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Food and health security in the Norwegian, Russian and Finnish border regions: linking local industr (KO467)
Funded by Kolarctic ENPI 2007-2013

Objective of the project

The objective of the project is to assess industrial impact on food safety and human health in highly populated Arctic regions. It is possible to integrate contaminant results with monitoring of key human health endpoints in future human risk assessments and food safety management. Assessment of the results will be communicated to stakeholders within participating countries (i.e., general public, government, and industry) where both the socio-economic benefits of increased industrial activity will be weighed against potential food safety and human health risks. More specifically, the project will assess spatial distribution of contaminants from local industrial sources in food and inhabitants within the border region.

Main activities

The project focused its actions on a region on the border of Russia, Norway and Finland, the so-called Pasvik area. Typical local food items and the people living on the region, especially pregnant mothers, were studied. The project activities consist of studies and communication activities that are divided in the following work packages: • Human exposure assessment and identification of dietary sources of exposure across border areas • Contaminants in relevant food items – geographical differences and trend data • Health effects of contamination in the region – status and future predictions • The socioeconomic consequences of contamination and food safety in the region • Public awareness and informed policy decisions – addressing human security


The amount of data produced is impressive and has provided material for a large number of publications. The results of this project bring valuable new information about the consequences of local emissions of pollution in terms of geographical distribution, impacts on human concentrations of contaminants and locally harvested foods. The investigation of different food like different berries, fish and game yielded information on which species and which contaminants should be monitored in the future. The geographical differences also provide invaluable information on the areas where certain compounds monitoring should be targeted, and which food items should be included in the monitoring. The project has also provided opportunities to perform further complex risk assessments of different pollutants such as toxic metals, persistent organic pollutants and radioactive substances from the same samples.

Basic information