The Arctic regions provided one of the most contained environments globally. This absence of local pollution is used to assess the persistence and the capacity of POPs to travel and contaminate the entire world, irrespective of their place of use. For this reason, the Arctic population is, in fact, the "global health indicator".
At the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s, studies showed that blood and adipose tissue of several inhabitants from the north of Canada and Arctic (Inuits, Dene and the Yukon First Nations) contained a very high quantity of polychlorobyphenyls (PCB) and DDT. The culprits were identified: these were POPs, discharged in natural environment and that travelled from the tropical and temperate countries to the Arctic. Partially volatile, they evaporate and spread in the atmosphere in hot zones and then condense when the temperatures fall. This phenomenon explains that the POPs are concentrated in the Arctic regions among others.
Consequence: the presence of some POPs is between 10 and 20 times higher in this Arctic population than among the population of most of the temperate regions. These substances can result in neurological problems, cancers, kidney failure or even malfunctioning of the reproductive system. Their toxicity is all the more worrying since these substances accumulate in fats and are transmitted from generation to generation especially through breast milk.