Inuvik Regional Human Contaminants Monitoring Program

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: contaminants, health, bioaccumulation, heavy metal, pregnancy, prenatal health, organochlorines

Principal Investigator: MacNeil, Chuck (3)
Licence Number: 12966
Organization: Inuvik Regional Health & Social Services Board
Licensed Year(s): 2000 1999 1998
Issued: Jun 04, 1998
Project Team: Jan Houseman, Bill Wrathall, Dr. Valoree Walker, Jody Walker, and community representatives

Objective(s): The GNWT Dept. of Health & Social Services in collaboration with Regional Health & Social Services Board and community groups are developing an exposure baseline for specific organochlorines and metal contaminants, focusing on neonates (cord blood) and their mothers (maternal blood) across the NWT. Since 1992, baseline exposure assessment have been done in Kitikmeot, Mackenzie, Baffin and Keewatin regions. A similar baseline exposure assessment study is being done for the Inuvik region to complete the territorial baseline study. Another component begin examined is mercury exposure levels using hair samples. The will build on work done in the NWT by the Medical Services Branch, Health Canada. Another aspect of this study includes a detailed dietary survey of prenatal women that are participating. This will provide more specific risk management options.

Project Description: This study will serve to establish the types & levels of organochlorines and heavy metals in maternal and cord blood samples, and the level of mercury in hair samples from participants in the area served by the Inuvik Regional & Social Services Board. Sampling protocol has been outlined technical specialists in the field of organochlorine in blood and mercury in hair. Participating mothers delivering at the Inuvik or Yellowknife Hospitals will contribute a portion of blood during routine testing to be used for measuring contaminant levels. Approximately two weeks after delivery, a small piece of hair must be clipped from the mothers scalp (done in a way that no one else will notice the missing hair) for mercury analysis. A few questions about diet and lifestyle must be answered in order to find out about levels of contaminants measured. Informed consent will be obtained from all participants. All personal information will remain anonymous and be handled in a confidential manner. Any information released will not be associated with an individuals name. This study is designed to determine contaminant exposure regionally not for individuals.