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Eliminating environmental exposures harmful to health  

Research Goal 2 covers toxic chemicals and their mixtures to which the population is exposed via food, drinking water, consumer products or wastes, but also through the contaminated environment, i.e. air, house dust, and soil. Adverse health effects of environmental exposures to toxic chemicals are a function of the levels and intrinsic properties of these chemicals individually and in mixtures. The properties of chemicals include their mobility, ability to interact in/with the abiotic environment and with living systems (biota). However, people are also exposed to other stressors of anthropogenic origin, such as nanoparticles, plastics, radiation, or biological agents. Physical and biological stressors interaction with living systems is also of high relevance. Hence effects of environmental exposures on experimental systems, wildlife and humans are considered, the latter especially in relation to development of chronic conditions, diseases and disorders. RG2 is organized into two main sections that describe a) specific anthropogenic agents/stressors such as chemical mixtures, emerging chemicals, plastics micro and nano-particles, radiation and biological agents and b) environmental media of external exposure such as food, soil, water and air. We also highlight the role of wastes (e.g. related to circular economy). The text below describes individual stressors in a greater detail in relation to the overarching objective of this research goal: improving our environment to become safer/non-toxic environment through a) less input of contaminants into the environment and b) thorough improved assessment of anthropogenic stressors concentrations in the environment of and human/environmental exposure to them.

RG 2.1 Chemicals including legacy chemicals, emerging chemicals and mixtures

  Research on major exposures

  Multidisciplinary approaches particularly on the effects of mixtures including new approaches in risk assessment (see RG4).

  Missing tools

  Interpretation and communication of risks

RG 2.2 Plastics including micro- and nano-plastics

  Micro-/nanoplastics and nanoparticles

  Plastics and related chemicals

  Biodegradable alternative to plastics

RG 2.3 Biological Agents

  Better/Novel Exposure assessment techniques

  Emerging sources and effects of exposure to biological agents

  Linked needs

RG 2.4 Radiation

  Enhancing studies on new technologies including 5G (and future new technologies 


  Low level (often with long duration) exposures

  Long-term effects of light exposure patterns

RG 2.5 Water contamination

  Assessment of human exposure to chemicals in drinking water

  Integration of multiple exposure routes (water, food and air)

  Improved analytical techniques including high-throughput techniques

  Development and application of tools

RG 2.6 Food and soil contamination

  Research on prevention and elimination of adverse effects and inequalities

  Research on effects of increased soil salinity

  Developing new methods in soil decontamination

  Developing tools for comprehensive assessment of contaminants

  Effect of food packaging

RG 2.7 Air contamination

  Research beyond the priority pollutants

  Research on air quality and health related

  Research on chronic exposure to air contaminants and biological effects

  Research on measurement methods for nanoparticles

  Research combining improved exposure assessment with cohort data

RG 2.8 Wastes

  General investigation of toxicity

  Methods on how to extract substances

  Generation of comparable/sufficient data on toxic substance use

  Identify safe limits for recycling and safe reuse

  Assessments of the impact of environmental exposure to metals

  Improve knowledge on consumers handling

  Understanding of potential health risks