Danish News in Brief: Good news regarding microplastics levels, or at least in the Baltic

In other news, women are now contracting lung cancer more often than men, while the venerable IC3 trains look set to be given a new lease of life

One of the scourges of modern life is microplastics in the world’s seas and fish, so it is encouraging news that a new study shows levels have remained constant in the Baltic over the last 30 years – despite production increasing dramatically.

Researchers from DTU Aqua, the University of Copenhagen (KU) and GEOMAR in Kiel analysed levels of microplastics in fish and water samples taken between 1987 and 2015. Their findings have just been published in Science of the Total Environment magazine.

The study does, however, raise a number of questions. “We know that more plastic is being produced today than ever before, so what is happening to it,” asked professor Torkel Gissel Nielsen from DTU Aqua. “Does it sink to the bottom? Are there organisms that can break it down? Or is it being carried away by ocean currents?”

Another of the researchers, Sabrina Beer from KU, pointed out that it is important to focus on how microplastics do not belong in the sea and that we must make minimise its spread so that it does not end up in the aquatic environment and the food chain.”

More women contracting lung cancer
The number of women being hit by lung cancer has been increasing steadily over the last 40 years, while it has been going the opposite way for men. Figures from eSundhed.dk show that in 1978 there were 2,173 men who contracted lung cancer. In comparison, the figure for women was 617. Today, the figure is 2,324 women suffering from lung cancer compared to 2,023 men, reports TV2 Nyheder. “We must bear in mind that lung cancer hits many women. Today, it is the cause of the largest number of cancer fatalities amongst them,” noted Torben Riis Rasmussen, a senior doctor at the lung disease department at Aarhus University Hospital. It also appears that women are more vulnerable to the disease than men; they don’t need to have smoked for so many years before they contract it.

IC3 trains to get 10-year life extension
Even though they are rapidly approaching the end of their 30-year technical lifespan, the national railway DSB looks set to continue with the elderly IC3 trains for some time yet. The planned replacement, the IC4, has proved to be so bedevilled with technical problems that DSB has finally cut its losses and declared the IC4 unfit to run on intercity services, reports Ingeniøren. The train will be used on regional lines until it is phased out. Unfortunately, there is no replacement ready, so the IC3s are going to have to be renovated at a cost of 385 million kroner to enable them to run for another ten years.

Frederiksberg centre wins prestigious award – again
At a ceremony yesterday arranged by Detail-forum and ICP, Frederiksberg shopping centre once again scooped the award for ‘Denmark’s best shopping centre over 25,000 sqm’. The prize recognised its rising customer turnover despite increased competition and for having a unique mix of shops, plus an attractive modern design. As if that was not enough, Frederiskberg also won the award for ‘the shopping centre with Denmark’s best service’. The centre is owned by two of the bigger pension funds and administered by DEAS, the largest shopping centre management company in Denmark, with a portfolio of 17 centres round the country.