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Environmental Chemistry

Foto: Lise Balsby, Aarhus Universitet

Environmental chemistry

We support the public need for science-based knowledge of environmental and health risks of organic contaminants.  Advisory activities also involve monitoring of hazardous substances in the national monitoring program (NOVANA), implementation of chemical proficiency tests (NEXT) and tasks within the national oil surveillance.  The research forms the basis of the department’s support of the Danish and EU´s regulation in this area, including specific risk assessments.  The activities are directed to national authorities (Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, The Danish Nature Agency, and Ministry of Defence) and international activities (EU, AMAP, ICES) in order to monitor and assess the environmental status.  The focus is also directed towards the Water Framework Directive, ICES / HELCOM Conventions and the Arctic environment.

Environmental monitoring

We carry out measurements of environmentally substances for the national monitoring program (NOVANA) within the marine program and monitoring of air pollution.  Furthermore, the department contributes with measurement of environmentally persistent substances in the Arctic monitoring program in Greenland, AMAP.  Thus the department makes a contribution in terms of long-range transport and time-trends of persistent organic compounds which contribute to documentation of long-term development in the environment and the effects of legislation.


We perform the proficiency testing program NEXT (National Environmental Xenobiotics Test).  The program offers routine proficiency testing of drinking water for a large number of pesticides relevant to the national monitoring program (NOVANA), as well as international monitoring.  The program is offered annually.

Investigations and identification of oil spills

As part of the national oil surveillance, we analyze oil samples from oil spills at sea by using GC-MS fingerprinting, in order to identify the source and thus the polluter.  This work is done in collaboration with the Defense Command Denmark . The Department also participates in a CEN working group to harmonize the European standards of sampling and identification of oil spills. 


Pia Lassen

Senior Researcher - Head of section