Pál is deeply committed to serving his community through his medical care and research on minimizing exposures to marine contaminants.
Although he was raised in the culture and enjoyed eating the traditional diet since his childhood, in recent years Pál has made it his mission to change the minds, hearts, and tastebuds of his fellow Faroese. In a society that has traditional and sustainably harvested whales and seabirds for generations, his people are now at heightened risk of health complications caused by methyl-mercury contamination.
Pál has overseen the examinations of over 3,000 Faroe Islanders for his research studies and has made important public health recommendations to reduce the associated risks of eating the traditional Faroese diet.
His work within the context of this important cultural and scientific discussion was recently captured in the evocative documentary film The Islands and the Whales.
Pál graduated as a medical doctor from Copenhagen University in 1977. Over the subsequent decade he was a resident at various hospitals in Copenhagen and Odense (Denmark), Jonkoping (Sweden), and Tórshavn (Faroe Islands).
In 1988, he was qualified as a consultant in community and occupational medicine by the Danish legislature, and was later appointed head of the Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health in the Faroese hospital system. He has held that position ever since. Pál’s clinical activities have been in the fields of occupational, environmental, and social medicine. He is an adjunct professor at the University of the Faroe Islands.