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Northern Contaminants Program

Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report II


Volume 1: Highlights

Full Document

A Statement Prepared by the Aboriginal Partners



Executive Summary  

1 Introduction    

1.1 What is the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report — Phase II (CACAR-II)?

1.2 What is the CACAR-II Highlights Report?

1.3 How is this different from the first CACAR Highlights Report?

1.4 Structure of this report

1.5 The Canadian North

1.5.1 Peoples

1.5.2 Landscape and wildlife

1.6 The value and benefits of traditional/country food

1.7 The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP)

2 Contaminants — Sources, Transport Routes, and Levels in the North  

2.1 Contaminants and their sources

2.1.1 Are contaminants natural or made by humans?

2.1.2 Most contaminants come from outside the North

2.1.3 Local sources of contaminants

2.1.4 Contaminants travel long distances and are found everywhere around the world

2.1.5 Can we expect contaminant levels in the Canadian North to decrease or increase in the future?

2.2 Why look at contaminants in the physical environment?

2.3 Contaminants in the northern physical environment — the air, lakes and rivers, soil, snow, sediments and marine waters

2.3.1 Contaminants in the atmosphere Mercury and other heavy metals Persistent organic pollutants New persistent organic pollutants

2.3.2 Contaminants in lake sediments

2.3.3 Contaminants in marine waters and sediments Persistent organic pollutants in marine waters and sediments Radionuclides in marine waters and sediments

2.4 How do contaminants end up on the land, and in the lakes and rivers? Do they ever disappear?

2.5 Climate change may affect contaminants in northern Canada

2.5.1 The Arctic Oscillation and climate change

2.5.2 Mercury and other heavy metals

2.5.3 Persistent organic pollutants

2.5.4 Radionuclides 31

2.6 Knowledge gaps and future work

3 How Do Contaminants Get into Fish and Wildlife? What Happens to Wildlife that Contain Contaminants?

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Marine animals

3.2.1 Marine mammals Ringed seals Beluga whales Narwhal Walrus Polar bears Arctic foxes

3.2.2 Invertebrates and marine fish Invertebrates Marine fish

3.2.3 Seabirds

3.3 Land animals and plants

3.3.1 Land mammals Caribou Moose Other large land mammals Wolves and wolverines Beaver and muskrat

3.3.2 Freshwater fish Loche (burbot) Land-locked Arctic char Lake trout, pickerel (walleye), inconnu, whitefish, cisco and jackfish (northern pike)

3.3.3 Waterfowl and game birds

3.3.4 Northern plants

3.4 Knowledge gaps and future work

4 Contaminants and Human Health   

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Are contaminants the biggest health concern? What about other health issues in the North?

4.3 Benefits of traditional/country foods and dietary patterns across northern Canada

4.3.1 Nutritional value of traditional/country foods

4.3.2 Social, cultural and spiritual benefits

4.3.3 Economic necessity

4.3.4 Market foods

4.4 Contaminants in traditional/country foods and in people

4.4.1 Intake patterns, and levels of contaminants in mothers

4.4.2 Mercury and health 87

4.4.3 Persistent organic pollutants and health

4.4.4 Radionuclides in traditional/

country foods and health

4.5 How do we talk about and deal with the benefits and risks of traditional/country food?

4.6 Knowledge gaps and future work

5 Education, Training, Capacity Building and Communication

5.1 Curriculum development for northern schools

5.2 Regional Contaminants Coordinators

5.3 Frontline training courses

5.4 Community tours

5.5 Elder-scientist retreats

6 Action at the National and International Levels

6.1 National initiatives

6.2 International agreements

Appendix A A partial listing of traditional/country foods consumed by northern aboriginal peoples

Appendix B Contact List

Appendix C Glossary


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Last Updated July 28, 2019