Developmental Origins of Environmentally Induced Disease and Dysfunction
International Conference on Foetal Programming and Developmental Toxicity
Philippe Grandjean, Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark,Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
Pal Weihe Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health, The Faroese Hospital System, Torshavn, Faroe Islands
Available online at: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2007.00169.x
“…….Foetal and early postnatal development likely constitutes the most vulnerable time period of human life, in regard to adverse effects of environmental hazards. Subtle effects during early life can lead to functional deficits and increased disease risks later in life. The programming hypothesis (i.e. that early development determines subsequent organ functions and disease risks), has gathered much support from both experimental and epidemiological studies. The prenatal and early postnatal environment affects gene expression, and epigenetic changes may constitute an important mechanism for the programming effects. All of this information suggests that the timing of exposure to environmental chemical is crucial in determining the toxicity effects. These important insights are likely to be of importance for new research in environmental health and related fields, and for health promotion and prevention purposes.
An international conference was therefore organized to review the current research frontline and stimulate cross-disciplinary research and collaboration in regard to developmental programming caused by environmental chemical exposures. The meeting was held on 20–24 May 2007, and the venue was the Nordic Conference Centre in Tórshavn, the capital city of the
“……just published report on the impact of Prenatal programming and toxicity. It is based on a conference held last May. This volume (and the conference) were sponsored by WHO HQ, by NIH and the U.S.EPA.
In collaboration with the journal editor, the publisher has provided open access to thsi special issue. One outcome of the conference was the "Faroes statement", which received wide attention in the news media last year.
The proceedings (the Faroes statement and 25 invited papers) are now freely available at the journal website:
The articles demonstrate that the issue of adverse effects during early development is becoming a crucial issue also in toxicology and environmental health. While developmental biologists, nutritionists, and physiologists have explored the science of "developmental programming", the related perspective in regard to adverse effects of environmental stressors is only now becoming apparent. This means that we need to look for causal factors also far back in the past, and that we may easily have missed that goal by several decades. -
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