The aim of this study was to examine the pollution level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and selected chloroorganic pesticides (HCH isomers, DDT and its metabolites, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, endosulfan I and II, and methoxychlor) in surface sediments from selected fjords, tidal plains and lakes from the North Svalbard area. The sediments were collected from 34 sampling stations in July 2005. Only endosulfan I and methoxychlor, among selected chloroorganic pesticides, were measured in concentrations near detection limit (LoD) in fourteen sediment samples. The sum of seven PCB congeners varied from < 0.9 to 5.6 ng g-1 d.w. in sediments from fjords and tidal plains and from < 0.1 to 14.6 ng g-1 d.w. in sediments from lakes. The concentrations of analysed PAH compounds in surface sediments from lakes were over ten times higher (Ʃ16PAHs to 429 ng g-1 d.w.) than in sediments from fjords and tidal plains (Ʃ16PAHs to 36 ng g-1 d.w.).
Contents of PCBs was investigated using the gas chromatography method in the tissue of four Antarctic migratory birds: Oceanites oceanicus, Larus dominicanus, Catharacta skua and Sterna vittata, and the three penguin species: Pvgoscelis adeliae, P. papua and P. antarctica. Samples were collected at King George Island in February 1978 and, for comparison, in March 1983. The highest PCBs content was recorded in the adipose tissue of O. oceanicus and C. skua (15.7 and 1.2 ppm). Differences in the content of these compounds in the tissue of various penguin species in 1978 was observed. The mean cumulation level of PCBs in the adipose tissue of penguins was higher in 1983 than in 1978. Differences in the level of PCBs contents in the tissue of migratory birds were related to their winter migrations to areas polluted to various degress with PCBs remains. A tendency to the increase of the contamination of penguin tissues with PCBs was observed. This tendency was related to the increase of vhe pollution of the Antarctic environment with these compounds.