Project: Exposure assessment of water and food pollutants in Sweden

Because the main sources of exposure to toxic metals are drinking water and food, we have measured multiple metals and other trace elements in breast milk and infant and child foods. Also, in collaboration with SGU, we have measured multiple elements in Swedish wells. An important part of our research is to develop biomarkers of different exposures in various population groups. We have a well-equipped, modern laboratory (clean-room with HEPA filter) with two ICP-MS instruments and an UltraClave microwave digestion system. The Agilent 7700x ICP-MS (Agilent Technologies, Tokyo) is used for multi-element analysis and includes a High Matrix Introduction kit (HMI) and an Octopole Reaction System (ORS3, removes polyatomic interferences). The 7700x system allows simultaneous high-throughput measurement of multiple elements down to ppt levels with a nine orders dynamic range. The Agilent 7500ce ICP-MS is used as on-line detector for HPLC separation of inorganic and organic arsenic metabolites in human urine.

Contact persons

Marie Vahter and Maria Kippler


  • Swedish Research Council Formas.
  • Karolinska Institutet


Elevated childhood exposure to arsenic despite reduced drinking water concentrations--A longitudinal cohort study in rural Bangladesh.
Kippler M, Skröder H, Rahman S, Tofail F, Vahter M
Environ Int 2016 Jan;86():119-25

Alkali dilution of blood samples for high throughput ICP-MS analysis-comparison with acid digestion.
Lu Y, Kippler M, Harari F, Grandér M, Palm B, Nordqvist H, et al
Clin. Biochem. 2015 Feb;48(3):140-7

Anthroposophic lifestyle influences the concentration of metals in placenta and cord blood.
Fagerstedt S, Kippler M, Scheynius A, Gutzeit C, Mie A, Alm J, et al
Environ. Res. 2015 Jan;136():88-96

Metals and trace element concentrations in breast milk of first time healthy mothers: a biological monitoring study.
Björklund K, Vahter M, Palm B, Grandér M, Lignell S, Berglund M
Environ Health 2012 Dec;11():92

High concentrations of essential and toxic elements in infant formula and infant foods - A matter of concern.
Ljung K, Palm B, Grandér M, Vahter M
Food Chem 2011 Aug;127(3):943-51

Arsenic and cadmium in food-chain in Bangladesh--an exploratory study.
Khan S, Ahmed A, Yunus M, Rahman M, Hore S, Vahter M, et al
J Health Popul Nutr 2010 Dec;28(6):578-84

High-level exposure to lithium, boron, cesium, and arsenic via drinking water in the Andes of northern Argentina.
Concha G, Broberg K, Grandér M, Cardozo A, Palm B, Vahter M
Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010 Sep;44(17):6875-80