The Arctic is a hemispheric sink for persistent industrial chemicals and pesticides that are transported on atmospheric and oceanic currents from lower latitudes through a process known as global distillation. These chemicals bioaccumulate in the bodies of fish, wildlife, and people of the north. Far from pristine, the Arctic contains some of the most highly contaminated animals and people in the world. These problems are exacerbated by the rapid pace and magnitude of climate change in the Arctic, which is now known to be warming at a much faster rate than earlier studies predicted—nearly four times faster than the planet as a whole. Melting of sea ice, permafrost, and glaciers mobilizes sequestered chemical contaminants and microplastics, threatening the health of our oceans, fish, wildlife, and peoples of the north. We see growing awareness of the Arctic as a place of vulnerability and an increasing interest in concerted action to protect the health and well-being of this region, its wildlife and peoples.