Obsolete pesticides pose a risk to human health and the environment locally and globally. Many pesticides are found in the Arctic as a result of long-range transport in the atmosphere and water. The Arctic environment and indigenous peoples are often at greater risk of exposure to contaminants because of changing climate conditions and local dietary habits. An ACAP fact sheet on obsolete pesticides was approved at the Kiruna Ministerial 15 May 2013.
The Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP) working group, in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Northern federal subjects of the Russian Federation, has inventoried obsolete pesticides and improved their packaging and storage conditions in the Arctic since 2001.
Through the work of the ACAP project Environmentally sound management of stocks of obsolete pesticides in the Russian Federation, nearly 7000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides have been removed from old, dilapidated storage and placed in safer interim storage facilities in thirteen regions of the Russian Federation.
In order to increase awareness of the problem of obsolete pesticides as well as environmentally sound management options, the project developed a 4-page fact sheet that describes the problem in general, as well as the situation in Russian regions directly impacting the Arctic. Currently the project is working on identifying possibilities for the destruction of pesticides in an environmentally sound manner according to Russian and international requirements.