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Persistent organic pollutants in biota samples collectedduring the Ymer-80 expedition to the Arctic
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University; Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Tromsø, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5972-1852
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet.
Stockholms universitet.
North West University, South Africa.
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2015 (English)In: Polar Research, ISSN 0800-0395, E-ISSN 1751-8369, Vol. 34, 21129Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the 1980 expedition to the Arctic with the icebreaker Ymer, a number of vertebrate species were sampled for determination of persistent organic pollutants. Samples of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus, n=34), glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus, n=8), common eider (Somateria mollissima, n=10), Brünnich’s guillemot (Uria lomvia, n=9), ringed seal (Pusa hispida, n=2) and polar bear (Ursus maritimus, n=2) were collected. With the exception of Brünnich’s guillemot, there was a marked contamination difference of birds from western as compared to eastern/northern Svalbard. Samples in the west contained a larger number of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and also polychlorinated terphenyls, indicating local sources. Brünnich’s guillemots had similar pollutant concentrations in the west and east/north; possibly younger birds were sampled in the west. In Arctic char, pollutant profiles from lake Linnévatn (n=5), the lake closest to the main economic activities in Svalbard, were similar to profiles in Arctic char from the Shetland Islands (n=5), but differed from lakes to the north and east in Svalbard (n=30). Arctic char samples had higher concentrations of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) than the marine species of birds and mammals, possibly due to accumulation via snowmelt. Compared to the Baltic Sea, comparable species collected in Svalbard had lower concentrations of PCB and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), but similar concentrations indicating long-range transport of hexachlorobenzene, HCHs and cyclodiene pesticides. In samples collected in Svalbard in 1971, the concentrations of PCB and DDT in Brünnich’s guillemot (n=7), glaucous gull (n=2) and polar bear (n=2) were similar to the concentrations found in 1980.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Norwegian Polar Institute , 2015. Vol. 34, 21129
Keyword [en]
Polar bear, ringed seal, glaucous gull, Brünnich’s guillemot, common eider, Arctic char, Svalbard, environment
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology Analytical Chemistry Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Other Chemistry Topics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122268DOI: 10.3402/polar.v34.21129ISI: 000363404400001OAI: diva2:864747

Funding agencies:Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation

Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-11-16

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