The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.
Connect public health laboratories and institutes throughout the circumpolar north for the purposes of monitor infectious diseases of concern. Main gaps: russia
The HBSC network is a WHO supported research network on health and health behaviour in schoolaged children performing surveys every 4 years in 41 countries. The data are used in monitoring, research and health promotion. Network type: - Research network - Child health - Human & socio-economic - Location(s): Greenland and 40 other countries…..
To acquire atmospheric data in support of both the prediction and detection of severe weather and of climate trend and variability research. This serves a broad range of users including researchers, policy makers, and service providers. Main gaps: Long-term, atmospheric monitoring in the North poses a significant challenge both operationally (e.g. in-situ automated snowfall measurements) and financially (charterd flights for maintenance and calibration).Most monitoring in the North is limited to populated areas. Attempts to develop an AMDAR capacity out of First Air and Canadian North fleets failed due to economical and technical difficulties. As demonstrated through impact studies, benefits of AMDAR in the North would be tremendous, however would require acquisition and deployment of specialized sensing packages such as TAMDAR (which includes measurements of relative humidity), development of datalink capacity through satellite communications (e.g. Iridium), and upgrading some aircraft systems when possible, especially the aircraft navigation systems. Network type: Atmospheric observing stations over land and sea composed of: - Surface Weather and Climate Network: o In-situ land stations comprising both Hourly stations and Daily Climate observations - Marine Networks: o Buoys (moored and drifting) o Ships: Automatic Volunteer Observing System - Upper Air Network: o In situ (radiosonde) o In situ Commercial Aircraft (AMDAR)
Statistics Sweden has all relevant data related to population size, age structure, gender, births, deaths, and migration. The same types of data are collected for the whole country and are standardized for administrative units. Since the population data also contain the geographical coordinates for the place where each person lives, it is also possible to present the statistics for arbitrary geographical units. However, the official population and health statistics do not contain any information concerning which persons belong to the indigenous / non-indigenous population. In Sweden, this would be of relevance for studies of living conditions among the Sámi population. However, such studies have been conducted only in very specialized research projects based on the researcher’s own data collection and carried out in agreement with the Sámi people. Statistics Sweden reports on how many individuals enter and complete different levels of education. The statistics can be separated by geographic area. Statistics Sweden has data on unemployment and the distribution of incomes in different regions. Main gaps: No official statistics are easily available about the use of languages or about religious practices in general. For individuals with a foreign background, the country of birth, citizenship, and year of immigration to Sweden are registered. However, the official statistics do not separate the native indigenous from the non-indigenous population. Although the Sámi languages are officially acknowledged as minority languages, the trends concerning the number of people that speak and use them is not systematically monitored.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has 32 measurement stations distributed across Sweden, of which 16 are situated north of 60°N (Table 6, #6.1). They mainly measure radiation from radioactive compounds on the soil surface and automatically sound the alarm if the radiation increases. Every seventh month, radioactivity is measured on the soil surface at 4 to 5 spots in every municipality to check eventual radiation changes and to retain knowledge at an acceptable level (Table 6, #6.2). Special programs monitor 137Cs in humans (whole body), reindeer, fish, moose, and roe deer (Table 6, #6.3). The main incentive for this is the remains from the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
Estimates of human intake of environmental pollutions via food and drinking water are performed in cooperation with the National Food Administration (Table 4, #9.4). During 2006 an estimation of children’s intake of dioxin was finalized. The concentration of pollutants in groundwater wells is studied in cooperation with SGU and the National Board of Health and Welfare.
One focus of SEPA’s subprogram for human biological data concerns metals in human bodies (Table 4, #9.1). It includes studies on lead concentration in human blood, mercury in hair, and cadmium concentration in urine. Old hair samples have been collected and analyzed for mercury. Methyl mercury may damage the central nervous system, and at the fetal stage effects may occur already after low exposure. A study in Uppsala is investigating persistent organic compounds in breast milk. Concurrently, the young mothers answer a questionnaire, and hair samples are collected to analyze methyl mercury. Cadmium in urine is an indicator of the load on kidneys, and especially women with low iron storage have an elevated risk for increased cadmium uptake. A program on cadmium in women that started in Gothenburg, then expanded to Stockholm, Lund, and Umeå is under way. In 2007, a second round started in Gothenburg. A questionnaire is filled in concurrently with collection of a urine sample.
