It has been evident for decades that environmental chemicals pose an enormous risk to the environment as well as to humans. However, this important topic is still underestimated in every part of society. Over the last 20 years, anthropogenic chemicals research, often closely connected with endocrine disruption research, has shown how chemicals in our environment can profoundly affect development, growth, maturation, and reproduction by mimicking hormones or interacting with hormone receptors. The effects of environmental contaminants on health are a major concern because exposure is associated with a number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, congenital malformations, and infertility.
It is clear that there is increasing pressure to intensify the research and to more efficiently evaluate data on persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals in the environment as well as in human bodies. Advanced environmetrical methods are needed to analyze those data.
The data analysis method applied, is based on the theory of partially ordered sets. The theory of partial order is a discipline of Discrete Mathematics and one may consider partial order as an example of mathematics without numerical arithmetic. The graphical representation of partial orders is laid down in so-called Hasse diagrams. The software package applied is named PyHasse written by the second author.
We will present examples of contaminated regions in the Alps with endocrine disruptors as well as breast milk samples of women in Denmark and Finland, which contained measurable levels of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants).
The research activity can be regarded as an ordinal approach within Environmetrics, Chemometrics demonstrating the impact of endocrine disruptors in the environment as well as in humans.
Keywords: Endocrine disruptors; Partial order; Environment and health; Cryptorchidism
Biography: Graduated in food chemistry at the Technical University in Berlin in 1979 and received her PhD at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in 1997.
Started at the German Environmental Protection Agency in Berlin. From 1983 at the GSF, now Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health.
Long experience in the field of environmental and health risk assessment. Interest in mathematical and statistical methods for the evaluation of environmental chemicals as well as ionizing radiation. A special emphasis is set on the ranking and decision support method, called Hasse Diagram Technique.
Published intensively and holds positions in Editorial Boards of the following scientific journals: Environmental Modelling and Software, Environmental Science and Pollution Control and Online Information Review.
Member of the iEMSs Board of Directors, the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society and Deputy Spokeswomen of the Steering Committee Environmental Informatics.