The aim of the REDPOL project is to develop innovative tools that can determine whether chemical pollutants in our environment interfere with the endocrine systems of wildlife.
These pollutants are known as endocrine disruptors. They can interfere with endocrine (or hormonal) systems in humans, causing cancerous tumours, birth defects and other developmental disorders, as well as impacting the wider environment.
Endocrine disruptors can cause reproductive, developmental and behavioural problems in wildlife and plant populations, leading to an imbalance in environmental health. Building on a number of former RCUK and EU projects into the effects of pollution on marine and freshwater life, REDPOL aims to deliver 6 innovative products which will help address the issues of endocrine disruption. Behavioural, bio-mechanical and biomolecular tests will be developed to enable the identification of endocrine disrupter compounds (EDCs) in the environment and facilitate their elimination at source. Of these, at least 2 will be developed into innovative products for the biotechnology market, to the level of either TRL7 (System Prototype Demonstration in Operational Environment) or TRL8 (System Complete and Qualified), which is one step before commercialisation.
The project will also map the endocrine effects on wildlife population over the FCE eligible area, applying the tests it has developed to analyse endocrine disruption on at least 30 sites on both sides of the Channel. The project will allow networking and collaborative work between research institutions, industrial actors and territorial associations while implementing European regulations to protect people’s health, the environment and economic activities in the European area.