Organic compounds, especially persistent organic pollutants (POP), are of special interest and are included in one of SEPA’s subprograms (Table 4, #9.2). The subprogram includes different groups in the population. On military enlistment, young men are tested for persistent organic compounds in the body. Mercury content is measured in high consumers of fish, and the concentration of flame retardants is measured in samples of breast milk from women who breast-feed. The National Food Administration stores important data from control of pesticides in vegetables, where more than 2 000 samples are taken per year and residues from more than 200 different pesticides are analyzed. To date, no data have been analyzed and reported from this material, but it will be done in the first phase of this SEPA subprogram. Sampling of breast milk will continue with the intent to monitor organic environmental pollutants. Already existing is a long time series on the concentration of flame retardants and PCB in breast milk. Concurrently, samples will be transferred to the environmental sample bank at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM), which means that samples will be available for comparison in the future.
Studies of human exposure to cancer-inducing air pollutants (Table 4, #9.3) are being conducted in Gothenburg, Umeå, Stockholm, and other sites. The importance of smoking habits, traffic, and other potential sources will be determined for a better risk evaluation. Measurements will be conducted according to a rolling schedule, with one city at a time and a group of 40 randomly chosen people, 20 to 50 years of age. The background concentrations in air will be followed at the same time. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide is particularly severe during winter. An estimate of the number of people exposed to nitrogen dioxide concentrations in excess of current limits is performed every fifth year. An improved method of calculation, i.e. the urban model, has been used since winter 2006/2007. The urban model will also be used to calculate the number of people that are overexposed to particles.
Elevated levels of 137Cs caused by previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests fallout and the Chernobyl accident have been observed in Finnmark, Northern Norway. Due to the large consumption of potentially contaminated reindeer meat, whole body measurements of 137Cs levels in reindeer herders have been performed since 1965.
The main aim of the project is to establish monitoring data on core species amd core parameters (ie including PCB, DDT, chlordanes, toxaphene, HCB etc. and animal ID and basic information like length, weigth, agegroup/sex assessment). In addition, a time-trend on PFCs in pilot whale has been established (since 1986).
The objective is to develope a tool that can be used as individual dietary advice. The tool can be used by health services, but also by individual internet users. The exposure can be calculate based on the food item intake, and the exposure will be compared with tolerable-acceptable intake limits
In Greenland lead contamination of the edible parts of seabirds, particularly eiders, is high because the birds have been killed with lead shot. Therefore bird-eaters are exposed to a high lead intake, probably often exceeding safe limits. In this study we will compare the lead level in human blood in a group of people from Nuuk, Greenland eating many birds with the level in a group eating few. This will enable us to assess if the high lead exposure is reflected in people and constitutes a health risk. The project is conducted in cooperation with The Medical Clinic in Nuuk and The Center for Arctic Environmental Medicine, Aarhus University.
In Greenland the human intake of mercury and cadmium from local diet is high. In an autopsy study, mercury and cadmium concentrations in humans has been analyzed. This study will make it possible to assess to what extent the high intake of mercury and cadmium is reflected in human tissue.
The central objectives of the proposed ATMAS project are: to quantify the photo-chemically triggered NOx and HONO re-emission fluxes from permanently and seasonally snow-covered surfaces in the Arctic near Ny-Ålesund, to quantify the sources of NO3 in these snow-covered surfaces. In detail, the following scientific objectives of ATMAS can be distinguished: 1. to quantify atmospheric gradient fluxes of HNO3, HONO, particulate nitrogen compounds, and nitrogen in precipitation (snow and rain) above snow surfaces; 2. to quantify the emission of NOx and HONO from the snow pack as atmospheric gradient fluxes 3. to formulate an influx-outflow relationship that can be used in dependence on the snow type for (photo-)chemical atmospheric process models. The results of this research may be expanded to a regional (European) or global scale, to suggest how the NOx and HONO re-emission process and its consequences can be included into regional emission, dispersion and deposition models used in Europe.
Marine foodwebs as vector and possibly source of viruses and bacteria patogenic to humans shall be investigated in a compartive north-south study. Effects of sewage from ships traffic and urban settlements, on animals of arctic foodwebs will be studied.
