Environmental contaminants

NIVA works with contaminants in all areas of aquatic ecosystems.

Research on environmental contaminants is one of NIVA's main areas of work. We have performed nationwide monitoring of aquatic environments for decades and have accumulated long-term series of environmental data.

NIVA scientists are experts in how contaminants behave in water, sediments and food chains with fluctuations and changes in the environment, e.g. climate change.



NIVA activities include:

  • charting concentrations of contaminants and classifying environmental conditions
  • studying and modelling ways in which contaminants are dispersed in the environment
  • developing methods of analysis and measuring devices for contaminants
  • testing the effects of contaminants on cells, individuals and populations
  • evaluating the consequences of discharges to freshwater and marine environments
  • developing and testing technology for removing contaminants in seepage water from refuse facillities, industrial effluents and pollution from mines
  • developing techniques and decision-making tools to aid in the implementation of measures against polluted sediments

A developing research field

Research on contaminants is developing continually due to the increasing number of types and quantities of chemicals that are used every day.

National and international supplier of expertise

NIVA provides research-based knowledge to business and industry as well as to the public sector.

We participate in international monitoring programmes and supply expertise internationally, often for use in agreements, conventions and directives. Examples are: The Stockholm Convention, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances), CEMP (Co-ordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme), the Minamata Convention and the EU Water Framework Directive.


Marianne Olsen, research manager, Marine Pollution
Thorjørn Larssen, Deputy Managing Director
Adam Lillicrap, research manager, Ecotoxicology
Elisabeth Lie, Research Manager, Contaminants in Aquatic Environments

Last updated 26.01.2021