Chemical concentrations in aquatic environment frequently exceeds concentrations perceived as safe

Together with our colleagues at the FRAM Centre we continue to focus on oceans and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 ahead of the UN Oceans Conference. This time it’s about chemicals and the need for risk assessment of chemical mixtures in the aquatic environment.

The total chemical production within the European Union amounts to more than 300 million tonnes per year, of which 140 million tonnes are considered as hazardous to the environment. Today, 24 May, Mikael Gustavsson defends his thesis “Risk assessment of chemical mixtures in the aquatic environment.”

My thesis adds to a growing body of literature which demonstrates that chemical concentrations detected in the environment frequently exceeds concentrations perceived as safe, says Gustavsson, this indicates that the current chemical load in the environment should be considered during market approval.”

Despite the Swedish national goal (adopted 1999) of a non-toxic environment, there is no perceivable trend in the estimated risk in the agricultural streams between 2002 and 2013. Similarly, samples taken along the Swedish west coast and analyzed for 172 organic chemicals show exceedances of estimated safe concentration at five out of five locations. Also, concentrations measured in fish tissue exceed concentrations thresholds set for human consumption, both for individual compounds and for their mixtures.

>> More information on Mikael Gustavsson’s thesis on the FRAM Centre’s website

About the FRAM Centre
The FRAM Centre for Future Chemical Risk Assessment and Management Strategies is a multi-disciplinary academic centre focusing on chemical mixtures. The centre was established from 1st of April 2016 at the University of Gothenburg to enable a formalized collaboration among researchers in the area of chemical risk assessment and management in Gothenburg. FRAM works across academic disciplines and in close collaboration with stakeholders from chemical regulation, chemical industry and civil society. FRAM is a part of the University of Gothenburg Centres for Global Societal Challenges (UGOT Challenges).



SDSN logotype