Inuit people (Eskimos) are likely exposed to persistent organochlorine compounds because their traditional diet includes fatty tissues of the arctic marine biota. Here we present the results of organochlorine compound analysis in milk fat samples from arctic Québec Inuit women and in fat tissues from various animal species inhabiting that region. The total concentration of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in Inuit milk fat was similar to that of the beluga, while the profile of the 10 congeners resembled that of the polar bear. Mean concentrations of various organochlorines in milk-fat samples from Inuit women were between 2 and 10 times greater than those found in samples previously collected from southern Québec women. The Inuit mothers exhibit the greatest body burden known to occur from exposure to organochlorine residues present in the environment by virtue of their location at the highest trophic level of the arctic food web.