Chemicals are all around us — in our clothes, our food and in the hygiene products we use. They are part and parcel of our welfare society, but can also be a threat to our health and the environment we live in. IVL is active across the entire field —ranging from the measurement and mapping of chemicals in different environments to decision guidance apropos risk assessment and intervention.

The amount of chemical substances present in our society is enormous. In 50 years, the production of chemicals around the world has increased from about 7 million tonnes to over 400 million tonnes per year. And we still lack knowledge of how many of these chemicals affect human health and the environment.

The control of the torrent of chemicals in our environment has become a pressing issue. IVL identifies and investigates the use of chemicals across society and the environment in relation to current legislation and European directives. We measure and analyse numerous substances in the air, precipitation, water and soil, primarily in connection with environmental monitoring. Assignments range from the characterization of specific industrial emissions to large-scale screenings — both in Sweden and internationally. We regularly report national data to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

We also conduct research and run projects with the overarching objective of avoiding future environmental and health problems caused by chemicals. Here we target both new chemical substances for which no risk assessments are available and well-known environmental pollutants present in the waste streams and which today are increasingly recycled as part of our efforts to realize closed-loop systems.