At Stockholm University we are currently attempting to undertake mass
balance exercises in the Baltic Sea and cooperation between Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and other Baltic states would help us to better characterize point sources in these respective countries as well as to sample abiotic and biotic samples in different areas of the Baltic. Membersof the network, situated in Iceland, Northern Norway, Svalbard and Greenland would provide access to Arctic samples and possible future sampling cruises.
Network partners can even take advantage of other partners extended networks of researchers in e.g.North America in order for example to get access to samples from other parts of the Arctic. Within the research area of human exposure, several parallel efforts are underway to develop methods for human serum and tissue samples in order to better understand human exposure, pharmacokinetics and health outcomes. These efforts need to be better coordinated so that available sample sets and methods can be used to their full potential.
Furthermore, various groups are estimating external exposure by developing methods for analysing food, dust, drinking water, paper packaging etc. offering opportunities for knowledge sharing. PFCs have proven difficult to analyse and the need for improved cooperation between analysts has been highlighted in the scientific literature (e.g. Jahnke, A. and Berger, U. J. Chromatogr. A., 2009, 1216, 410-421). Thus sharing information on analytical methods and undertaking method intercomparison exercises will help to ensure that the data produced from different laboratories are more relaible. Method sharing will help new research students quickly come up to speed with the current "state of the art" in analytical and/or sampling methodologies.
Students will visit labs where the expertise and equipment exists in order to gain the necessary training in analytical methodology before analysing their samples. Some groups have unique access to cruise ships which can cruise the North Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean or Baltic Sea. Others have specialized equipment for sampling sediment cores, high volume air samples, conducting ecotoxicological tests etc. In some cases unique sample sets (e.g. Swedish Museum of Natural History) have been archived and can be made available to expert analysts.