New environmental contaminants

Ever greater numbers of new chemicals are brought onto the market every year to give us smarter, faster and better consumer products. While 20 years ago we might measure roughly 50-100 compounds in an indoor air sample, we now find between 500 to 1000 substances using the same sampling and measurement methods. Although the purpose of these new chemicals is good, they may also be tomorrow’s environmental contaminants.

A constant search

A minority of these substances may pose a danger to human health and the environment. If we are to attain the vision of a non-toxic future, it is important to identify the substances that may not now appear to be problematic, but that in the future might pose a risk.

NILU is working to increase our knowledge about these new contaminants – from inputs and occurrence, to their fate in the environment and their effects on human health and the environment. NILU uses various modelling tools to understand and predict the environmental fate of these substances. The development of new analytical methods is important in finding and understanding new contaminants.