A group of researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) led by Professor Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine, Nicolás Olea Serrano, participates in a European-oriented research to establish the relationship between early exposure to certain chemicals, including some present in plastics and detergents, and the propensity to have diseases like genitourinary malformations, infertility or testicular cancer.
The academic institution emphasizes that this project differs from similar studies because “research is not done with single substances, but study the effects caused by the combination of chemical compounds that, taken independently, seemed safe.”
The work, by the name of CONTAMED, belongs to the Seventh EU Framework Programme and has been funded with EUR 3.49 million through the EU administration to develop in the next three years.
The UGR group is responsible for recruiting patients and volunteers, and preparation and delivery of human tissue samples for studies carried out other groups. In collaboration with other participants, develop an optimal protocol for the preparation of suitable samples for analysis in CONTAMED. Also responsible for the generation of new data on the concentration of endocrine disruptors (chemicals foreign to the human body that produce the disruption of some physiological processes) in human tissues, such as bisphenol-A and alkylphenols. It will participate in the preparation of a final report on the evaluation of the effect of exposure to multiple chemical residues.
“We’re talking about chemicals that are mainly two problems: in some cases it is bioaccumulative elements, ie, although the contact has occurred for years, the effect may be delayed due to accumulation and persistence within the body, such as the case of pesticides, in others, are substances in everyday products such as plastics, detergents and cosmetics, very difficult to remove from everyday life, and constituting a continuous exposure, “said Olea.
Research has reached several conclusions that have pooled the seven groups that carry out the project with the University of Granada and come from London, Brighton, Rotterdam, Zurich, Bremen, Bristol and Copenhagen. They have established a relationship between exposure to these products and specific conditions such as cryptorchidism or undescended testis, ie, the absence of it in its normal location in the scrotum, and infertility, which, as the researcher, is more common among young Europeans.