Contaminant concentrations in eastern Canadian Arctic beluga

Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) were sampled each summer by members of the Sanikiluaq HTO and other hunters from 1994-2016. Sex and length were recorded, and teeth were collected for estimating age in the laboratory. Samples shipped to the Freshwater Institute, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, for contaminant analysis included tissues of muscle, liver, kidney and muktuk (skin/blubber). From 1994-2012 total mercury was analyzed using Cold Vapour Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (CVAAS); in 2013 the method changed to using direct combustion atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) due to a change in laboratory (now at the Centre for Earth Observation, University of Manitoba). QA/QC shows that the two methods are comparable. Cadmium and selenium were also analyzed using AAS (all samples, all years). Methylmercury (MeHg) was determined by CVAAS in muscle, while Gas Chromatography with an electron capture detector (GC-ECD) was used to detect MeHg in liver. Organochlorine contaminants were analyzed by the ALS Laboratory Group's Environmental Division in Burlington, while fluorinated and brominated chemicals at the Freshwater Institute (DFO) in Winnipeg (methods in Tomy et al. publications). Due to some new transitions with the Pangnirtung sampling program starting up again since 2010, no new samples were collected in 2014.

Metadata Access
Creator Stern, Gary; Burt, Alexis; Ferguson, Steve; Martin, Zoya; Ross, Bev; Tomy, Gregg
Publisher Canadian Cryospheric Information Network
Contributor Polar Data Catalogue
Publication Year 2017
Rights Research programs, CCIN, or ArcticNet take no liability for the use or transmission of this data
OpenAccess true
Contact; pdc(at)
Language English
Format Computer file
Discipline Environmental Research
Spatial Coverage (-80.000W, 55.000S, -65.700E, 66.140N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 1982-06-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2016-10-04T00:00:00Z