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How Important Is Research on Pollution Levels in Antarctica? Historical Approach, Difficulties and Current Trends

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Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT,volume 239)

Abstract

Despite the fact that Antarctica is a continent notably free from large negative impact of human activities, literature data can be the basis for concluding that this is not an area free from anthropogenic pollutants. Pollutants, which are identified in various elements of the environment of Antarctica, are mostly connected with long-range atmospheric transport (LRAT) and deposition in this area. The study presents: a historical overview of research pertaining to the presence of pollutants in entire Antarctica; a description of the development of research on pollutants in various environmental samples conducted in this area since 1960; a detailed description of contemporary analytical research (2000–2014); information on concentration levels of a broad range of pollutants present in various elements of the environment. The data collected can provide grounds for concluding that pollutants present in this area can contribute to gradual degradation of Antarctic ecosystem.

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Pollutants
  • Analytical studies
  • Long-range atmospheric transport

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Analytical research is applied in Antarctic since the early 1960s. (that gives 55 years period of research). Hence authors decided to designate first three decades as historic ones (up to the end of 1989). During this period only few data has been published, hence this period is three decades long.

Abbreviations

AFS:

Atomic fluorescence spectrometry

CCAMLR:

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

CD:

Conductometry detector

CFCs:

Chlorofluorocarbons

CHLs:

Chlordanes

COMNAP:

Council of Managers of National Antarctic Program

CZE:

Capillary zone electrophoresis

DDD:

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

DDE:

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

DDT:

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

DLCs:

Dioxin-like compounds

ECD:

Electron capture detector

GC-MS:

Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

GPC:

Gel permeation chromatography

HBB:

Hexabromobenzene

HCB:

Hexachlorobenzene

HCFCs:

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

HCHs:

Hexachlorocyclohexanes

HPLC:

High-performance liquid chromatography

IC:

Ion chromatography

ICP-AES:

Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry

ICP-MS:

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

ICP-OES:

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry

IDMS:

Isotope dilution mass spectrometry

LC-MS/MS:

Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection

LOD:

Limit of detection

LOQ:

Limit of quantification

LRAT:

Long-range atmospheric transport

NNA:

Neuron activation analysis

OC:

Organochlorine compound

OCP:

Organochlorine pesticides

PAHs:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PBDEs:

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

PCBs:

Polychlorinated biphenyls

PCDDs:

Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins

PCDFs:

Polychlorinated dibenzofurans

PCNs:

Polychlorinated naphthalenes

PFBS:

Perfluorobutane sulfonate

PFHxA:

Perfluorohexanoic acid

PFNA:

Perfluorononanoic acid

PFOA:

Perfluorooctanoic acid

PFOS:

Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid

POPs:

Persistent organic pollutants

QqQ:

Triple quadrupole

SFC:

Supercritical fluid chromatography

SML:

Surface microlayer

TC:

Thermal conductivity

TLC:

Thin-layer chromatography

TOC:

Total organic carbon

TOF:

Time of flight analyzer

XRF:

X-ray fluorescence

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Correspondence to Żaneta Polkowska .

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Szopińska, M., Namieśnik, J., Polkowska, Ż. (2016). How Important Is Research on Pollution Levels in Antarctica? Historical Approach, Difficulties and Current Trends. In: de Voogt, P. (eds) Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Volume 239. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, vol 239. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/398_2015_5008

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