Publication on EDC mixtures in Science

Our largest study within the former H2020 project EDC-MixRisk has been published in Science. Combining epidemiological and experimental data, we show that in a large Swedish mother-child cohort, 54% of pregnant women are exposed to mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) above levels that may impair their unborn children’s brain development. These mixtures include EDCs to which we are exposed constantly, such as bisphenol A, phthalates, and PFAS, at levels experienced in day-to-day life.

Using 2000 mother-child pairs in the SELMA cohort, we identified an EDC mixture measured in pregnant women that was associated with language delay in their children.

This same mixture, at levels found in the general population, disrupted gene networks that are causally linked to autism and intellectual disability in brain organoids (human 3D cell models). It also disrupted hormonal signaling and behavioral responses in animal models. 

Finally, based on these experiments, we determined exposure levels of concern, and 54% of the investigated women exceeded these levels. Notably, exposure levels were all (far) below the current acceptable limits for the single compounds contained in the mixture.

The results emphasize the need to take mixtures into account for chemical testing and risk assessment, and provide an integrative framework to guide risk assessment strategies. Importantly, they also show the value of multidisciplinary collaborations to tackle challenges in science and society.

Link to the publication:

Animation video summarising the main results of this study:

Film on the main results of EDC-MixRisk:

Joëlle Rüegg’s professor installation lecture on EDCs and mixtures: Vimeo link

Joëlle Rüegg gave Swedish lecture in UppTalk Weekly

Joëlle Rüegg was talking about her research in UppTalk Weekly, see recordings here:

The around 50 people in the audience had many questions about endocrine disrupting chemicals, their occurrence and effects, and how to avoid them.

Joëlle Rüegg give Swedish lecture in UppTalk Weekly

UppTalk weekly is a popular science seminar series in Swedish were scientis discuss important subjects in an accessible way. You can find out more at the UppTalk weekly website.

On Tuesday February 2 at 12:00, Professor Joëlle Rüegg will give a talk about endocrine disruptors in the environment. 

Link to calendar event:
Link to Facebook event:

JAWS Workshop

On the 25.-26.8., the Environmental Toxicology program, together with SLU and CRU (Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala), organised the yearly SWACCS* Junior Academy Workshop JAWS, which attracted over 30 participants from different Swedish Universities.

On the first day, a workshop in poster design was held. The participants created unique posters to visualize their research results. The posters were by hand and were then presented at a poster viewing at EBC. The prize for the best poster went to our PhD student Michela DiCriscio.

On the second day, a minisymposium on reproductive toxicology was organized with a key note lector by Majorie van Duursen, VU Amsterdam, and three selected short presentations by, among others, our PhD student Sofie Svanholm.

At the subsequent SWACCS meeting, Joëlle Rüegg was elected as one of five members of the executive group, which will take over the SWACCS coordination at the beginning of next year.

*SWACCS  (Swedish Academic Consortium on Chemical Safety, is a network between researchers at 13 different universities whose vision is a chemical-safe world. Swaccs aims at effective collaboration between academic research and education on one side and societal sectors on the other.

Defenses and new grant

PhD defenses

Congratulation Gaëtan Philippot, to your PhD! Gaëtan defended his thesis "Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Exposure to Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) and Related Drugs" on the 15th of May. 

And the next PhD defence is approaching: On the 10th of June at 1 pm, Anna Mentor will defend her thesis: "Developmental Exposure to Mixtures of Environmental Pollutants". Here she is nailing her thesis. Congratulations!

New grant

Joëlle Rüegg has received a grant from the new Centre for Women’s Mental Health during the Reproductive lifespan – WoMHeR ( at Uppsala University.  The grant will fund an interdisciplinary project addressing effects of environmental chemicals on gender identity and their role in gender dysphoria.  It will be conducted in collaboration with Fotis Papadopoulos, psychiatrist at the Department of Neuroscience, Gabriele Griffin, professor in Gender Research at the Centre for Gender Research, and Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, epidemiologist at Karlstad University.

Thesis nailing

Today, Gaëtan Philippot nailed his thesis titled "Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Exposure to Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) and Related Drugs". Congratulations!

The defence takes place on Friday, 15th of May, 15:00 in Ekmansalen and via zoom.

Last modified: 2022-02-18