1. Analysis of existing data from the current shellfish monitoring programmes in order to design a suitable sampling strategy 2. Ideentification of toxic algal species in UK waters 3. Construction of a detailed time-series at several key sites in the UK for toxic phytoplankton and shellfish toxin occurence 4. Comparison of the genotype versus toxicity of suspected toxic species between sites
Persistent organic pollution is a global problem. This fact is especially apparent in the Arctic where pesticides currently used in distant environments accumulate, in some cases to higher levels than those observed in the source region. This pollution threatens the well-being of the aboriginal inhabitants of these regions. Most of the traditionally harvested animals in the Arctic are long-lived and from the higher trophic levels of the food chain, thereby providing an opportunity for considerable bioaccumulation and biomagnification of persistent contaminants. This has prompted a growing concern by the Alaska Inupiat that pollutants in the environment might be contributing to their unique morbidity and mortality rates, especially of their children. Our studies are currently focused on two specific organic pollutants found in the Arctic environment; 1}hexachlorobenzene (HCB), a byproduct during manufacture of several different chlorinated compounds and consistently detected in the Arctic and, 2} dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE), a chlorinated environmental breakdown product measured in the Arctic population at significantly higher concentrations than the parent pesticide, DDT. We hypothesize that mammalian embryonic cell exposure to these chemicals, individually or as mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations and ratios, will alter the cell cycle and/or cause death by apoptosis, rather than by necrosis. We also predict synergistic cytotoxicity of the chemical mixture because of an accumulation of deleterious effects at different cellular target sites by each chemical. We further hypothesize that while some chemicals target non-genetic cellular components (such as a cell membrane or cytosolic component), other chemical effects will occur primarily at the genetic level, directly or indirectly. Our experiments have been designed as a set of sensitive cellular and molecular assays to compare levels and types of cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of the above chemicals (individual and mixture), at environmentally relevant concentrations, upon embryonic cells in culture. Our experimental evidence thus far is that these chemicals, separately or as a mixture at concentrations and molar ratios relevant to that measured in the Arctic environment, do have cytotoxic and/or genotoxic effects that could result in profound consequences to exposed tissues of a developing embryo or fetus. We have further experimental evidence that exposure to both chemicals at environmentally relevant concentrations is more toxic to the cell than the sum of effects by exposure to the individual chemicals. Experimental results indicate this is due to different cellular target sites for each chemical (Appendix A: Preliminary Results).
Besides some beneficial effects of UV exposure, i.e. skin tanning and vitamin D production, UV ex-posure can have deleterious effects on human health. Deleterious effects are a.o. skin cancer, skin aging, wrinkling, cataract, snow blindness, and effects on the immune system. The objectives of this project are especially aimed at the detection of UV effects on the human immune system and as a consequence of the UV induced immunomodulation effects on the resistance to infections and tumors. Research activities Research activities are focussed at laboratory animal studies, studies with human volunteers, epidemiology and mathematical modelling.
Brief: Assessment of the significance of aquatic food chains as a pathways of exposure of indigenous peoples to PTS, assessment of the relative importance of local and distant sources, and the role of atmospheric and riverine transport of PTS in Northern Russia. Project rationale and objectives: (1) To assess levels of Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS) in the environment in selected areas of the Russian North, their biomagnification in aquatic and terrestrial food chains, and contamination of traditional (country) foods that are important components of the diet of indigenous peoples. (2) To assess exposure of indigenous peoples in the Russian North to PTS, and the human health impacts of pollution from local and remote sources, as a basis for actions to reduce the risks associated with these exposures. (3) To inform indigenous peoples about contamination by PTS of their environment and traditional food sources, and empower them to take appropriate remedial actions to reduce health risks. (4) To enhance the position of the Russian Federation in international negotiations to reduce the use of PTS, and to empower the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) to participate actively and fully in these negotiations. Project activities to achieve outcomes: (1) Inventory of local pollution sources in the vicinities of selected indigenous communities. (2) Survey of levels and fluxes of PTS in riverine and coastal marine environment important for indigenous peoples living in these environments and using them for their subsistence; and assessment of fluxes of PTS to these environments via selected rivers and the atmosphere. (3) Dietary surveys of selected indigenous communities. (4) Study of biomagnification, based on measurements of selected PTS in representative species in food chains important for the traditional diet of indigenous populations. (5) Survey and comparative assessment of pollution levels of the indigenous and general population in selected areas. (6) Dissemination of results to all relevant stakeholders.