02 Nov 2020


14 h 00 min - 17 h 30 min

Exposome cycle chapter 1

Health risks related to multiple exposure to chemical pollutants

In creating its Foundation, the French Academy of Medicine wished to put at the service of society as a whole its unique ability to bring together, on essential health and social issues and around the best French and international experts, all stakeholders, political, medical, scientific, economic and associative. To fulfill its mission, the Foundation of the French Academy of Medicine (FAM) has notably chosen to organize debates open to the public and the media and directly relayed to the public authorities, based on publications or scientific communications of excellence. In addition to their level, these debates are distinguished from other events of the same type by the benefit of the institutional status and the guarantees of credibility and ethics that are recognized at the Academy of Medicine.

After its first cycle of debates on the theme of « Society & Ageing », the FAM is initiating its new cycle on the theme of « Exposome ».

The subject of human exposure to mixtures of chemical contaminants is broad, of major health importance and is becoming more complex by the day, as illustrated by the case of pollutants with endocrine disrupting effects. This pollution is sometimes visible, as in the case of smog in large cities (Beijing, New Delhi …), or invisible as for pesticides, plasticizers or solvents in the environment, drinking water or food.

The effects of this pollution on health (cancers, infertility, cognitive disorders, diabetes, obesity) and the associated economic impacts are increasingly quantified. For the European Union, the annual cost of the impact of endocrine disruptors has been estimated at approximately 157 billion euros*.

Considerable work is still required to better quantify the risk resulting from the combination of the presence of a hazard, its effects and population exposures.

There is a very high level of ambition to better assess exposures and quantify risks, particularly at the European level. The aim is to establish the notion of Exposome in the sense of the totality of an individual’s exposure, often with medium- or long-term effects.

Thanks to the expected progress, the goal will be to identify the agents, situations and populations at risk in order to build health prevention policies.

On the basis of this observation, the FAM proposes the first meeting of its « Exposome » cycle entitled « Health risks related to multiple exposure to chemical pollutants » intended to present and discuss the major advances, needs and expectations concerning in particular :

I – Exposome and dangers

-Analytical tools whose immense progress makes it possible to detect a very large number of families of contaminants in all media.
-bioassays and methods in toxicology and their ability to express the health risks associated with these multiple exposures
-the strengths and limitations of epidemiology with regard to these issues
-the importance of the major European programs on the Exposome

II- Assessing risks and acting for health prevention

-ambition and contributions of European programs on the Exposome
-analysis of human health risks in the case of micropollutants in chronic exposure: a rigorous and collective expertise

The session will end with a round table discussion: acting by combining a solid base of knowledge or by applying the principles of prevention or precaution?

Speakers: Pr. Bernard Charpentier (Vice-President of the FrenchAcademy of Medicine and Vice-President of the FAM), Mr. Jean-Marie Dru (President of the FAM), Pr. Robert Barouki (Univ. of Paris, INSERM, Necker Hospital), Pr. Philippe Bouchard (Endocrinologist, Foch Hospital), Dr. Hélène Budzinski (CNRS Bordeaux), Dr. Cécile Chevrier (INSERM), Pr. Emmanuel Hirsch (Univ. Paris Saclay, Director of the Area of Ethical Reflection of the Ile-de-France Region), Pr. Yves Lévi (Univ. Paris Saclay, CNRS, AgroParisTech), Mrs. Veronica Manfredi (Director for Quality of Life at the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment), Dr. Fabrice Nesslany (President of the French Society of Toxicology, Pasteur Institute of Lille), Mr. Matthieu Schuler (Director of Risk Assessment at the Anses), Mr. Michel Vialay, Member of Parliament for Yvelines (Commission on Sustainable Development), Pr. Richard Villet (General Secretary of the FAM).

This cycle will allow the audience to better understand this complex issue of the Exposome, its ambitions, and the major health issues associated with it. The proceedings of these debates will be presented to the National Assembly.


Aware of the number of researchers involved in this theme but also of the number of points still to be clarified, the FAM has decided to set up a call for scientific research grants. To do so, it will set up a committee of experts in which the main independent experts, recognized by the French Academy of Medicine, will be appointed. Together, they will draft the call for research grants. A charter will list the selection criteria and expectations regarding the protocols put in place. This committee will be constituted as a jury and will be joined by consumer and patient representatives, journalists and public and institutional actors. It will meet in order to select one or two project leaders: scientists, researchers, individuals or groups, in order to conduct research that will be supervised and monitored by the committee’s experts. The call for research grants will be presented at the conference and the winners at the restitution to be held at the National Assembly with the proceedings of the inter-academic conference.

L'événement est terminé.

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