Environmental Contaminant Monitoring
Contaminant Monitoring Programmes require samples from different sites in the country to be collected annually for chemical analysis. Reports on the state of the environment, the assessment of time-trends and the spatial variation of contaminants on land, in lakes, at sea and in the coastal waters of Sweden are submitted annually. The location of the sites and the types of material collected are shown on the maps and tables on separate pages under each subprogram.
Photo: Maria Molnar-Veress
The results of the biological and chemical analyses of organisms collected in sites outside polluted areas (reference sites) are used to make time-trend studies of the concentrations of other substances, thus enabling authorities, institutions and society as a whole to form a picture of the current status of pollution in the country on a long-term perspective.
The work is part of the National Swedish Monitoring Programme, financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, and done in collaboration with institutions for chemical analyses. Samples of tissues and organs are prepared and stored permanentely in the Environmental Specimen Bank at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.
The contaminant monitoring program is divided in three subprogrammes:
Contaminant monitoring of coastal waters and seas
Contaminant monitoring of lakes and rivers
Contaminant monitoring of forests, agricultural land and mountain areas
Each subprogramme has the following aims:
- To assess the degree of pollution on a number of national reference sites
- To use the analytical data to make comparisons and estimates in local and regional monitoring, etc.
- To detect long-term changes in background levels on the reference sites
- To reveal occasional incidents with a wide geographical spread
- To use the results to estimate the effect of variations in exposure to toxic substances as part of the risk-evaluation for man and animals.
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency