Environmental contaminants and human health in the Canadian Arctic.
Summary of "Environmental contaminants and human health in the Canadian Arctic."
The third Canadian Arctic Human Health Assessment conducted under the Canadian Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), in association with the circumpolar Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), addresses concerns about possible adverse health effects in individuals exposed to environmental contaminants through a diet containing country foods. The objectives here are to: 1) provide data on changes in human contaminant concentrations and exposure among Canadian Arctic peoples; 2) identify new contaminants of concern; 3) discuss possible health effects; 4) outline risk communication about contaminants in country food; and 5) identify knowledge gaps for future contaminant research and monitoring. The nutritional and cultural benefits of country foods are substantial; however, some dietary studies suggest declines in the amount of country foods being consumed. Significant declines were found for most contaminants in maternal blood over the last 10years within all three Arctic regions studied. Inuit continue to have the highest levels of almost all persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals among the ethnic groups studied. A greater proportion of people in the East exceed Health Canada's guidelines for PCBs and mercury, although the proportion of mothers exceeding these guidelines has decreased since the previous assessment. Further monitoring and research are required to assess trends and health effects of emerging contaminants. Infant development studies have shown possible subtle effects of prenatal exposure to heavy metals and some POPs on immune system function and neurodevelopment. New data suggest important beneficial effects on brain development for Inuit infants from some country food nutrients. The most successful risk communication processes balance the risks and benefits of a diet of country food through input from a variety of regional experts and the community, to incorporate the many socio-cultural and economic factors to arrive at a risk management decision that will be the most beneficial in Arctic communities.
Chemicals Surveillance Bureau, HECSB, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Ave West, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0K9; Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1S 5B6.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20728918
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.04.059
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
The presence of contaminants or pollutant substances in the air (AIR POLLUTANTS) that interfere with human health or welfare, or produce other harmful environmental effects. The substances may include GASES; PARTICULATE MATTER; or volatile ORGANIC CHEMICALS.
National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences (u.s.)
Component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. It conducts and supports basic and applied research to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by, defining how environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and age interact to affect an individual's health. It was established in 1969.
Removal of ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS or contaminants for the general protection of the environment. This is accomplished by various chemical, biological, and bulk movement methods, in conjunction with ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING.
The monitoring of the level of toxins, chemical pollutants, microbial contaminants, or other harmful substances in the environment or workplace by measuring the amounts of these toxicants in the bodies of people and animals in that environment, among other methods. It also includes the measurement of ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE. Levels in humans and animals are used as indicators of toxic levels of undesirable chemicals.
An approach to health care financing with only one source of money for paying health care providers. The scope may be national (the Canadian System), state-wide, or community-based. The payer may be a governmental unit or other entity such as an insurance company. The proposed advantages include administrative simplicity for patients and providers, and resulting significant savings in overhead costs. (From Slee and Slee, Health Care Reform Terms, 1993, p106)
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