The bitter confrontations of 20-25 years ago between a small environmental science community and several industries manufacturing chlorinated hydrocarbons are now only an historical footnote in the rapid evolution of an environmental consciousness. Regulations developed in industrial countries are being applied to protect the most pristine of the world's environments in Antarctica. Many of the proposed regulations, however, would serve no useful purpose; some of the reports of environmental damage are grossly exaggerated. A certain skepticism might be appropriate. Nevertheless, although monitoring is not a 'scientific' activity, the case is made for a monitoring programme in Antarctica that would measure temporal changes in the environmental levels of contaminants from both local and distant sources. © 1992.
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