Welcome to the Faroe Islands, May 2018
We warmly welcome you to Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, in the heart of the North Atlantic. You will experience a unique culture and a breath-taking environment. Modern hotels and conference facilities will be at our disposal, and unique social events are being planned.
In regard to environmental hazards, fetal and early postnatal development seems to constitute the most vulnerable stage of human life. Among the effects of toxic exposures emphasized in the past were malformations and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Subsequent studies highlighted maternal smoking and dietary deficiency or nutrient oversupply as important risk factors for child development and disease risks. In regard to industrial chemicals, dramatic effects of prenatal exposures have been recorded, with the Minamata Disease being the first major outbreak about 60 years ago. Recent research has revealed that more subtle effects during early development may also lead to functional deficits and increased disease risks later in life. This “fetal programming” hypothesis has gathered much support from both experimental and epidemiological studies. While health is determined by a variety of parameters, including genetic predisposition, health behaviors, and environmental factors, the interactions between them probably constitute a key to understanding the pathogenesis of important diseases and ill health. Substantial evidence now suggests that the prenatal and early postnatal environment is of crucial importance for gene expression, thereby affecting normal development and disease risks through adult life. The timing of exposure and the related gene-environment interactions is therefore crucial.
The overall purpose of the conference is to assess the weight of evidence and highlight new achievements on the effects of prenatal and early postnatal exposure to toxicants, as well their effects on the development The overall purpose of the proposed conference is to assess the weight of evidence and highlight new achievements on the effects of prenatal and early postnatal exposure to toxicants, as well their effects on the development of the individual throughout their lifespan. The overall aims of the conference are therefore:
• to disseminate front-line information on developmental toxicity and fetal programming, in regard to environmental health research;
• to enhance discussion and synthesis of information, thereby leading to discussions on improved research approaches to elucidate and unravel ambiguities in current understanding; and
• to stimulate improved interaction between research strategies and needs for documentation that can inspire decision-making to protect against adverse effects from developmental exposures to environmental hazards.
Special attention will be on linking molecular, experimental and human studies, on combined of multiple stressors, on the use of prospective studies of birth cohorts and on the application of biomarkers in the monitoring of exposure to hazardous substances – in identifying individuals at increased risk diseases in the
Philippe Grandjean and Pál Weihe, Conference Co-Chairs