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Issue 5, 2001
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Monitoring PCBs in polar bears: lessons learned from Svalbard

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Monitoring pollutants in the biota of the Arctic is a high priority activity of the circumpolar Arctic nations. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are one species that have been selected for monitoring, owing to their high trophic position in the Arctic marine ecosystem and high contaminant levels. Considerable research has been directed at understanding the effects of pollutants, and ultimately these effects are tied to temporal trends in pollutant levels. This paper reports on the state of contaminant monitoring of polar bears in the Norwegian Arctic and provides recommendations for future monitoring programmes. PCB-153 decreased significantly in plasma collected from polar bears sampled at Svalbard during the 1990s. Future monitoring efforts should sample annually at the same location, at the same time of year and analyse 10–25 samples per year.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Mar 2001, accepted on 06 Jul 2001 and first published on 13 Sep 2001

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B102683F
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2001,3, 493-498
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    Monitoring PCBs in polar bears: lessons learned from Svalbard

    E. O. Henriksen, Ø. Wiig, J. Utne Skaare, G. W. Gabrielsen and A. E. Derocher, J. Environ. Monit., 2001, 3, 493
    DOI: 10.1039/B102683F

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