Canada: projects/activities

Directory entires that have specified Canada as the primary or lead country for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. To see the full list of countries, see the countries list. The specified country may not be the geographic region where the activity is taking place - to select a geographic region, see the list of regions.

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Displaying: 1 - 14 of 14
1. Quantifying and reducing uncertainty in model calculations of global pollution fate

The main objective of the project is to describe quantitatively with model calculations the global distribution behaviour of persistent organic contaminants, and to establish credibility in the results of these simulations.

Arctic Contaminant transport Exposure Long-range transport Modelling PCBs Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Pesticides Pollution sources Spatial trends Temporal trends
2. Heavy Metal and Radionuclide Contaminants in Caribou

Objectives 1. To determine tissue residue levels of metals and radionuclides in caribou given its importance as a country food species. 2. To monitor contaminant exposure in caribou as a representative species of the terrestrial arctic ecosystem. 3. To examine metal speciation and isotopes ratios (uranium, thorium, strontium, titanium) which may provide insight into the source of contamination (anthropogenic vs. natural). 4.To provide information on temporal trends in radionuclide and metal levels in several caribou herds to determine whether levels are increasing, decreasing or remaining the same over time. 5. To determine the efficacy of international controls in reducing or eliminating pollutants entering the Canadian Arctic terrestrial ecosystem. Barren-ground caribou are found across northern Canada, and are a major component of the traditional diet in communities across the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut. Caribou are a good indicator species for terrestrial ecosystem contamination given their wide distribution across northern Canada, the simple air-lichen-caribou food chain, the existing baseline data set, and their importance as a country food species. Three (3) caribou herds from across the NWT and Nunavut have been selected as sentinel herds, with a different herd to be sampled each year to determine tissue residue levels and monitor temporal trends. Field collections will be conducted in cooperation with local Hunter’s and Trapper’s Organizations and/or local aboriginal organizations, utilizing local hunters in planning and conducting the field work. Samples will be tested for a wide range of environmental contaminants including 10 heavy metals and 7 radionuclides.

Caribou Exposure heavy metals Indigenous people Long-range transport Radionuclides Spatial trends Terrestrial mammals
3. Spatial and long-term trends in organic contaminants and metals in fish species important to the commercial, sports, and domestic fisheries of Great Slave Lake and the Slave River ecosystem.

i. Determine mercury, metals and persistent organic contaminant pollutants (POPs) concentrations in lake trout harvested from two locations (West Basin near Hay River, East Arm at Lutsel K’e) and burbot harvested from one location (West Basin at Fort Resolution) in 2015 to further extend the long-term (1993-2013 (POPs) and 1993-2014 (mercury)) database. ii. Determine POPs trends in lake trout and burbot using our 1993-2014 data base. iii. Continue our investigations of mercury trends in predatory fish to include lakes in the Deh Cho, Great Bear Lake, and other lakes as opportunities arise. iv. Participate in and contribute information to AMAP expert work groups for trend monitoring for POPs and mercury. v. Integrate our mercury trend assessments with studies we are conducting in the western provinces as part of Canada’s Clear Air Regularly Agenda for its Mercury Science Assessment. vi. Work with communities in capacity building and training.

Slave River biomagnification Catchment studies Pollution sources Contaminant transport Dioxins/furans Pesticides Human intake Pathways Biology Organochlorines Mackenzie River Basin PCBs Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people Long-range transport Spatial trends Environmental management Climate change Emissions Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Food webs Atmosphere Temporal trends Ecosystems Great Slave Lake
4. Assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of HCH isomers in the arctic environment

In order to assess the spatial and temporal patterns of the a-, b- and g-isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the arctic biotic and abiotic environment, it is proposed that: (1) concentrations and ratios of HCH isomers be compared over time in air, water, seals, beluga, polar bears and seabirds to determine any shifts in isomeric ratios and how those shifts interrelate among the various media, and (2) concentrations and ratios of HCH isomers be compared spatially in the abiotic and biotic media and reasons for any patterns explored.

Shelf seas Pathways Organochlorines trends fish Long-range transport seawater Spatial trends HCH isomers Modelling Polar bear Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) sediment Seabirds Sediments Atmosphere Ocean currents Temporal trends zooplankton Marine mammals air
5. Sociodemographic factors influencing nutrition and contaminant exposure in Nunavik

Risk determination for traditional food should consider the potential risks from exposure to contaminants and the sociocultural, nutritional, economic and spiritual benefits associated with traditional food. Factors which influence Inuit food choices should be further analyzed to add precision to the evaluation of risks and benefits of traditional food consumption. The data of the Nutrition Santé Québec Survey are a potential source for this type of analysis since data are available and are representative of the entire region of Nunavik. The proposed work consists of more detailed analysis of the existing data on food intake among the Inuit of Nunavik collected in 1992 during the Santé Québec Health Survey and to extend our analyses to contaminant intakes. Intakes (mean and median) of traditional and market foods, nutrients and contaminants will be calculated according to the makeup/structure of households, the level of education, the level of household income and coastal place of residence. Intakes will also calculated according to the social assistance status of Inuit. Among Inuit depending on social assistance, comparisons of food, nutrient and contaminant intakes according to the time of the month in which the survey took place will be examined. Statistical comparisons of food intakes will also be done between Inuit who stated having lacked food in the month prior to the survey and those who did not. Nutrient intakes will be compared with daily recommended nutrient intakes (RNI) based on nutritional recommendations issued by Health Canada. More detailed and reliable information regarding sociodemographic factors affecting food intake, nutritional status and contaminant exposure among Inuit will help to orient public health authorities in the promotion of health through traditional food consumption.

Populations PCBs Heavy metals Indigenous people Long-range transport Exposure Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Data management Diet Human health Human intake
6. Yukon Traditional Foods Monitoring Program

Short Term i) to provide additional information for use in updating health advisories. Long Term i)to investigate the fate and effects of contaminant deposition and transport to the Yukon, allowing Northerners to better manage the issue of contaminants. ii)to determine levels of contaminants for use in long term trend monitoring.

Biological effects Pollution sources Contaminant transport Caribou Dioxins/furans Pesticides Human intake Pathways Biology Populations Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people PAHs Long-range transport Spatial trends Petroleum hydrocarbons Terrestrial mammals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Food webs Data management Diet Temporal trends Human health Ecosystems
7. The Seasonal Cycle of Organochlorine Concentrations in the Canadian Basin

In September 1997, the CCGS Des Groseillers was frozen into the permanent ice-pack and started a year-long science program drifting across the southern Canada Basin. This program provided a unique opportunity to carry out a "vertical" food-chain study in a seasonal context to learn how the physical and biological systems couple to produce contaminant entry into the food web (Figure 1). "Vertical" components included the water and ice, particles, algae, zooplankton (sorted by trophic level), fish and seal.. The interpretation of contaminant data collected during SHEBA will provide information about the relationship between seasonal ice formation and melt, seasonal atmospheric transport and water column organochlorine concentrations in the Canada Basin. In addition our contaminant sampling program was integrated within a larger science plan where other SHEBA researchers studied the physical and biological properties of the water column. This means that contaminant distributions can be interpreted and modeled within the full context of physical, chemical and biological processes, and of atmospheric and oceanic transport mechanisms.

Pathways Organochlorines PCBs Long-range transport Spatial trends Sea ice Contaminant transport Climate change Oceanography Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Geochemistry Food webs Temporal trends
8. Effects and Trends of POPs on Polar Bears

LONG TERM: Determine the effects, at the individual and population level, of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and their metabolites in the polar bear; determine trend of POPs in the Arctic marine environment using polar bear tissues as a biomonitor. SHORT TERM: a. Determine 10-year temporal trends of POPs in the Hudson Bay Sub-Arctic Ecosystem from 1990-1989 by analysis of archived polar bear biopsy samples, including changes in enantiomeric composition of -HCH and chlordane compounds and ratio of -HCH/-HCH (cross-referenced to separate proposal on HCHs). b. Determine if there is selective tissue distribution of the enantiomers of chiral contaminants in polar bears, which may influence target organ toxicity, by analysis of archived polar bear samples. c. Determine the endocrine disrupting effect of POPs on testosterone and PCB metabolite profiles by in vitro metabolism studies using polar bear liver microsomes. d. In collaboration with CWS P&N Region, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, determine the immunotoxic effects of PCBs and other organochlorines in polar bears throughout a gradient of exposure (Hudson Bay, low; Svalbard, high). e. Determine the effects of hydroxy-PCBs on circulating thyroid hormone and vitamin A concentrations.

Biological effects Organochlorines PCBs Long-range transport Spatial trends Pollution sources Terrestrial mammals Polar bear Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Dioxins/furans Temporal trends Marine mammals
9. Mercury Measurements at Amderma, Russia

This project aims to establish continuous Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) measurements at Amderma, Russia to provide circumpolar data in concert with international sampling efforts at Alert (Nunavut, Canada), Point Barrow (Alaska, USA) and Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard/Spitsbergen, Norway). The objectives of this project are to determine spatial and temporal trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition processes of mercury in the Arctic in order to assist in the development of long-term strategies for this priority pollutant by: A) measuring ambient air TGM concentrations in the Russian Arctic; B) investigating and establishing the causes of temporal variability (seasonal, annual) in mercury concentrations so that realistic representations (models) of atmospheric pathways and processes can be formulated, tested and validated; and C) studying the circumpolar behaviour of mercury by comparison with data from other polar sites.

