The Swedish town of Östersund boasts a unique research archive known as the Jegrelius Research Centre (JRC). This archive contains six million documents concerning a total of some 200 thousand substances and compiles an independent research library on an inter-disciplinary basis, with information from the early 17th century until1981, mainly concentrated on toxicological and eco-toxicological substances. The archive also contains 6 thousand reports from government agencies and industry and 4 thousand technical substance monographs concerning 50 thousand substances, manufactured in quantities above 500 kg per year.
The material highlights the various protective measures that should be taken for each respective substance.
Even subjects such as plant chemistry, organic and non-organic chemistry and environmental medicine are well represented in the archive. The Jegrelius archive combines the various aspects of these and information in a most genial way, which makes the archive a useful and valuable network, forming a foundation for assessments of eco-toxicological hygienic and ecological effects.
The archive contains invaluable knowledge from times before scientific literature was computerised. Much of this material was previously believed to be lost, but is in fact documented in the JRC archive, which is also enriched with a large collection of popular words of wisdom, normally lacking in scientific archives. This traditional source of knowledge could prove to be quite invaluable in times when our awareness of the environmental impact of various toxins is greater than ever.
The increasing awareness of toxicological effects has led to a pronounced interest in so called alternative methods, where old types of folk medicine and other practical information make up an important, but sadly quite often forgotten cultural heritage. This tradition could be developed, through the Jegrelius Research Centre, for future methods of treatment, based on the natural art of healing and preventive measures, to the advantage of both people and nature.
The Jegrelius Research Centre is also looking for partners to share working with natural molecules, in research directed at trade and industry.
Such a project would create opportunities to make this resource available for development through exchanging knowledge and experiences, while at the same time building up a network.
Peter Mosten, B Sc Eco-engineer
Jegrelius Research Centre
County Council of Jämtland, Sweden
[email protected] www.jll.se/jrc