What is it about?

This publication provides new data on the occurrence and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and phenolic endocrine-disrupting compounds in the Arctic Kongsfjorden marine sediment (Svalbard, Norway). Samples were collected during two consecutive summer seasons (2018 and 2019). The contribution of different local sources of contamination was also evaluated, together with a risk assessment for the marine environment.

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Why is it important?

Global warming is affecting atmospheric and oceanic circulation processes leading to sea ice reduction and higher seawater temperatures and altering contaminant fate, transport and distribution in Arctic ecosystems. In this climate change scenario, the development of fisheries, cruise tourism and resource extraction has been favoured as well as an increase in anthropogenic contamination on a regional scale. Moreover, the increase in glacier melting and permafrost thawing remobilises pollutants previously trapped, promoting the transformation of the polar regions from sink to source of pollutants.

Perspectives

In the global warming scenario, the results reported in this publication highlight that it is crucial to intensify the investigation of the dynamics of contamination in Arctic regions and plan the continuous monitoring of hazardous compounds and their effects on these ecosystems, as an increase of pollutant circulation on a local scale is expected soon due to the growth in industrial activity (e.g. petroleum industry), tourism and shipping.

PhD Jasmin Rauseo Francesca Spataro
National Research Council - Institute of Polar Sciences

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This page is a summary of: Priority Organic Pollutants and Endocrine‐Disrupting Compounds in Arctic Marine Sediments (Svalbard Islands, Norway), Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, March 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/etc.5334.
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