Various kinds of atmospheric pollutants are found in Arctic environments, including organic contaminants, radionuclides, and pollutants associated with fossil fuel combustion, smelting, and industrial development. While some of these contaminants originate in the Arctic itself, others are likely a result of long-range transport from lower latitudes. Recent studies suggest that at least some atmospheric contaminants may be susceptible to poleward redistribution, sequestration, and accumulation as a result of their physical and chemical properties. Thus, contamination of the Arctic may be exacerbated by the tendency of selected contaminants produced at lower latitudes to be transported to polar regions and incorporated into high-latitude food chains. Although awareness of exotic contaminants in high-latitude food chains is not new, international and regional baseline data are needed to document the magnitude, distribution, and ecosystem effects of this potentially serious global (hemispheric) problem. The United States has given little attention to Arctic studies relative to several other circumpolar nations (e.g. Canada, Sweden). However, over the next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will be designing regional studies to begin remedying this information gap. A major focus of this activity will be to ensure compatibility with international studies of Arctic contamination and with the USEPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP).