Workshop on Monitoring the Environmental Fate of Chemicals

6 – 8 June 2001


The initiative for this workshop was based on the notation that our knowledge on the state of the environment with regard to chemicals in use is very limited. Many existing monitoring programs also focus on a few chemicals which are already banned or severely restricted. In most countries, very little is known even on the High Production Volume Chemicals (practically none of the thousand most used chemicals is included in the national monitoring programmes). We can also see increasing demands for data of this kind in different fora (e.g. the EU Water Framework Directive, the EU Programme on Existing Substances, OSPARCOM, HELCOM, etc.).

The workshop aimed at examining the state of art for monitoring of chemicals in the Nordic countries and at identifying areas of common interest. As a result of the discussions a proposal was made for a joint project where coordination and joint efforts are supposed to be beneficial to the Nordic countries.

The workshop focused on industrial chemicals and chemicals in consumer products that are on the market today. However, agricultural pesticides and products formed in combustion processes were not discussed.

The about 35 participants represented mainly environmental regulators/policy makers involved in monitoring and/or chemicals control. Some participants were personally invited, but the workshop was open also to other interested persons.

The program was divided into three main sessions: 1) Background, regulatory needs and international outlooks. 2) Selection of substances and structuring screening programs – sources of information and practical experiences. 3) Benefits and drawbacks from cooperation. In a final session summary and conclusions including proposals for follow up actions were formulated.

The workshop was sponsored jointly by three working groups under the Nordic Council of Ministers: The Chemicals Group, The Group on Monitoring and Data and The Group on Sea and Air

The organizing committee was chaired by Alf Lundgren, from the National Chemicals Inspectorate in Sweden. Other members were Alec Estlander from the Finnish Environment Institute, Ola Glesne from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, Gun Lövblad from the Swedish consultant IVL and Britta Hedlund, from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Ingunn Selvik from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority was secretary until the end of 2000. After that Magnus Nyström, from the Finnish Environment Institute was secretary and editor of the report.


Stora Brannbo, Sigtuna, Sweden

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