Aquatic organisms are continually exposed to complex mixtures of chemical compounds that are potentially deleterious. Physiological equilibriums of living organisms are thus continuously challenged and may be disturbed. Of major importance are disruptions of cellular and physiological mechanisms that may induce carcinogenetic, developmental or reproductive effects. These are of such critical importance because they may have implications at higher levels of biological organisation, including populations and food webs.
High pressure on water resources widely occurs and will further augment, for instance the UK Growth Agenda foresee an extra 50,000 houses to be built in the next 20 years in the region. There is thus a real and urgent need for a sound management of the resources based on the best knowledge available.
Importantly, involvement in the DIESE Interreg project of End Users from the water regulatory authority both on the UK and the French sides creates a unique opportunity to produce science of direct relevance to the industry/regulatory authority charged with protecting/regulating the aquatic environment in appliance with EU Directives. The French and UK counterparts will thus have a valuable opportunity to share thoughts and experience.
This project builds and expands on a previous Interreg project (RAED, Interreg IIIa; Minier et al., 2000; Peck et al., 2005). RAED allowed the development of a number of new analytical tools that have become world-leading and state-of-the-art. We intend to expand our collaborative success with ‘estrogens’ on anti-androgens, selected carcinogens and immunotoxic compounds acknowledging the fact that physiology and hence the health of living organisms is dependant on a variety of essential mechanisms that are strongly inter-linked.