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See detailIn vitro study toward the endocrine activity and the genotoxic potential of migration products from plastic baby bottles
Simon, Coraline ULg; Onghena, M.; Covaci, A. et al

Poster (2014, November 20)

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used since 1960 as a primary raw material for the production of polycarbonate (PC) plastic and epoxy resin, widely used in a variety of common products including digital media (e.g ... [more ▼]

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used since 1960 as a primary raw material for the production of polycarbonate (PC) plastic and epoxy resin, widely used in a variety of common products including digital media (e.g., CDs, DVDs), electrical and electronic equipment, automobiles, sports safety equipment, reusable food and drink containers , as well as baby bottle. During the last decades, in several studies, the migration of BPA is documented to be a well-known source of food contamination. Some studies have shown that BPA, which is able to mimic the action of and hormone and to disrupt normal endocrine function, may be associated to several health problems and diseases. Recently, the European Union took a series of measures, including a ban for the import and sale PC baby bottles to reduce BPA exposure to infants. Plastic alternatives to polycarbonate have massively appeared on Belgium market. Although there are several studies on BPA migration from polycarbonate into foodstuff under a variety of conditions, there is a small amount of information about consequences on human health of the potential exposure to chemicals migrating from PC alternatives, including bottles commonly labelled “free BPA”. In a recent opinion (No. 8697, 11.03.2010), the Belgium Superior Health Council's issued its concern regarding the currently used alternatives to PC. Furthermore, they asked to investigate the possible risks associated with the use of these alternatives. In order to evaluate the safety of these alternatives, the genotoxicity and the activity on several receptors of chemical compounds migrating from PC alternatives, identified by Simoneau & al, 2012 , were evaluated using reporter gene assays. Receptor agonistic and antagonistic activities of 39 pure compounds were measured. After the first screening, certain substances clearly showed an activity on several receptors such as BPA, and Bisphenol S, while only a few substances showed no reaction on the different receptor. None of the 39 components was genotoxic as identified in the Vitotox test. However, further experiments will be performed to characterize their activity and confirm the result for the genotoxicity. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vitro study toward the endocrine activity and the genotoxic potential of migration products from plastic baby bottles
Simon, Coraline ULg; Onghena, M.; Covaci, A. et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2014), 76

Bisphenol A (BPA) is documented in several studies to be a well-known source of food contamination. Recently, the European Union took a series of measures, including a ban for the import and sale of ... [more ▼]

Bisphenol A (BPA) is documented in several studies to be a well-known source of food contamination. Recently, the European Union took a series of measures, including a ban for the import and sale of polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles to reduce BPA exposure of infants. Plastic alternatives to PC, which have massively appeared on the Belgian market, include polypropylene (PP), silicone, polyamide (PA) and polyethersulfone (PES). In a recent opinion (No. 8697, 11.03.2010), the Belgian Superior Health Council issued its concern regarding the alternatives to PC currently used. Furthermore, they asked to investigate the possible risks associated with the use of these alternatives. In this study, a screening towards the endocrine activity of chemicals migrating from PC alternatives, identified by the group of Simoneau, was performed by using different reporter gene assays. Furthermore, the genotoxic potential of these compounds was also assessed with the Vitotox assay, an indicator test for DNA damage. The aim of the screening was to select the substances that may present a risk for human health and thus require further characterization. [less ▲]

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See detailMeasurement of the estrogenic activity of migration products from plastic contact materials
Simon, Coraline ULg; Onghena, M.; Covaci, A. et al

Poster (2013, October 19)

Baby bottles in plastic are widely used to feed newborns and infants. The polymers used for the manufacture of baby bottles are mainly polypropylene (PP), silicone, polyamide (PA) and polyethersulphone ... [more ▼]

