The leading scientist of the Arctic Biomonitoring Laboratory made a speech at the scientific and practical conference "Problems of Maintaining Health and Support of Sanitary and Epidemiologic Wellbeing of the Population in the Arctic", which took place on October 5-6 in St. Petersburg.
According to professor Tomassen’s opinion it is a continuing challenge to facilitate health impact assessments of environmental pollution among Arctic indigenous peoples and the related risk factors.. It requires interdisciplinary approach. Climate adaptation has increasing importance for all aspects of human life in the Arctic. Indigenous populations throughout the Arctic still maintain a strong connection to the local environment through herding, fishing, hunting and gathering. The present global climate change with largest temperature increase in the Arctic, has the potential to remobilize environmental contaminants and alter transport pathways, fate and routes of exposure in indigenous populations. E.g. recent evidence suggests that salmon which accumulate and magnify contaminants in the Pacific Ocean respond to climate change by moving northward to arctic rivers. Similarly, changing bird migration may also transport and concentrate contaminants in Arctic watersheds with contribution to the contamination of fresh-water fish.
Biomonitoring studies are an essential component of managing human from exposure to environmental contaminants including the ability to assess the risks and benefits for populations which consume traditional food. Despite global actions to reduce production and use of persistent organic and inorganic chemical compounds (POPs and PIPs), such contaminants are still being transported to and recycled in the Arctic environment. In addition a long-range air, water and biological transport as sources of contamination, there is evidence that global warming affect the release of contaminants currently held in soil, permafrost or ice.
— The Russian megaproject organized by NArFU is initiated to mitigate the economic and demographic consequences of health deterioration in the communities residing in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, that accur due to transfer of POPs and PIPs within human habitats. — added the Leading scientist.