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MercuNorth - monitoring mercury in pregnant women from the Arctic as a baseline to assess the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention

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  • Bryan Adlard, Health Canada, Canada
  • Mélanie Lemire, Centre de Recherche du CHUM, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Universite Laval, Canada
  • Eva C Bonefeld-Jørgensen
  • Manhai Long
  • Kristín Ólafsdóttir, j Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology , University of Iceland , Reykjavik , Iceland., Iceland
  • Jon O Odland, Institute of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, International Research Laboratory for Reproductive Ecotoxicology (IL RET), The National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Norway
  • Arja Rautio, University of the Arctic, Finland
  • Päivi Myllynen, Northern Finland Laboratory Centre Nordlab, Northern Finland Laboratory Centre Nordlab, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
  • Torkjel M Sandanger, NILU Norwegian Inst Air Res, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • Alexey A Dudarev, h Northwest Public Health Research Center , St. Petersburg , Russia., Russian Federation
  • Ingvar A Bergdahl, Section of Sustainable Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  • Maria Wennberg, Section of Sustainable Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  • James Berner, Department of Environment and Health, Division of Community Health, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, Alaska, United States
  • Pierre Ayotte, Centre De Toxicologie, Institut National De Santé Publique Du Québec, Québec, QC, Canada

Exposure to mercury (Hg) is a global concern, particularly among Arctic populations that rely on the consumption of marine mammals and fish which are the main route of Hg exposure for Arctic populations.The MercuNorth project was created to establish baseline Hg levels across several Arctic regions during the period preceding the Minamata Convention. Blood samples were collected from 669 pregnant women, aged 18-44 years, between 2010 and 2016 from sites across the circumpolar Arctic including Alaska (USA), Nunavik (Canada), Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Northern Lapland (Finland) and Murmansk Oblast (Russia). Descriptive statistics were calculated, multiple pairwise comparisons were made between regions, and unadjusted linear trend analyses were performed.Geometric mean concentrations of total Hg were highest in Nunavik (5.20 µg/L) and Greenland (3.79 µg/L), followed by Alaska (2.13 µg/L), with much lower concentrations observed in the other regions (ranged between 0.48 and 1.29 µg/L). In Nunavik, Alaska and Greenland, blood Hg concentrations have decreased significantly since 1992, 2000 and 2010 respectively with % annual decreases of 4.7%, 7.5% and 2.7%, respectively.These circumpolar data combined with fish and marine mammal consumption data can be used for assessing long-term Hg trends and the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1881345
JournalInternational Journal of Circumpolar Health
Volume80
Issue1
Number of pages11
ISSN1239-9736
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • mercury, biomonitoring, arctic, Minamata Convention

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