Accession Number : ADP007273

Title :   Contamination of U.S. Arctic Ecosystems by Long-Range Transport of Atmospheric Contaminants,

Corporate Author : ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY CORVALLIS OR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LAB

Personal Author(s) : Ford, Jesse ; Landers, Dixon H.

Report Date : MAR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 4

Abstract : Various kinds of atmospheric pollutants are found in Arctic environments, including organic contaminants, radionuclides, and pollutants associated with fossil fuel combustion, smelting, and industrial development. While some of these contaminants originate in the Arctic itself, most are likely a result of long-range transport from lower latitudes. Recent studies suggest that at least some atmospheric contaminants may be susceptible to poleward redistribution, sequestration, and accumulation as a result of their physical and chemical properties. Thus, contamination of the Arctic may be exacerbated by the tendency of selected contaminants produced at lower latitudes to be transported to polar regions and incorporated into high-latitude food chains. Although awareness of exotic contaminants in high-latitude food chains is not new, international and regional baseline data are needed to document the magnitude, distribution, and ecosystem effects of this potentially serious global (hemispheric) problem. The United States has given little attention to Arctic studies relative to several other circumpolar nations (e.g., Canada, Sweden). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is currently designing regional-scale studies to complement existing site-specific studies and reduce this information gap in the U.S.

Descriptors :   *CONTAMINATION, *ECOSYSTEMS, *ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, *POLAR REGIONS, *POLLUTANTS, *TRANSPORT, ACCUMULATION, ATMOSPHERICS, CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, COMBUSTION, CONTAMINANTS, DISTRIBUTION, ENVIRONMENTS, FOOD CHAINS, FOSSIL FUELS, GLOBAL, HIGH LATITUDES, INTERNATIONAL, SMELTING.

Subject Categories : Meteorology
      Air Pollution and Control
      Ecology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE