Commandé par la commission des pétitions du Parlement européen, le rapport scientifique Endocrine Disruptors : from Scientific Evidence to Human Health Protection est présenté au Parlement européen le 2 avril par ses auteurs, Barbara Demeneix, professeure au Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN/CNRS), et Rémy Slama, directeur de recherche à l’INSERM.

Le rapport publié le 20 mars 2019, propose un état des lieux des connaissances scientifiques des effets sur la santé de l’exposition à des perturbateurs endocriniens, aborde les réglementations européennes actuelles et offre des propositions pour améliorer la réglementation et ainsi minimiser l’exposition à ces substances, qui est la finalité poursuivie en Europe.

Travail sous hotte © MNHN - A. Iatzoura

Travail sous hotte © MNHN – A. Iatzoura

>> Communiqué de presse du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle

Health risks associated with mixtures of man-made chemicals are underestimated

EDC-Mix risk

We are exposed to a large number of man-made chemicals. This creates combinations of chemical mixtures, to which we are subjected during our whole lifespan. Current risk assessment and management practices, however, focus mainly on exposure to single substances. Exposure to hazardous substances, especially endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), during the foetal period is of particular concern, as it can lead to irreversible changes in the development of organs and tissues and increased susceptibility to diseases later in life.

The EU Horizon 2020 EDC-MixRisk project, which has now reached its conclusion, was initiated to investigate how effects caused by real-life relevant mixtures could be studied. The project, composed by researchers from several Swedish, European and one U.S. university, developed a novel approach based on identifying and testing EDC mixtures associated with adverse health outcomes in humans.

>> Read the EDC-MixRisk press release

Project EDC-MixRisk: In focus – Dr. Barbara Demeneix

EDC-Mix risk

Meet our EDC-MixRisk scientists and learn more about the work they are doing. This time in the spotlight is Barbara Demeneix, Professor at the French National Museum of Natural History. She is an internationally recognized expert on thyroid function and endocrine disruption. In the EDC-MixRisk project, her group studies how chemical mixtures affect thyroid hormone signalling. 

Hi Barbara – What are you and your research group studying in the project?

We are using an amphibian embryo to study how the different chemical mixtures affect thyroid hormone signalling. We have known for decades that thyroid hormone is essential for brain development in all vertebrates. This is why all babies born today are tested in the first few days after birth to check that they have sufficiently thyroid hormone to ensure proper brain development. More recently, we have learned from epidemiological studies that during pregnancy, especially the first few months, a mother’s thyroid hormone levels are associated with the developing child’s IQ and even the structure of their brain.

>> Read more

TV documentary shows how EDCs are affecting our brains (HEAL Press Release)

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

Brussels, 7 November 2017 – Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals may explain the fall in IQ and the explosion in mental development problems in children that have taken place over the past 20 years.

The French TV documentary, “Demain, tous crétins?” (Brains in danger?), which makes the case for this worrying proposition, is due to be screened on the French and German television channel, Arte at 22.35 pm (CET) on 11 November 2017. (1)

Until now, exposure to endocrine – or hormone – disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has most often been associated with falling fertility rates and increases in certain cancers. In this 56-minute feature film, scientists show why they are convinced that exposure to chemicals is disturbing normal brain development in children, especially during the first three months of life in the womb.

>> Read the full press release

Toxic Cocktail: Webinar on June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017
1:00 pm US Eastern Time


Because pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, is a highly sensitive period for effects of drugs on the developing fetus, there are warnings to avoid taking any unnecessary medication during those critical nine months. The unfortunate irony is that today, all pregnant women are unwittingly exposed to a complex combination of chemicals, as are the fetuses and babies developing in their wombs, and this exposure is occurring from conception onward. Many of these chemicals interfere with hormone signaling and act as endocrine disruptors. Today we are also witnessing documented decreases in IQ and unexplained increases in neurodevelopmental disease, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder.

Join us on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific/1:00pm Eastern as Dr. Barbara Demeneix discusses the effects of chemicals that disrupt thyroid hormone, a crucial hormone needed for optimal brain development both before and after birth. She will synthesize the results from epidemiological and experimental studies linking the increasing numbers of chemicals affecting thyroid signaling with IQ loss and/or neurodevelopmental disease. This work is largely based on recent research that forms the foundation for her latest book from Oxford University Press: Toxic Cocktail: How Chemical Pollution is Poisoning our Brains.

This teleconference call is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The call will be moderated by Genon Jensen, Executive Director of Health and Environment Alliance.

>> More information on Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s website
>> Register here

Best Health Radio – Your child’s thyroid, brain and IQ

Dr. Berkson’s Best Health Radio 

Episode 57: Dr. Barbara Demeneix – Toxic Cocktail – Your child’s thyroid, brain and IQ


All earth’s populations are struggling with pollution. There are over 700,000 pollution related deaths a year, but what about your baby’s brain? Dr. Barbara Demeneix is a scientist and professor at the Sorbonne University, Paris, France. Dr B’s 40-year career focus has been on endocrinology with a particular investigation of the thyroid gland and its essential role in intelligence.

New publication in Scientific Reports

DrapeauUK  We are all exposed on a daily basis to a complex mixture of chemicals present in numerous daily products. Our team made a mixture of 15 most common chemicals at concentrations found in human amniotic fluid. We tested the effect of a short exposure (3 days) to the mixture on frog embryonic tadpoles (Xenopus laevis). Not only did the mixture affect thyroid hormone signaling, which is essential for normal brain development in all vertebrates, but also altered brain gene expression, reduced neuron volume and inhibited tadpole movement. As thyroid hormone is exactly the same in frogs and humans, these findings suggest that exposure to common chemicals can adversely affect brain development in unborn children.

>> More information (Museum website)

DrapeauFR  Nous sommes tous exposés quotidiennement à des mélanges de produits chimiques présents dans de nombreux produits de la vie courante. Notre équipe a réalisé un mélange de 15 produits chimiques à des concentrations trouvées dans le liquide amniotique humain. Ce mélange a été testé sur des embryons de grenouilles (Xenopus laevis). Une courte exposition (3 jours) au mélange a affecté le fonctionnement des hormones thyroïdiennes, essentielles au bon développement du cerveau chez les vertébrés, mais a également modifié l’expression de plusieurs gènes du cerveau, réduit le volume des neurones et inhibé le mouvement des têtards. Les hormones thyroïdiennes étant exactement les mêmes chez les grenouilles et les humains, les résultats de cette étude suggèrent que l’exposition à ces produits chimiques courants peut nuire au développement du cerveau des fœtus.

>> Plus d’informations (site du Muséum)

CaptureEmbryonic xenopus brains (1 week post fertilization), treated (B) or untreated (A) with the mixture of 15 chemicals. The mixture exposure results in a reduction of neuron number and volume, marked in red (in green: oligodendrocytes).
Cerveaux d’embryons de xénope (1 semaine post-fécondation), traités (B) ou non (A) avec le mélange de 15 produits chimiques. Le traitement a provoqué une diminution du volume des neurones, marqués en rouge (en vert: les oligodendrocytes). © Bilal Mughal

Fini J.B., Mughal B.B., Le Mével S., Leemans M., Lettmann M., Spirhanzlova P., Affaticati P., Jenett A., Demeneix B.A. Human amniotic fluid contaminants alter thyroid hormone signalling and early brain development in Xenopus embryos. Scientific Reports. 7, 43786 ; doi: 10.1038/srep43786 (2017).