About this project
In our society we have a high use of many different chemicals that spread across the world; thus, humans and wildlife are exposed to multi-component chemical “cocktails” of pollutants posing different potential health risks. At the present time in Europe different legislations are in force aiming to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by single chemicals. However, "compound-by-compound" based assessments seriously run the risk of underestimating the hazard potential of chemicals as the true exposure scenario for humans and wildlife is known to be far more complex. Under regular environmental conditions organisms can be exposed to multiple chemicals associated with different risks and specific effects, e.g. teratogenicity, immune toxicity and suppression, genotoxicity, and endocrine disruption. Moreover, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that pollutants and the underlying toxic responses may interact and generate synergistic toxic effects when combined with other compounds both in vivo and in vitro. Thus, understanding the effects of mixture toxicity, generally referred to as “cocktail effects”, represent one of today´s greatest challenges in environmental but also in human toxicology.
The aim of the present project is to increase the understanding of molecular processes and the resulting effects in early life-stages of zebrafish after exposure to selected emerging pollutants and their mixtures. Knowledge gained within this project will contribute not only to environmental science but also to the protection of human health, since many of the pathways that regulate toxic responses are highly conserved between humans and zebrafish.