Persistent organic pollutants : a risk assessment of Vancouver Island First Nations traditional seafood
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SubjectBritish Columbia; First Nations; Human Health Risk Assessment; Persistent Organic Pollutants; Pollution; Seafood
Traditional seafoods are integral to the health and culture of coastal First Nations in British Columbia. However, concerns about ocean pollutants have prompted a need for a human health risk assessment which captures consumption, contaminant exposure, and risk assessment. This study builds on previous contaminant measurements and dietary surveys by assessing risks associated with dioxin-like compounds, PCBs, and PBDEs in traditional seafoods consumed by five Vancouver Island First Nations. Non-cancer risks for respondents fell below levels of concern using Health Canada guidance, but 8% and 7% of respondents were deemed to be at risk of non-cancer risks from dioxin-like compounds and PCBs respectively, using US EPA guidance. Increased risk of cancer using US EPA guidance was associated with estimated exposure to dioxin-like compounds and PCBs. Results suggest that some persistent organic pollutants present risks to traditional seafood consumers, but nutritional and social benefits are expected to outweigh the risks.
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