Radiation and Chemical Risks

Research on radiation and chemicals is conducted by several research groups of the Department. The research is multidisciplinary and includes various approaches for assessing environmental and occupational exposures (measurements, modelling) as well as experimental and epidemiological studies to assess adverse effects on humans and other organisms. It covers both impacts on ecosystems and health effects.

Our cancer-related research is part of “Translational cancer research”, one of the advanced-level, strong research areas of UEF, as defined in UEF Strategy. The Department hosts one of the world’s leading groups in research on the health effects of non-ionizing radiation (electromagnetic fields). Research on ionizing radiation has focused on radioecology and on “new” radiobiological phenomena, particularly induced genomic instability. Research on chemicals is carried out in several research groups at the Department, and it includes studies on environmental pollution and remediation, human exposure, assessment of human health effects, as well as ecotoxicology and effects on wildlife. An important infrastructure is the new Laboratory of Radiobiology in collaboration with the Cancer Center of the Kuopio University Hospital. This infrastructure is unique, and creates a basis for a leading national position in both environmental health-related and radiotherapy-related radiobiological research.

The key research topics in 2016-2020 include

  1. assessment of health risks of non-ionizing radiation (electromagnetic fields), with particular focus understanding cancer-related effects of low frequency magnetic fields;
  2. radiobiological research with particular focus on “new” radiobiological phenomena and their role in health and disease (especially cancer);
  3. radioecological and ecotoxicological research on behavior of contaminants in the environment and their effects on wildlife species and ecosystems;
  4. exposure to and health effects of chemicals common in human environments (chemicals from consumer products and recycling processes, persistent organic pollutants, contaminants of indoor air);
  5. mining related water pollution and remediation.