Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 29, pp 28834–28850 | Cite as

Temporal trends of contaminants in Arctic human populations

  • Khaled Abass
  • Anastasia Emelyanova
  • Arja Rautio
Review Article


The first Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) report was published in 1998 and followed by three assessment reports of human health (AMAP 2003, 2009 and 2015). The focus area of the AMAP reports was to monitor levels of environmental contaminants in the Arctic and to assess the health effects connected with detected levels in Arctic countries. This review gives an overview of temporal trends of contaminants and their health effects in humans of the Arctic based on data published by AMAP, as well as Russian scientific literature. Several time series of 31 contaminants in humans of the Arctic from different cohorts are reported. The lengths of time series and periods covered differ from each other. International restrictions have decreased the levels of most persistent organic pollutants in humans and food webs. Percentage changes for contaminants in human biological matrices (blood samples from children, mothers and males and breast milk samples) for the period of sampling showed declining trends in most of the monitored Arctic locations, with the exception of oxychlordane, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE153) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).


Contaminants POPs Arctic Children Breast milk Maternal blood Trend analysis Health outcomes Russian Arctic 



This work was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under grant agreement number 773421-Nunataryuk (Permafrost thaw and the changing Arctic coast, science for socioeconomic adaptation) and by One Arctic–One Health: Animal and human health in the changing climate project funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (Grant Agreement No. HEL7M0674-65).

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2936_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (158 kb)
Table S1 Percentage changes for contaminant monitoring trends in human biological matrices for the specific location and period of sampling. (PDF 157 kb)
11356_2018_2936_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (768 kb)
Figure S1 Trends of contaminants concentrations (ng/g lipid) in serum samples of men in the Tromsø study (Nøst et al. 2014). (PDF 768 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arctic Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of PesticidesMenoufia UniversityMenoufiaEgypt
  3. 3.Thule Institute & University of ArcticUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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