Glycol ethers represent a global market of several million tonnes and these molecules are present in a wide range of consumer goods for domestic and professional use. Millions of people, including children, are chronically exposed, intentionally or unintentionally, to glycol ethers, including propylene glycol derivatives. Alone or in mixture, the toxicological data (e.g., toxicokinetics, hematotoxicity and reprotoxicity) of glycol ethers derived from propylene glycol are deficient. The Institute of work and health (IST) has a great expertise in the evaluation of toxic exposures and the development of analytical methods. The IST has an exposure chamber in which toxicokinetic studies and the effects of glycol ethers after inhalation exposure are performed with healthy volunteers. The global aims of these studies are to define preventive measures and exposure limit values for people during occupational tasks.
Ecotoxicoproteomics, risk, water quality, drug residues
Pharmaceutical compounds released from treated patients can be traced in the aquatic environment. Some of them, i.e., hormones and antibiotics, have been shown to affect the flora and fauna. While being less abundant than common agricultural or industrial pollutants released in the environment, drug residues carry specific pharmacological activities susceptible to interact with biological processes even at low concentrations.
Recent advances in the field of cancer treatments are associated with new molecule appearances on the market as well as increasing long-term treatments. In line with their mechanism of action, new anticancer drugs are susceptible to induce subtle genetic and cell cycle changes in aquatic organisms. The main goal of our project is to study daphnids as a model organism responding to the chronic stress caused by residual concentrations of various anticancer agents. Rather than an acute toxicity assessment, we will determine the exposure levels associated with long-term effects on population renewal over several generations. This will necessitate long-lasting (several months), multigenerational toxicological tests, which cannot easily be used to monitor water samples drawn from the environment on a large scale. Therefore, we will associate ecotoxicological tests with the detection of early proteomic signals that are able to predict long-term effects. Concretely, we will identify protein expression changes in daphnids that progressively suffer from drug chronic exposure. This will help to develop a rapid response test useful for environmental monitoring as well as elucidate the mechanisms through which anticancer drug residues may affect key living organisms in aquatic systems.
This research addresses emerging environmental concerns associated with contamination by pharmaceuticals. By improving the practicability and relevance of pharmaceutical pollution assessment, it might encourage the environment-aware development of drugs in terms of eco-conception, biodegradation and environmental risk.