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

  • Małgorzata Szopińska
  • Jacek Namieśnik
  • Żaneta PolkowskaEmail author
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 239)


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.


Antarctica Pollutants Analytical studies Long-range atmospheric transport 

List of Acronyms


Atomic fluorescence spectrometry


The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources


Conductometry detector






Council of Managers of National Antarctic Program


Capillary zone electrophoresis








Dioxin-like compounds


Electron capture detector


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


Gel permeation chromatography










High-performance liquid chromatography


Ion chromatography


Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry


Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry


Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry


Isotope dilution mass spectrometry


Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection


Limit of detection


Limit of quantification


Long-range atmospheric transport


Neuron activation analysis


Organochlorine compound


Organochlorine pesticides


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers


Polychlorinated biphenyls


Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins


Polychlorinated dibenzofurans


Polychlorinated naphthalenes


Perfluorobutane sulfonate


Perfluorohexanoic acid


Perfluorononanoic acid


Perfluorooctanoic acid


Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid


Persistent organic pollutants


Triple quadrupole


Supercritical fluid chromatography


Surface microlayer


Thermal conductivity


Thin-layer chromatography


Total organic carbon


Time of flight analyzer


X-ray fluorescence


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© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Małgorzata Szopińska
    • 1
  • Jacek Namieśnik
    • 1
  • Żaneta Polkowska
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of ChemistryGdansk University of TechnologyGdanskPoland

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