<OL> <LI> Establish quality-controlled experimental in vivo and in vitro models for studies of NDL-PCBs
<LI>Provide toxicokinetic data of for NDL-PCBs
<LI>Provide quantitative and qualitative toxicity profiles for NDL-PCBs
<LI>Provide a new classification strategy for NDL-PCB congeners based on effect biomarker information
<LI>Provide an up-to-date compilation and evaluation of toxicological effect and exposure data on NDL-PCBs and PCB metabolites
NDL-PCBs are poorly characterised from a toxicological point of view, and to date, there is no health risk assessment available. Since NDL-PCBs constitute a major part of the PCBs found in food and human tissues it has become an urgent matter to advance the understanding of their toxicity. The topic has recently been discussed in several organisations, which provide advice to the regulators. Neurobehavioral, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and tumour promotion have been pointed out by the European commission to be of particular concern.
The present project proposal ATHON addresses all of these effects, as well as indicators for immunotoxicity, endocrine disturbances, general liver toxicity, and NDL-PCB metabolism. Studies will be designed to meet the quantitative and qualitative requirements on toxicological data for use in the hazard assessment procedures. Efforts will be made to identify toxicological mechanisms and outcomes, specific for NDL-PCBs. Such knowledge is a prerequisite for future meaningful studies of NDL-PCB epidemiology.
<P>A multidisciplinary approach is required to achieve the objectives, and a consortium with a wide range of expertise has been established. Non-EU partners, project collaborators, and an international advisory board are involved to meet the international dimension of the problem. Clearly, with this approach ATHON will provide missing critical health hazard information and clarify biological mechanisms underlying the various types of toxicity induced by NDL-PCBs.<P>
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/114_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.