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French Society for
Environmental Health (SFSE)

Member of IFEH



A French approach to environmental health

Environmental Health in France is under the responsibility of 5 Ministries : Health, Agriculture, Environment, Labor and Consumer Affairs. The main task is assigned to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), a public authority whose missions, established by a Ministerial Order of January 2010, include risk assessment in the fields of food, environment and workplace. It undertakes independent and pluralistic scientific expert assessments, in order to contribute to the protection of human health with respect to the environment, the workplace and food. It also contributes to protecting the health and welfare of animals, ensuring plant health, and evaluating the nutritional and functional characteristics of food, and performs missions regarding veterinary medicinal products. In order to fulfill its missions, ANSES has set up and coordinates a network of 31 scientific organizations, that work in the Agency's field of expertise. Among them are agencies for “Environment and Energy Management”, “Health Products Safety”, “Geological and Mining Research”, “Agricultural Research”, “ Construction”, “Atomic Energy” “ Public Health Surveillance”, “Exploitation of the Sea”, “transportation, planning and networks technology”, “ Industrial Environment and Risks”, “Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety” “ Metrology and Testing”, “Water and Aquatic Environments”. The relations between the Agency and these institutions and organizations are established through binding agreements.

The organization, management and implementation of food control involve three national administrations: the “Directorate General of Food”, the Directorate General for “Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control”, and the “Directorate General for Health”. Regional offices of the three directorates control compliance under the authority of Region Prefects.

Water quality, air pollution, infectious diseases or noise are controlled by the competent ministries, with regional delegations : Regional Health Agencies and Environmental Bureaus, in cooperation with Region Prefects, who guarantee the development and follow-up of public health policies.

Creation of SFSE

SFSE was created in 2008 as a non-profit organization, at the initiative of researchers and professionals of environmental health. At the crossroads of disciplines as different as toxicology, chemistry, medicine, human and social sciences, law and management, environmental health is a field that cannot do without a global approach. SFSE’s ambition is to be the place where knowledge, knowhow and information can combine.

SFSE is a scientific society with an extended mission:

  • promote research
  • develop health action and prevention
  • ensure the diffusion of knowledge
  • intervene in the public debate by taking position and proposing scientific support for public policy.


  • Scientific scrutiny
  • Transparency for actions and financial supports
  • Networking facilitation among multidisciplinary actors on the themes of environmental health
  • Anticipation and whistle blowing for public authorities on emerging risks
  • Information sharing
  • Openness towards other scientific societies whose objectives are related to environmental health, whether they are French or International
  • Interventions in public debates
  • Promotion of opening of science evaluation and expertise to civil society.
  • Respect of precautionary principle


The Board

It is constituted with 12 elected members. It deliberates on general orientations, relations with other societies, with scientific world, with media and with financial supporters.

The Executive Board is taking operational decisions. It is composed of:

  • A President (Francelyne Marano)
  • A Vice-President (Denis Bard)
  • A Secretary General (Pierre-André Cabanes)
  • A Treasurer (Fabien Squinazi)
  • A Delegate-General (Elisabeth Gnansia)

Thematic sections 

Scientific work of SFSE is relying on five sections :

  • Methodology for health risk evaluation
  • Risk and society in environmental health
  • Emerging risks and new pathologies
  • Communication and risk-training in environmental health.
  • Approaches and methods for the prioritization of Environmental health issues

Financial aspects

SFSE is keen to maintain diversity and balance in supporting its activities, in order to ensure the independence of its decisions and positions  :

  • Membership dues
  • Subsidies and grants from public institutions
  • Income related to SFSE’s activities

Contribution to research

  • By animating sections which enable knowledge exchange on topical subjects with both a science and society approach
  • By supporting young scientists
  • By organizing a science watch
  • By creating conditions for good cooperation with industry
  • By proposing calls for tender and by participating in them

Science communication

Public information is at the center of SFSE’s concern. It is necessary to free oneself as much as possible from a priori convictions and influences which alter data analysis and the understanding of the phenomenon under study.  

  • Environnement, Risques et Santé, Scientific Publication in French, is the official journal of SFSE.
  • the Congrès National de Santé et Environnement which is taking place every year is a tribune towards all kinds of audiences.
  • Adapting the messages for the general public is a major concern for SFSE

Contribution to training in environmental health

SFSE is engaged, in partnership with non-governmental organizations and public institutions, in training and education on environmental health at all levels.

Topics of Annual Conferences :

  • 2010 : Genes, Environment & Social Inequalities
  • 2011 : Drinking water and health
  • 2012 : Weak signals in environmental health
  • 2013 : Cancer and Environment
  • 2014 : Landscape, Urbanism & Health (Nov 25-27)


Contact : 
Societe Francaise Sante et Environment
Université Paris Diderot-Paris7
Département Sciences du Vivant
Laboratoire RMCX, Unité BFA
4 rue Marie-Andrée Lagroua Weill-Hallé
Case 7073
75205 Paris cedex 13