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Research projects

Development Of Site-Specific Environmental Quality Analysis (DOSE)

About this project

Project information

Project status



Per-Erik Olsson

Research subject

As a result of mining, forestry, waste disposal and fuel combustion, our environment is becoming increasingly contaminated with heavy metals. The aquatic environment receives waste products from such activities and may be the final depository for these anthropogenic remobilized heavy metals. In order to understand the impact on aquatic biota as well as the populations that are in contact with these pollutants it is important to identify the mechanisms available for transport, mobilization/immobilization, uptake and excretion heavy metals. It is also important to identify the deleterious effects that these metals, alone or in combination with other pollutants, exert on aquatic organisms and the people exposed to these compounds. As every exposure situation is unique in its composition of pollutants, essential nutrients and organisms being exposed, it is of high importance to develop site-specific water quality criteria when defining safe levels of exposure. The present proposal is aimed at improving risk assessment by using up-to-date technology to rapidly screen for biological effects of exposure. Development of this environmental analysis technology relies on the understanding of chemical exposure, biological effects and proper risk assessment analysis as well as access to a site where high differences exist in exposure conditions. For this purpose we have formed a group consisting of one chemical analysis company (ALS Scandinavia AB), one risk assessment company (Envix Nord AB), one biological assay partner (Örebro University) and one end-user involved in metal mining (Boliden Mineral AB). Together we aim to develop a comprehensive strategy for site-specific water quality analysis to be used to determine safe levels of exposure in complex situations. The project started in April 2012 and will end in March 2015.

The goals of the project

1. Environmental analysis of Hornträsk with catchment areas. We will perform analysis of gene regulation in selected species combined with risk analysis. We aim to identify environmental parameters that need to be improved to achieve a healthy aquatic environment.

2. The gene-based analysis tools will be used to develop a recipient control system to provide improved information on health status in the system.

3. The analysis results will be used to develop site-specific recipient environmental quality norms for acceptable levels of substances present water systems.

Selected publications

Carvalho RN, Arukwe A, Ait-Aissa S, Bado-Nilles A, Balzamo S, Baun A, Belkin S, Blaha L, Brion F, Conti D, Creusot N, Essig Y, Ferrero VE, Flander-Putrle V, Fürhacker M, Grillari-Voglauer R, Hogstrand C, Jonáš A, Kharlyngdoh JB, Loos R, Lundebye AK, Modig C, Olsson PE, Pillai S, Polak N, Potalivo M, Sanchez W, Schifferli A, Schirmer K, Sforzini S, Stürzenbaum SR, Søfteland L, Turk V, Viarengo A, Werner I, Yagur-Kroll S, Zounková R, Lettieri T. 2014 Mixtures of Chemical Pollutants at European Legislation Safety Concentrations: How Safe are They? Toxicol Sci. Jun 23 preprint


Research groups

Research funding bodies

  • The Knowledge Foundation
  • Örebro University