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Title: Rationale for Environmental Hygiene towards global protection of fetuses and young children from adverse lifestyle factors
Authors: Bourguignon, Jean-Pierre
Parent, Anne-Simone
Schoeters, Greet
Van Larebeke, Nicolas
Issue Date: 2018
Source: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, 17 (Art N° 42)
Abstract: Background: The regulatory management of chemicals and toxicants in the EU addresses hundreds of different chemicals and health hazards individually, one by one. An issue is that, so far, the possible interactions among chemicals or hazards are not considered as such. Another issue is the anticipated delay of several decades before effective protection of public health by regulatory decisions due to a time consuming process. Prenatal and early postnatal life is highly vulnerable to environmental health hazards with lifelong consequences, and a priority period for reduction of exposure. There are some initiatives regarding recommendations for pregnant women aiming at protection against one or another category of health hazard, however not validated by intervention studies. Hypothesis: Here, we aim at strengthening the management of exposure to individual health hazards during pregnancy and lactation, with protective measures in a global strategy of Environmental Hygiene. We hypothesize that such a strategy could reduce both the individual effects of harmful agents in complex mixtures and the possible interactions among them. A panel of experts should develop and endorse implementable measures towards a protective behavior. Their application is meant to be preferably as a package of measures in order to maximize protection and minimize interactions in causing adverse effects. Testing our hypothesis requires biomonitoring studies and longitudinal evaluation of health endpoints in the offspring. Favorable effects would legitimate further action towards equal opportunity access to improved environmental health. Conclusion: Environmental Hygiene is proposed as a global strategy aiming at effective protection of pregnant women, unborn children and infants against lifelong consequences of exposure to combinations of adverse lifestyle factors.
Notes: Bourguignon, JP (reprint author), CHU Liege, Pediat Endocrinol, 600 Rue Gaillarmont, B-4032 Chenee, Belgium, Univ Liege, Neuroendocrinol Unit, GIGA Neurosci, Quartier Hop, Tour 4 1er Etage,15 Ave Hippocrate, B-4000 Liege, Belgium.
Keywords: Pregnancy; Mutagens; Endocrine disrupting chemicals; Carcinogens; Precautionary principle; Public health; Developmental origin of health and disease
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e-ISSN: 1476-069X
DOI: 10.1186/s12940-018-0385-y
ISI #: 000430945000001
Rights: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2019
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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