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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 694; doi:10.3390/ijerph14070694

The Impact of a Nickel-Copper Smelter on Concentrations of Toxic Elements in Local Wild Food from the Norwegian, Finnish, and Russian Border Regions

1
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway
2
NILU—Norwegian Institute for Air Research, The Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
3
Akvaplan-niva, The Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
4
Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway
5
Hygiene Department, Northwest Public Health Research Centre (NWPHRC), St. Petersburg 191036, Russia
6
Arctic Health, Faculty of Medicine and Thule Institute, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
7
Northern Laboratory Centre NordLab, FI-90220 Oulu, Finland
8
Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helena Solo-Gabriele
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2864 KB, uploaded 29 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Toxic elements emitted from the Pechenganickel complex on the Kola Peninsula have caused concern about potential effects on local wild food in the border regions between Norway, Finland and Russia. The aim of this study was to assess Ni, Cu, Co, As, Pb, Cd, and Hg concentrations in local wild foods from these border regions. During 2013–2014, we collected samples of different berry, mushroom, fish, and game species from sites at varying distances from the Ni-Cu smelter in all three border regions. Our results indicate that the Ni-Cu smelter is the main source of Ni, Co, and As in local wild foods, whereas the sources of Pb and Cd are more complex. We observed no consistent trends for Cu, one of the main toxic elements emitted by the Ni-Cu smelter; nor did we find any trend for Hg in wild food. Concentrations of all investigated toxic elements were highest in mushrooms, except for Hg, which was highest in fish. EU maximum levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg were exceeded in some samples, but most had levels considered safe for human consumption. No international thresholds exist for the other elements under study. View Full-Text
Keywords: toxic elements; nickel smelter; metallurgic industry; local food; berries; mushrooms; environmental pollution; Kola Peninsula; Arctic toxic elements; nickel smelter; metallurgic industry; local food; berries; mushrooms; environmental pollution; Kola Peninsula; Arctic
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hansen, M.D.; Nøst, T.H.; Heimstad, E.S.; Evenset, A.; Dudarev, A.A.; Rautio, A.; Myllynen, P.; Dushkina, E.V.; Jagodic, M.; Christensen, G.N.; Anda, E.E.; Brustad, M.; Sandanger, T.M. The Impact of a Nickel-Copper Smelter on Concentrations of Toxic Elements in Local Wild Food from the Norwegian, Finnish, and Russian Border Regions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 694.

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