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Climate change, Environmental contaminants and Reproductive health (CLEAR)
Start date: May 1, 2009, End date: Oct 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The research project investigates the possible impact of global climate change on reproductive health in one Arctic and two European populations. The key questions to be addressed are, firstly, how may climate change influence human exposure to widespread environmental contaminants and, secondly, how may contaminants impact occurrence of reproductive disorders as sensitive indicators of health? To provide affirmative answers to these questions the proposal will as a first step identify and describe mechanisms by which a changing climate may affect the exposure of Arctic and other human populations to contaminants through change in chemical use and emissions, delivery to the arctic ecosystem as well as processing within the arctic physical environment and human food chain. This work relies on modelling of existing data. Secondly, the project will expand the existing knowledge database on human exposure to polybrominated biphenylethers, perfluorinated surfactants and phthalates by analyses of 1000 biobanked serum samples collected in a EU FP5 project. Thirdly, the project will increase the limited knowledge on links between human exposure to contaminants and reproductive health. This work relies on a large existing parent-child-cohort, where a follow-up survey provide new data that are fed into risk assessment. Furthermore we will perform reviews of experimental and epidemiological literature to identify critical reproductive effects and exposure-response data for selected compounds as input to the risk assessment. Finally the project will integrate data on climate induced changes in contaminant mobility and distribution and links between contaminant exposure and reproductive health into a risk evaluation providing insight into possible future risk scenarios related to global climate change. The project draws upon a network of experts in climate modelling and in experimental, epidemiological and risk assessment methodologies and builds upon three established cohorts in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine.
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