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The research project REACT

Understanding the possible re-activation of high priority contaminants release from pulp fibre sediments in the northern Baltic Sea

Concentrations of organic pollutants and heavy metals in biota and surface sediments have been considered to decrease during the last three decades. However, according to recently reported data from a major survey project concentrations of both organic pollutants and heavy metals are alarmingly high in fibre banks along the Bothnian Sea coast. Furthermore, very high concentrations of DDT and PCB in sea eagle eggs are reported from this area, and concentrations of both organic pollutants and heavy metals have increased in fish and benthic organisms close to fibre banks.

Our hypothesis is that an increased release of contaminants from fibre banks is taking place as a result of environmental changes. Within the project we analyze under which conditions the reactivation of the fibre banks occurs.

Project news

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What controls methylmercury levels in estuarine sediment and biota?

[2014-08-23]

Input of MeHg from terrestrial and atmospheric sources bioaccumulates to a substantially greater extent than MeHg formed in situ in sediment. In a new publication quantitative data on MeHg formation and bioaccumulation is reported, and the importance of MeHg loadings from catchment runoff to MeHg content in estuarine biota is emphasized.

Sofi Jonsson, Ulf Skyllberg, Mats B. Nilsson, Erik Lundberg, Agneta Andersson, Erik Björn
Differentiated availability of geochemical mercury pools controls methylmercury levels in estuarine sediment and biota.
Nature Communications August 20, 2014


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