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Personal profile


My research concerns how chemicals in the environment affect our health. These exposures can be unintentional ─ as in the case of contaminated drinking water ─ or intentional ─ through tattoos and other body modifications:

  • Health effects of exposure to the environmental contaminant PFAS (perfluorinated alkyl acids). We investigate if and how the health of the Ronneby population is affected by long-term exposure to PFAS-contaminated drinking water. For example, we explore effects on the immune system, pregnancy health, and children’s health and general development. I am the responsible researcher for the Ronneby Mother-Child Cohort, in which we follow 250 mothers and children from early pregnancy and throughout childhood and collect blood samples and questionnaire data.

I lead Lund University’s part of the international collaboration initiative Ronneby PFAS Research Program. More information about the research (in Swedish) is found on our blog Forskning om PFAS i Ronneby (lu.se).

  • Tattoos and other body modifications. When our lifestyle changes, it is important to clarify the consequences for our health. The popularity of tattoos has skyrocketed during the last decades and studies have shown that there are plausible physiological mechanisms through which the pigments in tattoo ink may act as risk factors for diseases such as cancer. Despite this, there is extremely little knowledge about long-term health effects. I want to change that!

    I am investigating whether there is an association between tattoos and different types of cancer. Within this framework, we have established The Swedish Tattoo Cohort, the world’s largest cohort with self-reported information on tattoos, piercings, scarifications, cosmetic laser treatments, and sun habits. In the future, we will use the cohort to investigate possible links to in which we explore potential links to other diseases, such as inflammatory diseases and skin conditions.

My research is funded by both national and international actors, such as Forte, Formas and the EU via Interreg.

If you are interested in my research and want to know more, you are welcome to contact me!

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

UKÄ subject classification

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Free keywords

  • PFAS
  • Tattoos
  • Children
  • Pregnancy
  • Register based research
  • Cohort Study


Dive into the research topics where Christel Nielsen is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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