Baby bottles in plastic are widely used to feed newborns and infants. The polymers used for the manufacture of baby bottles are mainly polypropylene (PP), silicone, polyamide (PA) and polyethersulphone (PES), since the ban of the use of bisphenol A (BPA), which exhibited estrogenic activity, in polycarbonate by European commission, in March 2011. For the plastic substitutes, Chemical substances, such as monomers or additives (antioxidants, plasticizers, clarifiers, etc.), may migrate from plastic baby bottle into its contents. This monomers and additives may exhibit at low concentrations estrogenic activity (EA), who can produce adverse effects, especially in newborn and infants. A recent study of Simoneau and al. give an overview of the amount of chemical substances which migrate from plastic baby bottle into its contents. The objective of this study is to measure EA of these substances. The study focus first on screening Human estrogen receptor agonistic and antagonistic activities of pure compounds identifed by Simoneau and al. using a cell based transactivational assay named “Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression” (CALUX). Preliminary test with 3 Bisphenols (BPs) have been performed: BPA, Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF). The dose–response curves obtained for BPA, BPS and BPF were compared with that of 17β-estradiol (E2). An agonistic effect was observed with the 3 BPs. BPS and BPF exhibited oestrogen-like response lower than that of BPA. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the estrogenicity of pure compound migrate from plastic food contact materials
Simon, Coraline ULg; Oghena, M.; Covaci, A. et al

Poster (2013, September 19)

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See detailStudy of the toxicity of migration products from food contact materials for children under 3 years old
Simon, Coraline ULg; Onghena; Covaci, A. et al

Poster (2013, April 18)

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound mainly used for the manufacture of plastic such as polycarbonate. This transparent thermoplastic polymer is used for the fabrication of several food containers ... [more ▼]

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound mainly used for the manufacture of plastic such as polycarbonate. This transparent thermoplastic polymer is used for the fabrication of several food containers: bottle, baby bottle, tableware… BPA is found also in epoxy resins used as covers film in cans. BPA can migrate into food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate or epoxy resin. There is a worldwide concern about BPA because several studies have shown endocrine disruptor potency of BPA causing possible adverse health effects. In January 2011, the European Commission decided to ban the use of polycarbonate to manufacture baby feeding bottles and since 2013, Belgium extended this ban to all food contact materials intended to children younger than 3 years old. In a recent opinion, the Superior Health Council’s issued its concern regarding the currently use of alternatives to polycarbonate in these materials. This work is part of the ALTPOLYCARB project which aims to study the migration products of alternative to polycarbonate and their endocrine disruptor activities. The first part was to have an overview of the different polymers that are used on the Belgian market, which resulted in the conclusion that polymers used for the manufacture of baby bottles and tableware are mainly polypropylene, polyethersulfone, silicone, polyamide, polystyrene, and melamine. The second part of this work will be to evaluate the endocrine disruptor activity(ies) of global migration residues obtained from different kinds of baby bottles. This (these) activity(ies) will be explored using a cell based transactivational assay named “Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression” (CALUX). Endocrine disruptors act by interfering with endogenous compounds, such as steroid hormones for example, for which the first step of their biological activity is the binding to an intracellular receptor, which is a factor of transcription regulation. The ligand-receptor complex is able to bind to DNA to induce the expression of the target gene at the level of the target tissue. The CALUX recombinant cells used here were stably transformed with the firefly luciferase gene, as a reporter gene, and a DNA responsive element specific to steroid receptors or to the dioxin receptor. The biological activity of a chemical compound (receptor agonist or antagonist) is monitored by the measurement of light emitted by the cells exposed to it (after addition of luciferin, the substrate of luciferase). In a first step, human estrogen receptor agonistic and antagonistic activities of pure compounds (known to be used as altenatives to BPA) as well as baby bottles extracts will be measured using ER-CALUX cells (genetically modified MCF-7 cells), as well as cytotoxicity. Preliminary test with 3 Bisphenols (BPs) have been performed: BPA, Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF). The dose–response curves obtained for BPA, BPS and BPF were compared with that of 17β-estradiol (E2). An agonistic effect was observed with the 3 BPs. BPS and BPF exhibited oestrogen-like response comparable to or higher than that of BPA. Further tests will be realised to confirm these preliminary results and similar tests will be realised with other cell-lines before beginning the evaluations of endocrine disruptor activities of global migration extracts. [less ▲]

