The Arctic is one of the last regions of the world that remains seemingly untouched by modern human existence. A closer look, however, reveals the effects of pollutants on the human and animal populations in the Arctic. Persistent Organic Pollutants (“POPs”) are toxic chemicals such as pesticides and industrial by-products that break down very slowly in the environment. POPs reach the Arctic from smokestacks and factories all over the world and then accumulate within the tissues of each animal in the food chain. The higher on the food chain, the higher the concentration of POPs in the animal.
Kirby, Rachel T. “Persistent Organic Pollutant Accumulation in the Arctic.” Sustainable Development Law and Policy, Spring 2008, 31, 65.