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Ruskeeniemi T.,Geological Survey of Finland | Backman B.,Geological Survey of Finland | Loukola-Ruskeeniemi K.,Geological Survey of Finland | Sorvari J.,Finnish Environment Institute | And 6 more authors.
Special Paper of the Geological Survey of Finland | Year: 2011

The RAMAS Project investigated the occurrence of arsenic in the Tampere region (Pirkanmaa), assessed the potentially arising health and ecological risks at the regional scale, and presented recommendations for preventive and remediation actions. The three-year project (2004-2007) received financial support from the EU LIFE Environment programme. The implementing partners were the Geological Survey of Finland, Helsinki University of Technology, the Pirkanmaa Regional Environment Centre, the Finnish Environment Institute, Agrifood Research Finland, Esko Rossi Oy and Kemira Kemwater. The project mapped the areas where natural arsenic concentrations are elevated in bedrock, the soil cover or in groundwater and surface waters. Arsenic contents in arable land, crops, and in some wild berries and mushrooms were analysed. Correspondingly, the most important potential anthropogenic sources were located and evaluated. Concerning the human health risk, potable water from drilled wells was determined to be the main exposure route. The exposure for arsenic was demonstrated in a biomonitoring study. Arsenic concentrations in urine were clearly elevated among those households using arsenic-bearing well water. An epidemiological survey revealed that certain cancer types linked to arsenic are statistically more frequent in those areas where the health limit value for arsenic (10μg/l) in well waters is commonly exceeded. Many of the local municipalities have made major efforts to extend the public water supply network to those areas suffering from elevated arsenic concentrations. Arsenic is not a problem in arable lands, and its uptake by plants also seems to be very low. However, it is less appreciated that both the till cover and bedrock in the region may locally contain naturally high arsenic concentrations. The most important anthropogenic arsenic sources in the region include a few wood treatment plants that have utilized copper-chromium-arsenic solutions in their production, and closed sulphide mine sites. The environmental and ecological risks related to the various arsenic sources were evaluated and the most urgent needs for remediation measures were identified. Preventive decisions already made during the planning phases of land use activities are the most effective risk management measure both in terms of health and ecological risks. The RAMAS project has published several reports and risk area maps, which can be downloaded from the project's website: www.gsf.fi /projects/ramas.

Bilaletdin A.,Pirkanmaa Center for Economic Development | Frisk T.,Pirkanmaa Center for Economic Development | Podsechin V.,Pirkanmaa Center for Economic Development | Kaipainen H.,Pirkanmaa Center for Economic Development | Filatov N.,Northern Water Problems Institute of Karelian Research Center
Water Resources Management | Year: 2011

Lake Onega is the second largest lake in Europe after Lake Ladoga. This paper is a part of the project concerning a general plan of water protection, as expressed in the Water Framework Directive. The aim of this paper was to present an investigation of the status of Lake Onega and to present steady state and dynamic modelling approach in order to assess the impacts of different loading scenarios of water quality of Lake Onega. In the project more catchment and water quality models were used but in this paper these models were chosen. The presented steady state model was the mass balance model of Vollenweider and the dynamic model is the box-type model AQUATOX. While Lake Onega preserves a good status of water as a whole, the problems with pollution and eutrophication exist in Petrozavodsk and Kondopoga Bays where anthropogenic loading is more pronounced. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Vuorio K.,Finnish Environment Institute | Vuorio K.,University of Jyväskylä | Jarvinen M.,Finnish Environment Institute | Moilanen S.,Pirkanmaa Center for Economic Development | And 2 more authors.
Boreal Environment Research | Year: 2015

Water level regulation related to hydroelectric power production and flood prevention is an important hydro-morphological pressure on many watercourses around the world. Fouling of fishing nets in autumn during the open water period and in winter under the ice is a common phenomenon in large Finnish lakes where the water level is regulated. This fouling of fishing nets can sometimes be so extensive that fishing has to be stopped. Based on the practical experiences of fishermen, the main cause for the under-ice fouling has been proposed to be the winter draw-down of water causing low water level and stronger currents in lakes, but no conclusive relationship between fouling and water level regulation has yet been demonstrated. Here we show, using long-term winter data from a boreal lake and short-term netting experiments, that fouling of fishing nets results from increased water draw-down during winter (January–March). Our results also show that fouling of fishing nets takes place only if the high water flow rates are accompanied by an intensive lowering of the water level. We also discuss the relevance of our results to other regulated lakes with ice cover. © 2015.

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