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See detailDioxin levels in fertilizers from Belgium: Determination and evaluation of the potential impact on soil contamination
Elskens, M; Pussemier, L; Dumortier, P et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 454-455

Dioxins are harmful Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to which humans are exposed mostly via the consumption of animal products. They can enter the food chain at any stage, including crop fertilization ... [more ▼]

Dioxins are harmful Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to which humans are exposed mostly via the consumption of animal products. They can enter the food chain at any stage, including crop fertilization. Fertilizers belong to several categories: synthetic chemicals providing the essential elements (mostly N, P and K) that are required by the crops but also organic fertilizers or amendments, liming materials, etc. Ninety-seven samples of fertilizers were taken in Belgium during the year 2011 and analyzed after a soft extraction procedure for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) using GC-IDHRMS. Only small qualitative differences could be observed between the main fertilizer categories since the PCDD:PCDF:DL-PCB average ratio obtained with the results expressed in WHO 2005-TEQ was often close to 30:30:40 (typically for sewage sludge) or 40:30:30 (typically for compost). The median dioxin levels determined were generally lower than recorded previously and were the highest for sewage sludge and compost (5.6 and 5.5 ng TEQ/kg dry weight (dw), respectively). The levels in other fertilizers were lower including manure for which the median value was only 0.2 ng TEQ/kg dw. Several fertilization scenarios relying on the use of those fertilizers were assessed taking into consideration the application conditions prevailing in Belgium. From this assessment it could be concluded that the contribution of fertilizers to the overall soil contamination will be low by comparison of other sources of contamination such as atmospheric depositions. At the field scale, intensive use of compost and sewage sludge will increase dramatically the dioxin inputs compared with other fertilization practices but this kind of immission to the soil will still be relatively low compared to the dioxin atmospheric depositions. [less ▲]

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See detailMesopelagic C mineralization at the Southern Ocean’s scale
Jacquet, S.; Dehairs; Elskens, M. et al

Conference (2007, April)

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See detailExport production in the Bay of Biscay as estimated from barium - barite in settling material: a comparison with new production
Dehairs, F.; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; Antia, A. et al

in Deep-Sea Research Part I, Oceanographic Research Papers (2000), 47(4), 583-601

We present barium data for sediment traps deployed in a northeast Atlantic margin environment (Bay of Biscay). Fluxes of excess barium were measured with the objective of calculating carbon export ... [more ▼]

We present barium data for sediment traps deployed in a northeast Atlantic margin environment (Bay of Biscay). Fluxes of excess barium were measured with the objective of calculating carbon export production rates from the surface mixed layer and thus contribute to the understanding of organic carbon transport in a margin environment. Therefore, it was necessary to properly understand the different processes that affected the barium fluxes in this margin environment. Seasonal variability of POC/Ba flux ratios and decrease of barium solubilisation in the trap cups with increasing depth in the water column probably indicate that the efficiency of barite formation in the organic micro-environment varies with season and that the process is relatively slow and not yet completed in the upper 600 m of water column. Thus barite presence in biogenic aggregates will significantly depend on water column transit time of these aggregates. Furthermore, it was observed that significant lateral input of excess-Ba can occur, probably associated with residual currents leaving the margin. This advected excess-Ba affected especially the recorded fluxes in the deeper traps (>1000 m) of the outer slope region. We have attempted to correct for this advected excess-Ba component, using Th (reported by others for the same samples) as an indicator of enhanced lateral flux and assigning a characteristic Ba/Th ratio to advected material, Using transfer functions relating excess-Ba flux with export production characteristic of margin areas, observed Ba fluxes indicate an export production between 7 and 18 g C m(-2) yr(-1). Such values are 3-7 times lower than estimates based on N-nutrient uptake and nutrient mass balances, but larger and more realistic than is obtained when a transfer function characteristic of open ocean systems is applied. The discrepancy between export production estimates based on excess-Ba fluxes and nutrient uptake could be resolved if part of the carbon is exported as dissolved organic matter. Results suggest that margin systems function differently from open ocean systems, and therefore Ba-proxy rationales developed for open ocean sites might not be applicable in margin areas. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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