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The screening programme is our first instance of investigating the occurrence of new types of pollutants. The results are used to assess the need for new regulations and whether the investigated substance should be included in the other monitoring programmes.

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About the project

The so-called new pollutants have not necessarily been subject to thorough international regulation. The substances are selected by the Norwegian Environment Agency based on properties of concern and registered commercial use. There is great variation from year to year in which substances are selected. This also leads to great variation in the type of sites and samples analysed. Examples from recent years include additives in plastics and car tyres, the much-discussed perfluorinated substances (PFAS), and additives in medicines and hygiene products.

The aim of the programme is to map the occurrence, supply and environmental impact of the new pollutants in the Norwegian and Arctic environment. The programme includes the entire chain from sampling and analysis to reporting and assessment of the results. Samples are collected from different locations that typically cover an assumed emission source, expected dispersion and recipients that include biota. For new pollutants, there is usually no established method of analysis. An important part of the programme is therefore the development of new analytical methods.

Period: 2002- (ongoing project). Final contract period: 2023-2024

Read about the programme at the Norwegian Environment Agency