As part of the monitoring programme established by the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Directorate (Klif) to assess fluxes of contaminants in the Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea and North Sea, passive sampling was undertaken at Andøya, Bjørnøya and Jan Mayen to measure levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorines (OCs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in air and water.
Semipermeable membrane devices and silicone strips were deployed in water for a period of 10 months. PAH concentrations in water were mostly quantifiable, and found generally lower at Jan Mayen than those measured at Bjørnøya and Andøya. PCB concentrations were mostly below limits of detection (low picogram/litre). Limits of detection were adequate for pentachlorobenzene and hexachlorobenzene, while concentrations of hexachlorocyclohexane isomers and p,p’-DDE were closer to limits of detection. Two PBDE congeners, PBDE-47 and PBDE-99 were consistently detected. For certain compounds, it was possible to compare dissolved water concentrations with those measured in cod liver from Jan Mayen. The non-targeted screening with GC/TOF/MS identified a short list of chemicals present in air and water. Results from polyurethane foam samplers (PUFs) deployed in the air are broadly consistent with results from past findings and active air samplers, yet also revealed difficulties when applying this method at Arctic sites, which are mainly attributed to the relatively harsh climatic conditions. Contaminant levels in air were successfully measured at the three sites using PUF air samplers. Based on results presented here, some recommendations are also provided.