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Regulated environmental contaminants

“Regulated contaminants” are chemicals regulated by the authorities because they have been proven harmful to the environment of both animals and humans.

“Regulated contaminants” are chemicals regulated by the authorities because they have been proven harmful to the environment of both animals and humans.

Organic contaminants are regulated at a global level through the Stockholm Convention, and at a regional level through the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). Before being subjected to global regulation, environmental contaminants may also be regulated through a ban at national level.

The chemicals must have certain properties in order for them to be regulated. They must be resistant to biodegradation in the environment (persistent), they must be accumulated and stored in the fatty tissue of living organisms (bioaccumulative), they must be toxic, and they must have potential to be transported over long distances (long-range transport). As a group, these pollutants are called POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants).

The decision to regulate a substance or a chemical is preceded by years of studies on the environmental impact of contaminants. NILU contributes to this process with research that provides important knowledge.

NILU monitors regulated contaminants to track the effects of prohibitions and/or regulations. Today, we are seeing lower levels of several of the regulated environmental pollutants than we did 15-25 years ago.