9343 research outputs found

    Evaluation of the contamination of the Loire estuary by endocrine disruptors

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    Estuaries are ecosystems of high productivity, crucial in the life history of fishes, invertebrates, birds, including commercially important species, but anthropogenic activities such as urban effluents are often the main factors responsible for water quality degradation. Complex mixtures of contaminants are present in these zones and in this context; there is a growing interest in the influence of endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) on biota physiology. The Loire estuary runs through important urban sites (Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, etc.) with shipping and industrial activities. Moreover, the Loire basin (117,000 km²) represents more than 1/5 of the French territory and drains a lot of tributaries. The aim of this research is to evaluate the contamination of the Loire estuary by EDCs. Twelve sites along the Loire estuary (from Saint-Nazaire to Ancenis) were selected because of their typology of contamination (agricultural, urban, and industrial) and of their particular configuration (upstream/downstream of an effluent site close to a wastewater treatment plant). The endocrine activities in sediment were followed using various bio-analytical tools (in vitro tests of hormonal activities on cellular cultures). The presence of PAHs and dioxine-like compounds was estimated using the EROD test. The eel Anguilla anguilla was chosen for her ecological representativeness and economical incidence on fishing activities and was collected on 3 sites along the Loire estuary (upstream, intermediate, and downstream). The in situ effects on fish were evaluated by measuring biological variables at the individual level (size, sex, gonads histology, vitellogenin and aromatase)

    Risks of the hydrogen energy technologies : reality or fiction ?

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    Epidemiology of pneumoconiosis in coalminers of Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France

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    International audienceThis was a longitudinal study of 3167 active or retired pneumoconiotic coalminers from Nord-Pas de Calais collieries (HBNPC, acronym in French) recognized through medico-legal decisions over three delined periods: 1942-1961, 1962-1981 and 1982-1987. Periodic medical examinations of pneumoconiotics are provided by the medical services of HBNPC for miners and exminers. Physicians involved in this follow-up programme are concerned with the high incidence of progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). The objectives of this study were to describe pneumoconiosis at time of compensation and examine factors related to the occurrence of PMF. For each subject, two radiological films were extracted from the medical files. They were reinterpreted according to the ILO classification (ILO, 1980) by three independent medical readers. Results indicated that radiological criteria for compensation had changed over time ; a marked predominice of category 212 small opacities was noted for cases compensated before 1962 and a predominice of category 1/1 among those compensated after 1981. Comparison of distribution of small opacity types in the 1942-1961 period with that in 1982-1987 confirmed the progressive fall, reported by other investigators, of proportions of predominant micronodular opacities accompanied by an increase in proportions of small irregular opacities at compensation [COCKCROFT and ANDERSON, Br. J. ind. Med. 44,484-487 (1987)]. When time interval between films was taken into account, profusion of small opacities at compensation greater than 1/1 was associated with a probability of 40% or more of developing PMF. Severity of coalworkers simple pneumoconiosis (CWSP) at compensation in HBNPC has been seen to decline since 1982 and the disease to occur mostly after retirement. The reported changes in small opacity types suggest a reduction in incidence of pure silicosis. Occurrence of PMF was correlated with profusion of small opacities at compensation

    Toxicological Models Part B: Environmental Models

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    Assessment of ecotoxicological risks due to chemical substances is based in part on establishing concentration-response relationships for different organisms, including plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates living on land, fresh water, or sea water. European regulations for assessing the risks due to chemical products thus recommend the measurement of toxic effects on at least three taxons (algae, crustacea, fish) [1]. The assessment becomes more relevant when based upon a variety of different organisms, with a range of different biological and ecological features (autotrophic or heterotrophic, benthic or pelagic habitat, and different modes of reproduction, growth, respiration, or feeding, etc.), but also when it describes the effects of contaminants on sensitive physiological functions such as growth and reproduction, which determine the balance of populations of terrestrial and aquatic species in their environment


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