Saturday, April 19, 2008

Abstract: Arctic Contaminants Action Program

Title: “Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP) Indigenous Peoples Community Action Initiative to Address Local Sources of Contamination in the U.S. and Adjacent Coastal Russian Arctic Communities”

Abstract: High levels of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals have caused serious concern about health effects on the Arctic indigenous populations. These pollutants accumulate in the Arctic and are biomagnified in the food chain. Studies show that contaminants are found in alarming concentrations in the blood of indigenous peoples.

US EPA, Office of International Affairs, through the Arctic Contaminants Action Program, together with the Gwich’in Council International and Russian Association of Indigenous People of the North, developed an “Indigenous Peoples Community Action Initiative” to implement risks reduction measures associated with human exposure to contaminants, through management of toxic and hazardous wastes by the indigenous communities.

A focus of this Initiative is improving human health, training, information sharing and developing strategies for solutions through development of models to address environmental legacies at the community level. This paper discusses ongoing work in indigenous communities as model actions to achieve Environmental Justice.

Eleonora Barnes, EPA, OIA

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