On the 7th of December BelTox organized the annual meeting on ‘The current state of knowledge of the toxicology and ecotoxicology of PFAS’ at the city campus of the University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen). An attempt was made to cover as many aspects as possible of the experimental and human toxicology and ecotoxicology of PFAS. The sessions were chaired by Erik Van Miert (Sciensano) in the morning and by Jana Asselman (UGent) in the afternoon. To make the audience familiar with the wide variety of PFAS and their applications the meeting started with a presentation by industry on the chemistry and applications of the various PFAS (Pierre Vander Elst, 3M). This introduction to the world of PFAS was followed by presentations on the ecotoxicology (Thimo Groffen, UAntwerpen) and toxicology (Greet Schoeters, UAntwerpen) of PFAS most encountered in the environment. The last presentation of the morning session was dedicated to the regulatory aspects of PFAS in regards the concentration limits in food and feed in the EU (Frans Verstraete, DG SANTE, EU Commission). The afternoon session started with an overview of the project of the Federal Agency on Occupational Risk (FEDRIS) investigating the need of continued medical surveillance of workers with extensive exposure to PFAS in industry (Perrine Hoet, UCLouvain, FEDRIS, presented by Mark Martens, FEDRIS). After the four selected oral presentations of the young scientist competition there were two contributions on toxicological research of PFAS performed by industry: Comparative toxicology of two perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (Sue Chang, 3M) and the role and human relevance of PPAR-alpha in the toxicity of HFPO-DA and other PFAS substances (Shawn Gannon, Chemours). At the end and after the proclamation of the young scientist competition a panel discussion took place with all the speakers of the day. The meeting was closed by Steven Van Cruchten, chair of the AM22 meeting,
The program can be viewed here.
Young scientist competition
The young scientist competition was coordinated by Jana Asselman (UGent). The subject of the presentations/posters was not limited to PFAS and open to any interesting topic in toxicology and ecotoxicology. In total, 18 abstracts were sent in to compete for the best oral presentation or poster. A jury composed of the invited speakers of the annual meeting selected the two best oral presentations and the two best posters. The winners of the young scientist competition 2022 are:
- Lea Hierinomus (1st prize oral presentation)
- Jodie Buytaert (2nd prize oral presentation)
- Robin Lasters (1st prize poster)
- Julie Tytgat (2nd prize poster)
Beside the poster presentations within the context of the young scientist competition there were also 8 free posters on display.
At every annual meeting BelTox offers the opportunity to companies and institutions to be represented. At this meeting booths were reserved for ARCHE, Charles River Laboratories and Altertox who also distributed documentation on their projects amongst the participants.