Skip to content
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Contaminants in Freshwater Biota

The results from the monitoring of environmental contaminants in freshwater biota provide a basis for understanding the impact of changes in contaminant loads and the influence of climate change on contaminants in the Swedish environment.

The program

The purpose of the National Monitoring Program for Contaminants in Freshwater Biota (program area Freshwater External link.) is to monitor contaminants in biota in Sweden's freshwater environment (lakes). The contaminant database goes back to 1967 and contains more than 100 different contaminants.

Each year, biota in the form of perch, char and pike from about 30 unaffected lakes, spread across the whole of Sweden, are collected within the monitoring program and their concentration of metals and organic contaminants are determined. Collected specimen are prepared for the analysis at the museum and additional material is stored in the Swedish Environmental Specimen bank.

A main purpose of the monitoring program is to facilitate time series studies of environmental contaminants to understand the development of background concentrations. Other purposes are to understand geographical differences and differences between species. The contaminant data can also be used as reference values by regional and local governments when they evaluate measurements from possible contaminated sites. The results from the monitoring program is published in an annual report External link.. Contaminant data is also used to check if measures introduced to reduce emissions of certain contaminants have had the desired effect. Samples collected and stored in the Swedish Environmental Specimen bank can at a later time be used to identify the historic presence of new environmental contaminants using retrospective analysis.

The results from the program are used to follow up the Swedish environmental quality objective of a Non-toxic Environment (Giftfri miljö External link.) and Living lakes and Watercourses (Levande sjöar och vattendrag External link.).

On this page

Page updated: