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Year: 2021
Project manager: Anna.Nalbandyan-Schwarz@dsa.no

The northern border regions between Norway, Finland, and Russia are very important to local communities for both food availability and economic stability. Contaminant exposures in many Arctic communities are complex with both long-range transport and local sources acting as inputs for contaminants. The border area between Norway, Finland and Russia in the North is, in addition, exposed to contaminants from different industrial activities, with the large smelters in the Nikel area as dominant sources. The emissions from the smelter industry has had a great impact on the terrestrial environment in the region, and also to a certain degree on aquatic systems. For people living in the region it is very important to receive scientific data on contaminant levels in food items that are regularly harvested/hunted, as well as risk assessment of intake of subsistence food. As a result of earlier successful cooperation in a EU Kolarctic project ‘Food and Health security’ (KO467) and flagship ‘’Hazardous substances’, the researchers from three countries collected more than 200 samples of different local food items (incl. berries, mushrooms, fish and bird species, reindeer, moose, etc.) and measured heavy metals, POPs and radioactive substances. However, the results covered separate assessments of each of pollutant’s type and were published as separate publications on heavy metals, POPs and radioactive substances in Norway, Finland and Russia. The idea of the current proposed multidisciplinary project (CIFOOD) is to conduct a combined assessment of different contaminants in the same samples as the data from earlier project gives this unique possibility.

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