Dietary exposure of PBDEs resulting from a subsistence diet in three First Nation communities in the James Bay Region of Canada
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BACKGROUND: Concerns regarding the persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and adverse health effects of polybrominated dipheyl ethers (PBDEs) have recently come to light. PBDEs may potentially be of concern to indigenous (First Nations) people of Canada who subsist on traditional foods, but there is a paucity of information on this topic. OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: To investigate whether the traditional diet is a major source of PBDEs in sub-Arctic First Nations populations of the Hudson Bay Lowlands (James and Hudson Bay),Ontario, Canada, a variety of tissues from wild game and fish were analyzed for PBDE content (n=147) and dietary exposure assessed and compared to the US EPA reference doses (RfDs). In addition, to examine the effect of isolation/industrialization on PBDE body burdens, the blood plasma from three First Nations (Cree Nation of Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec; Fort Albany First Nation, Ontario; and Weenusk First Nation [Peawanuck], Ontario, Canada) were collected (n=54) and analyzed using a log-linear contingency model. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The mean values of PBDEs in wild meats and fish adjusted for standard consumption values and body weight, did not exceed the US EPA RfD. Log linear modeling of the human PBDE body burden showed that PBDE body burden increases as access to manufactured goods increases. Thus, household dust from material goods containing PBDEs is likely responsible for the human exposure; the traditional First Nations diet appears to be a minor source of PBDEs.