Directory entires that have specified Canada as the primary or lead country for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. To see the full list of countries, see the countries list. The specified country may not be the geographic region where the activity is taking place - to select a geographic region, see the list of regions.
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Objectives 1. To determine tissue residue levels of metals and radionuclides in caribou given its importance as a country food species. 2. To monitor contaminant exposure in caribou as a representative species of the terrestrial arctic ecosystem. 3. To examine metal speciation and isotopes ratios (uranium, thorium, strontium, titanium) which may provide insight into the source of contamination (anthropogenic vs. natural). 4.To provide information on temporal trends in radionuclide and metal levels in several caribou herds to determine whether levels are increasing, decreasing or remaining the same over time. 5. To determine the efficacy of international controls in reducing or eliminating pollutants entering the Canadian Arctic terrestrial ecosystem. Barren-ground caribou are found across northern Canada, and are a major component of the traditional diet in communities across the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut. Caribou are a good indicator species for terrestrial ecosystem contamination given their wide distribution across northern Canada, the simple air-lichen-caribou food chain, the existing baseline data set, and their importance as a country food species. Three (3) caribou herds from across the NWT and Nunavut have been selected as sentinel herds, with a different herd to be sampled each year to determine tissue residue levels and monitor temporal trends. Field collections will be conducted in cooperation with local Hunter’s and Trapper’s Organizations and/or local aboriginal organizations, utilizing local hunters in planning and conducting the field work. Samples will be tested for a wide range of environmental contaminants including 10 heavy metals and 7 radionuclides.
i. Determine mercury, metals and persistent organic contaminant pollutants (POPs) concentrations in lake trout harvested from two locations (West Basin near Hay River, East Arm at Lutsel K’e) and burbot harvested from one location (West Basin at Fort Resolution) in 2015 to further extend the long-term (1993-2013 (POPs) and 1993-2014 (mercury)) database. ii. Determine POPs trends in lake trout and burbot using our 1993-2014 data base. iii. Continue our investigations of mercury trends in predatory fish to include lakes in the Deh Cho, Great Bear Lake, and other lakes as opportunities arise. iv. Participate in and contribute information to AMAP expert work groups for trend monitoring for POPs and mercury. v. Integrate our mercury trend assessments with studies we are conducting in the western provinces as part of Canada’s Clear Air Regularly Agenda for its Mercury Science Assessment. vi. Work with communities in capacity building and training.
In order to address the the question of utility of arctic seabird eggs as an indicator of contaminant temporal trends, it was proposed that: (1) archived arctic seabird egg contents be re-analyzed for organochlorines according to a standardized pooling and analytical protocol in order to confirm whether those residues have been decreasing since the mid-1970s, (2) archived arctic seabird egg contents be analyzed for mercury and selenium to determine whether or not those levels have been increasing or decreasing since the mid-1970s, (3) egg contents and adult livers be analyzed by full scan and ICP to identify any "new" or previously unidentified organochlorines (MS full scan) or metals (ICP) which may have entered the Canadian arctic food chain.
In order to determine the role of contaminants in declining populations of seaducks, it is proposed that: (1) archived samples of Oldsquaw collected from their Canadian arctic breeding grounds be analyzed for Hg, Se and Cu (in liver), Cd (in kidney), Pb (in wing bone), and selected samples be screened for a wider range of metals (in liver), and (2) archived samples of Oldsquaw wing bone be analyzed for stable isotopes (13C/12C; 15N/14N, and 34S/32S) and strontium (Sr) to discriminate whether birds from certain geographical areas of the Arctic are overwintering in freshwater (i.e. Great Lakes) or marine environments.
1) To determine tissue residue levels of organochlorines and metals in arctic fox feeding in or near an arctic coastal environment. 2) To assess whether or not residue levels found in arctic fox pose a potential wildlife health risk. 3) As part of a pilot project, to determine residue levels and assess potential wildlife health risk to wolverines feeding in or near a coastal environment.
