Report on PCBs in Svalbard
Current knowledge on PCB pollution and PCB management status in Svalbard has been gathered by the Governor of Svalbard in a joint effort with ten other institutions. The resulting report points at knowledge gaps and lists important initiatives which should be carried out to fill in the gaps.
PCBs are listed persistent organic pollutants (POP) with special priority in the Arctic and Svalbard. PCBs have been documented in the local and regional natural environment, and in fish, birds, mammals and humans. To reduce PCB levels in Svalbard, the most important measure will be to reduce and eliminate the use and release of PCBs internationally (implementation of the Stockholm convention). Additionally, efforts to limit the supply of PCBs and other POPs from local and regional sources must be taken.
PCBs have long been well-known pollutants in the Arctic environment. Since the early 1990s, several studies have been conducted on PCBs in Svalbard. The Governor of Svalbard has initiated a project to eliminate as much as possible of the local sources of PCBs, including the Russian settlements. The report will also be available in Russian.