for the first time, Russian scientists have decided to counter polychlorinated biphenyl ( pcb ) contamination after seven other Arctic countries agreed to pay us $160,000 to investigate the source of pcb s in Russia
pcb s, which are widely used as insulators in electrical equipment, are highly toxic. Countries in the Arctic region have banned their use where there is a risk of chemicals leaking into the environment. Lars-Otto Reiersen, the executive secretary of the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme in Norway, points out that pcb levels in the fat of polar bears from the Norwegian island of Spitsbergeb are six times higher than polar bears in Alaska. Russia has so far refused to sign the United Nations' agreement to cut pcb pollution.
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