The objectives of this study are to determine temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals, especially mercury, in landlocked Arctic char in Char Lake and Resolute Lake by analysis of annual sample collections, to investigate factors influencing contaminant levels in landlocked char such as the influence of sampling time, water temperature and diet, and to provide this information on a timely basis to the community of Qausuittuq (Resolute). The rationale is that small lakes in the high arctic are replenished annually with snowmelt runoff and direct precipitation which represent significant fractions of their water budgets. Declining concentrations of POPs, or increasing levels of previously unstudied POPs, in air and precipitation should be reflected relatively quickly in changes in levels in food webs and top predator fishes, compared to the vast marine environment. We know this to be the case from the sedimentary record of POPs and mercury in small arctic lakes. This project collects landlocked arctic char from lakes near Resolute annually and analyses them for mercury, a suite of other metals as well as persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides including toxaphene). Results will be compared over time. The first samples were collected from Char and Resolute Lakes in 1992/93. The next set were collected in 1997 and annually since then. Char are being collected from several lakes in the area because of limited sample numbers in some lakes and the possibility of local influences. Samples are also being archived for future analyses.
Risk determination for traditional food should consider the potential risks from exposure to contaminants and the sociocultural, nutritional, economic and spiritual benefits associated with traditional food. Factors which influence Inuit food choices should be further analyzed to add precision to the evaluation of risks and benefits of traditional food consumption. The data of the Nutrition Santé Québec Survey are a potential source for this type of analysis since data are available and are representative of the entire region of Nunavik. The proposed work consists of more detailed analysis of the existing data on food intake among the Inuit of Nunavik collected in 1992 during the Santé Québec Health Survey and to extend our analyses to contaminant intakes. Intakes (mean and median) of traditional and market foods, nutrients and contaminants will be calculated according to the makeup/structure of households, the level of education, the level of household income and coastal place of residence. Intakes will also calculated according to the social assistance status of Inuit. Among Inuit depending on social assistance, comparisons of food, nutrient and contaminant intakes according to the time of the month in which the survey took place will be examined. Statistical comparisons of food intakes will also be done between Inuit who stated having lacked food in the month prior to the survey and those who did not. Nutrient intakes will be compared with daily recommended nutrient intakes (RNI) based on nutritional recommendations issued by Health Canada. More detailed and reliable information regarding sociodemographic factors affecting food intake, nutritional status and contaminant exposure among Inuit will help to orient public health authorities in the promotion of health through traditional food consumption.
Among all contaminants present in different aquatic ecosystems in Canada, methylmercury (MeHg) is a major source of concern for public health. Currently, it is difficult to reliably determine the threshold of MeHg concentration at which functional changes occur. On the other hand, it is well known that chronic MeHg exposure is very harmful for the nervous system. Oxidative reactions appear to be of central importance to mercury toxicity. Therefore, it is important and urgent to determine with precision the minimal dose at which oxidative stress and neurotoxic effects can be identified since some studies suggest that MeHg toxicity can be detected at level far below the minimal exposure level proposed by the World Health Organization. The main goal of this project is to investigate the effects of mercury on sensorimotor functions in the population of Salluit. We will examine the relationship between the level of MeHg and sensorimotor performance. Afterwards, specific recommendations based on quantitative evidence will be made to the concerned populations so as to diminish long-term risk on health.
Short Term i) to provide additional information for use in updating health advisories. Long Term i)to investigate the fate and effects of contaminant deposition and transport to the Yukon, allowing Northerners to better manage the issue of contaminants. ii)to determine levels of contaminants for use in long term trend monitoring.
1. Continue to investigate spatial and temporal patterns in mercury concentrations in fish in lakes in the Mackenzie River Basin with a focus on predatory fish in smaller lakes near Fort Simpson but also including Great Bear Lake 2. Assess temporal trends in mercury concentrations and influencing factors, e.g., climate change 3. Conduct sediment core studies as opportunities allow to characterize long-term trends in mercury deposition and productivity 4. Integrate the findings of this study with our mercury trend monitoring in Great Slave Lake and the western provinces.
The main purpose of this research is to examine the consequences of in utero exposure to PCBs on Inuit infants, from birth to 11 months of age. Of particular interest is the impact of PCBs and mercury exposure on newborn’s thyroid hormones, physical growth, physical and central nervous system maturity, on infant’s overall health, mental, psychomotor and neurobehavioral development, and on functional and neural impairment in the domains of visual and spatial information processing. The proposed project is designed to replicate and extend previous findings by studying a more highly exposed cohort of infant, and using new infant assessment paradigms that have been linked to specific brain regions and neural pathways and, therefore, have a potential to provide information regarding possible mechanisms of action. The second objective of this research is to document the exposure to heavy metals, organochlorines and polyunsaturated fatty acids of newborns from selected communities in Nunavik. This ongoing effect study provides the opportunity to perform long time trend analysis of human exposure (data available for same communities since 1993).
