Less PCB on Svalbard
Three decades of ban on use of PCB has reduced the levels on Svalbard. But the environmental poison is still found everywhere and will pose a challenge for nature for a long time.
PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) is still the predominant environmental poison in the nature of the Arctic. In animals high up on the food chain this poison amounts to 50-70 percent of the total strain from environmental poisons. After thirty years of ban on use of oil containing PCB and elimination of local PCB sources on Svalbard, the levels are declining. This is revealed in a new report made by the Governor of Svalbard and the Climate and Pollution Agency.
PCB reach Svalbard through direct and continuous transportation in the air, directly from oceanic currents and through ice transport as particles in ice floes. While the total level of PCB has declined, the report shows that the amount of PCB in the atmosphere has gone up during the last few years, after a steady decline from 1999 to 2004.
PCB has had damaging effects on the hormone and immune systems of polar bears, gulls and skuas, says Geir Wing Gabrielsen from the Norwegian Polar Institute to Nordlys.
Read the report in Norwegian here