Biomarkers for Environmental Monitoring - Suggestions for Norwegian monitoring programmes

In Norway, monitoring of chemical contamination is performed within four different environmental monitoring programs; monitoring of hazardous substances in Norwegian fjords and coastal waters (MILKYS), monitoring of pollutants in large lakes, monitoring of pollutants in urbanized fjords, and monitoring of pollutants in terrestrial and urbanized environments. Besides chemical concentrations, a number of biological markers (biomarkers) are included in MILKYS.

This report evaluates if the used biomarkers are useful in relation to the aim of the program and if biomarkers could be useful within the three other programs. A large number of biomarkers were assessed and ranked according to specificity for chemicals, ecological relevance, ability to provide early warning, ability to detect different types of chemicals and mixtures, current status in environmental monitoring and feasibility of the analysis. The following biomarkers are suggested to be used:

  • Fjords and coastal waters (MILKYS): EROD (or CYP1A), PAH-metabolites in bile, vitellogenin in fish, aromatase in fish and liver somatic index (LSI) in fish
  • Large lakes: EROD (or CYP1A), vitellogenin in fish, aromatase in fish, liver somatic index (LSI) in fish and macroscopic liver neoplasms in fish
  • Urbanized fjords: Micronuclei test in fish, skeletal deformities in fish, antioxidants in fish liver (Cat, GST, GR), macroscopic liver neoplasms in fish and total oxyradical scavenging capacity (TOSC) in blue mussel
  • Terrestrial and urbanized environment: Congenital malformations in birds, egg shell thickness for


Publication date:
12/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Niklas Hanson, Maja Halling, Helena Norin
74 s

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