For many chemicals, there is very little knowledge of their presence in the environment and the effects they have and we need that knowledge to be able to assess their risk. These substances, called drugs of the Emerging concern (CECs), are an important research area in the institute.
We investigate their emissions, impacts on people and the environment, their effects, as well as their risks are important research activities in the department. Special attention is paid to the transport of less-studied compounds to the Arctic and their accumulation in the Arctic environment, for example in food chains. Besides being an important area of research, knowledge of long-range transport, persistence and bioaccumulation is relevant for risk assessments and eventually regulations.
Furthermore, risk assessment of these compounds often require analysis of very specific toxicological assessment endpoints, which address the specific concerns related to the compound and its properties. The approach to this to the work of the department computer models and databases to determine which properties of the compounds that have the negative effect.
At the Department of Environmental Science, we are focusing on development of new analytical methods for new substances and the development of screening methods for the identification of unknown substances.
The Department participate in the European Network of Laboratories for Monitoring New Pollutants (NORMAN). www.norman-network.net