Limited data on pollution is available in the ecoregion because pollution monitoring in the region is sporadic and not comprehensive across trophic levels and types of contaminants. However, pollution is considered an important pressure although it is relatively low compared to other ecoregions because of the remoteness and the small resident human population of this ecoregion.
The available evidence suggests that the main source of pollution is from afar, which limits the list of contaminants to those that can be transported over long distances and accumulate in the food chain. Arctic waters flowing through the ecoregion continue to have higher mercury concentrations compared to Atlantic waters. Mercury levels in marine mammals in the European Arctic and in this ecoregion have generally decreased. The mercury content in polar bears is monitored in the ecoregion and has decreased notably since the 1960s.