In May 2018, peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health presented a collection of its articles investigating the effects of fetal and developmental exposures. This topic was the focus of the PPTOX VI Conference that took place end of May 2018 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands. PPTOX stands for “Prenatal Programming and Toxicity.” PPTOX VI organizers emphasize that fetal and early postnatal development constitutes “the most vulnerable stage of human life” in regard to environmental hazards, and even “subtle effects during early development may . . . lead to functional deficits and increased disease risks later in life.” This mechanism is postulated by the “fetal programming” hypothesis that has gathered “much support from both experimental and epidemiological studies.”

This year’s PPTOX VI conference had a dense program featuring recent research on the topic. The overall aim of the conference was “to assess the weight of evidence and highlight new achievements on the effects of prenatal and early postnatal exposure to toxicants” 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.” Conference conclusions will be published later this year.

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PPTOX VI Conference

Selected articles in Fetal and Developmental Exposure for PPTOX 2018.Environmental Health (May 2018).