations include a lack of certainty regarding: 1) adequately sensitive species and life-stages, 2) mechanistic endpoints that are diagnostic for endocrine pathways of concern, and 3) the linkage between mechanistic responses and apical, adverse outcomes. Furthermore, some existing test methods are resource intensive in regard to time, cost, and use of animals. However, based on recent experiences, there are opportunities to improve approaches to, and guidance for existing test methods, and reduce uncertainty. For example, in vitro high throughput screening could be used to prioritize chemicals for testing and provide insights as to the most appropriate assay(s) for characterizing hazard and risk. Other recommendations include adding endpoints for elucidating connections between mechanistic effects and adverse outcomes, identifying potentially sensitive taxa for which test methods currently do not exist, and addressing key endocrine pathways of possible concern in addition to those associated with estrogen, androgen and thyroid signaling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Ruhr University Bochum and German Environment Agency UBA
Type: | Journal: Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology | Year: 2016

In recent years, exposure to parabens has become more of a concern because of evidence of ubiquitous exposure in the general population, combined with evidence of their potency as endocrine disruptors. New human metabolism data from oral exposure experiments enable us to back calculate daily paraben intakes from urinary paraben levels. We report daily intakes (DIs) for six parabens based on 660 24h urine samples from the German Environmental Specimen Bank collected between 1995 and 2012. Median DI values ranged between 1.1g/kg bw/day for iso-butyl paraben and 47.5g/kg bw/day for methyl paraben. The calculated DIs were compared with acceptable levels of exposure to evaluate the hazard quotients (HQs) that indicate that acceptable exposure is exceeded for values of >1. Approximately 5% of our study population exceeded this threshold for individual paraben exposure. The hazard index (HI) that takes into account the cumulative risk of adverse estrogenic effects was 1.3 at the 95th percentile and 4.4 at maximum intakes, mainly driven by n-propyl paraben exposure. HI values of >1 indicate some level of concern. However, we have to point out that we applied most conservative assumptions in the HQ/HI calculations. Also, major exposure reduction measures were enacted in the European Union after 2012.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 30 November 2016; doi:10.1038/jes.2016.65.


PubMed | Ruhr University Bochum and German Environment Agency UBA
Type: | Journal: International journal of hygiene and environmental health | Year: 2016

The German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) continuously collects 24-h urine samples since the early 1980s in Germany. In this study we analyzed 300 urine samples from the years 2007 to 2015 for 21 phthalate metabolites (representing exposure to 11 parent phthalates) and combined the data with two previous retrospective measurement campaigns (1988 to 2003 and 2002 to 2008). The combined dataset comprised 1162 24-h urine samples spanning the years 1988 to 2015. With this detailed set of human biomonitoring data we describe the time course of phthalate exposure in Germany over a time frame of 27 years. For the metabolites of the endocrine disrupting phthalates di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) we observed a roughly ten-fold decline in median metabolite levels from their peak levels in the late 1980s/early 1990s compared to most recent levels from 2015. Probably, bans (first enacted in 1999) and classifications/labelings (enacted in 2001 and 2004) in the European Union lead to this drop. A decline in di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) metabolite levels set in only quite recently, possibly due to its later classification as a reproductive toxicant in the EU in 2009. In a considerable number of samples collected before 2002 health based guidance values (BE, HBM I) have been exceeded for DnBP (27.2%) and DEHP (2.3%) but also in recent samples some individual exceedances can still be observed (DEHP 1.0%). A decrease in concentration for all low molecular weight phthalates, labelled or not, was seen in the most recent years of sampling. For the high molecular weight phthalates, DEHP seems to have been substituted in part by di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP), but DiNP metabolite levels have also been declining in the last years. Probably, non-phthalate alternatives increasingly take over for the phthalates in Germany. A comparison with NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data from the United States covering the years 1999 to 2012 revealed both similarities and differences in phthalate exposure between Germany and the US. Exposure to critical phthalates has decreased in both countries with metabolite levels more and more aligning with each other, but high molecular weight phthalates substituting DEHP (such as DiNP) seem to become more important in the US than in Germany.


Muth-Kohne E.,Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology | Westphal-Settele K.,German Environment Agency UBA | Bruckner J.,German Environment Agency UBA | Konradi S.,German Environment Agency UBA | And 4 more authors.
Aquatic Toxicology | Year: 2016

The Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT) is a non-reproductive test to assess adverse effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals. With the present study it was intended to evaluate whether gene expression endpoints would serve as predictive markers of endocrine disruption in a FSDT. For proof-of-concept, a FSDT according to the OECD TG 234 was conducted with the non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (test concentrations: 10 μg/L, 32 μg/L, 100 μg/L) using zebrafish (Danio rerio). Gene expression analyses using quantitative RT-PCR were included at 48 h, 96 h, 28 days and 63 days post fertilization (hpf, dpf). The selection of genes aimed at finding molecular endpoints which could be directly linked to the adverse apical effects of aromatase inhibition. The most prominent effects of fadrozole exposure on the sexual development of zebrafish were a complete sex ratio shift towards males and an acceleration of gonad maturation already at low fadrozole concentrations (10 μg/L). Due to the specific inhibition of the aromatase enzyme (Cyp19) by fadrozole and thus, the conversion of C19-androgens to C18-estrogens, the steroid hormone balance controlling the sex ratio of zebrafish was altered. The resulting key event is the regulation of directly estrogen-responsive genes. Subsequently, gene expression of vitellogenin 1 (vtg1) and of the aromatase cyp19a1b isoform (cyp19a1b), were down-regulated upon fadrozole treatment compared to controls. For example, mRNA levels of vtg1 were down-regulated compared to the controls as early as 48 hpf and 96 hpf. Further regulated genes cumulated in pathways suggested to be controlled by endocrine mechanisms, like the steroid and terpenoid synthesis pathway (e.g. mevalonate (diphospho) decarboxylase (mvd), lanosterol synthase (2,3-oxidosqualene-lanosterol cyclase; lss), methylsterol monooxygenase 1 (sc4mol)) and in lipid transport/metabolic processes (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (star), apolipoprotein Eb (apoEb)). Taken together, this study demonstrated that the existing Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) for aromatase inhibition in fish can be translated to the life-stage of sexual differentiation. We were further able to identify MoA-specific marker gene expression which can be instrumental in defining new measurable key events (KE) of existing or new AOPs related to endocrine disruption. © 2016 The Authors.


PubMed | German Environment Agency UBA and Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
Type: | Journal: Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) | Year: 2016

The Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT) is a non-reproductive test to assess adverse effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals. With the present study it was intended to evaluate whether gene expression endpoints would serve as predictive markers of endocrine disruption in a FSDT. For proof-of-concept, a FSDT according to the OECD TG 234 was conducted with the non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (test concentrations: 10g/L, 32g/L, 100g/L) using zebrafish (Danio rerio). Gene expression analyses using quantitative RT-PCR were included at 48h, 96h, 28days and 63days post fertilization (hpf, dpf). The selection of genes aimed at finding molecular endpoints which could be directly linked to the adverse apical effects of aromatase inhibition. The most prominent effects of fadrozole exposure on the sexual development of zebrafish were a complete sex ratio shift towards males and an acceleration of gonad maturation already at low fadrozole concentrations (10g/L). Due to the specific inhibition of the aromatase enzyme (Cyp19) by fadrozole and thus, the conversion of C19-androgens to C18-estrogens, the steroid hormone balance controlling the sex ratio of zebrafish was altered. The resulting key event is the regulation of directly estrogen-responsive genes. Subsequently, gene expression of vitellogenin 1 (vtg1) and of the aromatase cyp19a1b isoform (cyp19a1b), were down-regulated upon fadrozole treatment compared to controls. For example, mRNA levels of vtg1 were down-regulated compared to the controls as early as 48 hpf and 96 hpf. Further regulated genes cumulated in pathways suggested to be controlled by endocrine mechanisms, like the steroid and terpenoid synthesis pathway (e.g. mevalonate (diphospho) decarboxylase (mvd), lanosterol synthase (2,3-oxidosqualene-lanosterol cyclase; lss), methylsterol monooxygenase 1 (sc4mol)) and in lipid transport/metabolic processes (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (star), apolipoprotein Eb (apoEb)). Taken together, this study demonstrated that the existing Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) for aromatase inhibition in fish can be translated to the life-stage of sexual differentiation. We were further able to identify MoA-specific marker gene expression which can be instrumental in defining new measurable key events (KE) of existing or new AOPs related to endocrine disruption.


PubMed | Analytical Laboratory, German Environment Agency UBA, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology and Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental sciences Europe | Year: 2016

The European chemicals legislation REACH aims to protect man and the environment from substances of very high concern (SVHC). Chemicals like endocrine disruptors (EDs) may be subject to authorization. Identification of (potential) EDs with regard to the environment is limited because specific experimental assessments are not standard requirements under REACH. Evidence is based on a combination of in vitro and in vivo experiments (if available), expert judgement, and structural analogy with known EDs.The objectives of this study are to review and refine structural alerts for the indication of potential estrogenic and androgenic endocrine activities based on in vitro studies; to analyze in vivo mammalian long-term reproduction studies with regard to estrogen- and androgen-sensitive endpoints in order to identify potential indicators for endocrine activity with regard to the environment; to assess the consistency of potential estrogenic and androgenic endocrine activities based on in vitro assays and in vivo mammalian long-term reproduction studies and fish life-cycle tests; and to evaluate structural alerts, in vitro assays, and in vivo mammalian long-term reproduction studies for the indication of potential estrogenic and androgenic endocrine disruptors in fish.Screening for potential endocrine activities in fish via estrogenic and androgenic modes of action based on structural alerts provides similar information as in vitro receptor-mediated assays. Additional evidence can be obtained from in vivo mammalian long-term reproduction studies. Conclusive confirmation is possible with fish life-cycle tests. Application of structural alerts to the more than 33,000 discrete organic compounds of the EINECS inventory indicated 3585 chemicals (approx. 11%) as potential candidates for estrogenic and androgenic effects that should be further investigated. Endocrine activities of the remaining substances cannot be excluded; however, because the structural alerts perform much better for substances with (very) high estrogenic and androgenic activities, there is reasonable probability that the most hazardous candidates have been identified.The combination of structural alerts, in vitro receptor-based assays, and in vivo mammalian studies may support the priority setting for further assessments of chemicals with potential environmental hazards due to estrogenic and androgenic activities.

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