Plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in the Cree of northern Quebec, Canada: Results from the multi-community environment-and-health study Academic Article uri icon

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  • Historically, resource development has had negative impacts on the traditional lifestyle of First Nation Cree Communities in the Province of Quebec, Canada. In response to the perceived need for fisheries restoration and for managing health concerns associated with environmental pollutants, the Mercury Program in the James Bay Region of Quebec was reconstituted in 2001 and broadened to include a wider range of chemicals of concern. Based on comprehensive surveys of the nine Cree Territory (Eeyou Istchee) communities in this region during the period 2002-2009, blood plasma concentrations are presented of Aroclor 1260, PCB congeners 28, 52, 99, 101, 105, 118, 128, 138, 153, 156, 163, 170, 180, 183, and 187, Aldrin, ß-HCH, α-Chlordane, γ-Chlordane, oxy-Chlordane, trans-Nonachlor, cis-Nonachlor, p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, Hexachloro benzene (HCB), Mirex, PBB 153, PBDE 47, PBDE 99, PBDE 100, PBDE 153, Toxaphene 26, and Toxaphene 50. The organohalogenated compounds were extracted using solid-phase extraction and cleaned on florisil columns before high resolution HRGC-MS analysis. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to reduce the large number of contaminant variables into a smaller number of uncorrelated variables. ANOVA identified significant differences between age groups, with the older participants having higher body burdens of legacy lipophilic contaminants, but not for the PBDEs. In certain female age groups, plasma concentrations of PBDEs were observed to be lower than for males; conversely, DDT was higher. Among communities, concentrations were different (p<0.001) for all contaminants. This work provides a baseline for the James Bay Eeyou Istchee communities who, to varying degrees, rely on food and other resources from the land and therefore are at higher risk of increased body burdens of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs).


  • Liberda, Eric N
  • Tsuji, Leonard JS
  • Martin, Ian D
  • Cote, Suzanne
  • Ayotte, Pierre
  • Dewailly, Eric
  • Nieboer, Evert

publication date

  • February 2014