Environmental contaminants and human health in the Arctic

Toxicol Lett. 2000 Mar 15;112-113:119-25. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4274(99)00203-9.


Monitoring of human exposure to persistent organic pollutants POPs and heavy metals have taken place since 1994 in a circumpolar study conducted under the Arctic monitoring and assessment programme (AMAP). The study has confirmed that Arctic populations relying on marine food (Inuit) have an exposure level of POPs and methyl mercury related to the amount of traditional food eaten and in some areas at a level where health effects cannot be excluded. Weighing the benefits of traditional food against the risks, AMAP have so far recommended that consumption of traditional food continues. There is a need for dietary advice to Arctic peoples so they can make informed choices concerning the food they eat.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arctic Regions
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Female
  • Food Chain
  • Food Contamination*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Methylmercury Compounds / blood*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / blood*
  • Risk Assessment


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Methylmercury Compounds
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls