Exposure to food chain contaminants in Nunavik: evaluating spatial and time trends among pregnant women & implementing effective health communication for healthy pregnancies and children

Inuit are exposed to a wide range of environmental contaminants through their traditional diet, which includes significant amounts of fish and sea mammals. Conversely, these country foods are of optimal nutritional quality and important for healthy pregnancies and children. During the past 20 years, our team has monitored the exposure of Nunavik’s Inuit population to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), metals and country food nutrients. In this period, for most legacy POPs, a decreasing trend in exposure was confirmed in wildlife and circumpolar Inuit. Conversely, some more recent POPs like long-chain perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are increasing and biomonitoring remain critical to provide scientific evidence for international actions. For mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb), a decreasing trend mostly due to reduced country food consumption was also observed, but still up 23% and 5% of pregnant women presented blood levels above recommended guidelines in 2016-2017.

For many years, we have worked on multiple related projects to assess local sources of Hg, Pb and nutrients in Nunavik, to understand their effects on pregnancy outcomes, child development, and how to best communicate this information and reduce their exposure. Together with the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, we now propose to integrate Hg and Pb exposure assessment and counselling into pregnancy clinical follow-up across Nunavik. We may also include other contaminants and nutrients biomonitoring in these activities. In order to carefully plan these new joint clinical and research activities, we aim to undertake a series of consultation and information sessions with Nunavik health professionals over the next year to:
1. Identify their information needs and offer information sessions with respect to Hg and Pb exposures and related health outcomes; 2. Document their views on the feasibility, tools and linkages needed to integrate Hg and Pb exposure assessment and counselling into clinical activities for pregnancy follow-up; 3. Evaluate the feasibility of integrating research objectives (i.e. clinical intervention effectiveness, biomonitoring for other contaminants and nutrients) into the proposed clinical activities. Previous NQN project findings and these consultations are critical to carefully plan and implement the joint clinical and research activities proposed here over the coming years for successful pregnant women counselling and contaminant biomonitoring.

Source https://www.polardata.ca/pdcsearch/PDCSearchDOI.jsp?doi_id=12769
Metadata Access http://www.polardata.ca/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=fgdc&identifier=12769_fgdc
Creator Lemire, Mélanie
Publisher Canadian Cryospheric Information Network
Contributor Polar Data Catalogue
Publication Year 2020
Rights Research programs, CCIN, or ArcticNet take no liability for the use or transmission of this data
OpenAccess true
Contact melanie.lemire(at)crchuq.ulaval.ca; pdc(at)uwaterloo.ca
Language English
Format Computer file
Discipline Environmental Research
Spatial Coverage (-77.000W, 55.000S, -65.000E, 62.000N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2016-04-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2022-03-31T00:00:00Z