The purpose of this research is to examine the long term consequences of prenatal exposure to PCBs and MeHg. This project is designed to study domains of effects overlooked in most of the previous studies. Of particular interest is the impact of exposure on neurophysiological and neurological endpoints that could be related to learning difficulties and disabilities. This study will support the health risk assessment process by providing dose-effect analysis for the neurophysiological and neurological domains of effects of preschool age children from Nunavik (Canada). The total sample will comprise 100 Nunavik Inuit children aged 5-6years. The following exclusion criteria will be applied: Apgar below 5 at 5 minutes of life, evidence of birth trauma, less than 37 weeks of gestation and less than 2500 grams at birth, congenital or chromosomal anomalies, epilepsy, significant disease history, major neurological impairment, fetal alcohol syndrome, presence of facial dysmorphologies associated with fetal alcohol effects.
To examine concentrations and biological effects of selected trace elements in king and common eiders from various locations in the Canadian arctic.
This project aims to establish continuous Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) measurements at Amderma, Russia to provide circumpolar data in concert with international sampling efforts at Alert (Nunavut, Canada), Point Barrow (Alaska, USA) and Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard/Spitsbergen, Norway). The objectives of this project are to determine spatial and temporal trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition processes of mercury in the Arctic in order to assist in the development of long-term strategies for this priority pollutant by: A) measuring ambient air TGM concentrations in the Russian Arctic; B) investigating and establishing the causes of temporal variability (seasonal, annual) in mercury concentrations so that realistic representations (models) of atmospheric pathways and processes can be formulated, tested and validated; and C) studying the circumpolar behaviour of mercury by comparison with data from other polar sites.
The objectives of the project are: A) to determine temporal trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition processes of mercury in the Arctic, and to assist in the development of long-term strategies for this priority pollutant by: i) measuring ambient air Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) concentrations in the Canadian Arctic (Alert) and investigating the linkage to elevated levels of mercury known to be present in the Arctic food chain; ii) investigating and establishing the causes of temporal variability (seasonal, annual) in mercury concentrations so that realistic representations (models) of atmospheric pathways and processes can be formulated, tested and validated; iii) studying the chemical and physical aspects of atmospheric mercury vapour transformation (oxidation) after polar sunrise and the resultant enhanced mercury deposition to the sea, snow and ice surfaces each year during springtime; and iv) obtaining a long-term time series of atmospheric mercury (TGM) concentrations at Alert for the purpose of establishing whether mercury in the troposphere of the northern hemisphere is (still) increasing and if so, at what rate; B) to establish a sound scientific basis for addressing existing gaps of knowledge of the behaviour of mercury in the Arctic environment that will enable international regulatory actions to reflect the appropriate environmental protection strategies and pollution controls for the Arctic by: i) studying the relative roles of anthropogenic and natural sources of mercury so as to clarify understanding of the atmospheric pathways leading to the availability of mercury to Arctic biota; ii) studying tropospheric TGM depletion mechanisms/processes leading to enhanced input of mercury to the Arctic biosphere in spring; iii) undertaking essential speciated measurements of particulate-phase and/or reactive gaseous-phase mercury as well as mercury in precipitation (snow/rain) to quantify wet and dry deposition fluxes into the Arctic environment; and vi) providing the scientific basis for the information and advice used in the preparation and development of Canadian international strategies and negotiating positions for appropriate international control objectives.
The objectives of this project are: A) to determine the pathway for the transfer of mercury in snowmelt to sea water during the melt period at Alert; B) to determine the extent of open water and wet ice in the summer Arctic as it affects the surface exchange of Hg using satellite radar imagery; and C) to determine the atmospheric dynamics associated with the photochemistry of mercury episodically during the polar sunrise period.
1. To determine the depth profiles of mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) as well as manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) in fifteen dated Arctic sediment cores over a three year period. Mercury is the main focus. 2. To quantify geographical trends in fluxes of the mercury and its enrichment factors in Nunavut, NWT, Nunavik, and Labrador. To link mercury findings with those of paleolimnological indicators, POPs, as well as indicators of biogeochemical processes of manganese and iron, all of which are obtained from the same cores, or cores from the same sites whenever possible. 3. To complement existing data on mercury in Arctic sediment cores with data generated over a much wider latitudinal and longitudinal range than previous work in order to provide a better understanding of Hg in Canada North. 4. Secondary to Hg, to provide loading data for Pb which may help elucidate the understanding of Hg pathways and sources.