Distribution of arsenic species by seaweed components, in particular arsenic lipids

Project title: Distribution of arsenic species by seaweed components, in particular arsenic lipids

Partners: University of Iceland, University of Graz, Marine Research Institute

Initial year: 2020

Service Category:



Ásta Heiðrún E. Pétursdóttir

Head of Public Health and Food Safety


Much is still hidden about arsenic lipids. Why do they form in seaweed? How? Where? Do they serve a purpose? Although seaweed is considered to be the starting point for the formation of arsenic lipids, very few studies have been performed on arsenic lipids in seaweed. This is partly explained by the fact that this is a specialized field of research that very few research groups in the world work on, among other things, as measurements of arsenic lipids require expertise and specialized chemical analysis equipment.

Contrary to popular belief, arsenic lipids have recently been shown to be highly toxic. They can be found in seaweed, among other places. It is important to take a closer look at these lipids and gain a better understanding of them. An extensive collection of seaweed samples will be studied to collect data on arsenic lipids, other types of arsenic and their distribution in the seaweed. Preliminary studies indicate that the distribution varies according to the activity of the seaweed, which could give an indication of where the arsenic lipids are formed in the seaweed. The main results of the project can be divided into two parts. First, to give extensive results on the status of arsenic and arsenic lipids in green, red, and brown algae. Second, look at their distribution in the seaweed.

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