Date of Original Version
In the Arctic, environment and health are linked in myriad ways. A key emphasis has been on numerous long-lived contaminants in traditional foods, particularly marine mammals, and their well-documented impacts on human, animal and environmental health (“One health approach”). More recent concerns for Indigenous communities focus on the (side) effects of the switch to a modern, processed diet, which is accompanied by a loss of tradition and emerging health impacts. Furthermore, the availability of traditional foods is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change, which also causes the emergence and spread of new and old diseases, such as anthrax. Climate change, including thawing permafrost and new forest fire regimes, threatens the built environment and infrastructure. In particular, well-built, planned, and healthy housing is urgently needed, given that much time is spent indoors. Health care, particularly for remote and Indigenous communities, is sparse, and often ignores traditional knowledge and local languages. Indigenous communities in the Arctic continue to suffer from marginalization, resource colonization/extraction, and the impacts of racism. Recent examples of the green energy transition, such as in Norway, continue a pattern of ignoring Indigenous rights and lifestyles. Overall, the connection between environment and health in the Arctic is multifaceted and complex, and investigations and solutions ought to embrace an interdisciplinary and holistic approach toward improving Environmental and Human Health in the region.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Environment & Health
Lohmann, R., Beatty, B., Graybill, J., Grigorieva, E., Hansen, K. L., & Soikkeli, A. (2023). Perspective: Dimensions of Environment and Health in Arctic Communities. Environ. Health. In press. https://doi.org/10.1021/envhealth.3c00116
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1021/envhealth.3c00116
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.