Pathways Atmospheric processes gas-phase mercury mercury Heavy metals Long-range transport Spatial trends Hg Arctic Atmosphere Temporal trends particulate-phase mercury Arctic springtime depletion of mercury total gaseous mercury
10. Mercury Measurements at Alert

The objectives of the project are: A) to determine temporal trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition processes of mercury in the Arctic, and to assist in the development of long-term strategies for this priority pollutant by: i) measuring ambient air Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) concentrations in the Canadian Arctic (Alert) and investigating the linkage to elevated levels of mercury known to be present in the Arctic food chain; ii) investigating and establishing the causes of temporal variability (seasonal, annual) in mercury concentrations so that realistic representations (models) of atmospheric pathways and processes can be formulated, tested and validated; iii) studying the chemical and physical aspects of atmospheric mercury vapour transformation (oxidation) after polar sunrise and the resultant enhanced mercury deposition to the sea, snow and ice surfaces each year during springtime; and iv) obtaining a long-term time series of atmospheric mercury (TGM) concentrations at Alert for the purpose of establishing whether mercury in the troposphere of the northern hemisphere is (still) increasing and if so, at what rate; B) to establish a sound scientific basis for addressing existing gaps of knowledge of the behaviour of mercury in the Arctic environment that will enable international regulatory actions to reflect the appropriate environmental protection strategies and pollution controls for the Arctic by: i) studying the relative roles of anthropogenic and natural sources of mercury so as to clarify understanding of the atmospheric pathways leading to the availability of mercury to Arctic biota; ii) studying tropospheric TGM depletion mechanisms/processes leading to enhanced input of mercury to the Arctic biosphere in spring; iii) undertaking essential speciated measurements of particulate-phase and/or reactive gaseous-phase mercury as well as mercury in precipitation (snow/rain) to quantify wet and dry deposition fluxes into the Arctic environment; and vi) providing the scientific basis for the information and advice used in the preparation and development of Canadian international strategies and negotiating positions for appropriate international control objectives.

Pathways Atmospheric processes gas-phase mercury mercury Heavy metals Long-range transport Spatial trends Hg Arctic Atmosphere Temporal trends particulate-phase mercury Arctic springtime depletion of mercury total gaseous mercury
11. Northern Contaminants Air Monitoring: Organochlorine Measurements

The objectives of this project are: A) to determine whether atmospheric concentrations and deposition of priority pollutants in the Arctic are changing in response to various national and international initiatives by: i) continuing to measure the occurrence of selected organochlorines in the arctic atmosphere at Alert, NWT for a period of three more years (measurements started in 1992), in parallel with identical measurements in western Russia at Amderma; ii) sampling at the Kinngait (Cape Dorset) station in 2000/2001 for the purpose of detecting change in the eastern Canadian Arctic by comparison with observations made four years earlier (1994-1996) at this site; and iii) analyzing and reporting data from Alert, Tagish, Kinngait and Dunai Island thereby providing insight into pollutant trends and sources. B) Ensuring the effective utilization of information at the international negotiating table in order to achieve the appropriate restrictions on release of pollutants of concern for the arctic environment by: i) contributing to the next assessment arising from the second phase of the Northern Contaminants Program (Canada) and specifically, the revised Assessments on POPs and Heavy Metals as part of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment (AMAP) Program Work Plan; and ii) advising Canadian negotiators in preparing reasonable, practical strategies of control.

Organochlorines PCBs PAHs Long-range transport Contaminant transport Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Data management Pesticides Atmosphere
12. Fluxes of Mercury from the Arctic Ice Surface during Polar Sunrise Conditions and Melt Conditions

The objectives of this project are: A) to determine the pathway for the transfer of mercury in snowmelt to sea water during the melt period at Alert; B) to determine the extent of open water and wet ice in the summer Arctic as it affects the surface exchange of Hg using satellite radar imagery; and C) to determine the atmospheric dynamics associated with the photochemistry of mercury episodically during the polar sunrise period.

trace metals satellite radar imagery radar Atmospheric processes melt open water acoustic sounding mercury Mapping Heavy metals Long-range transport Spatial trends Contaminant transport Hg Modelling Ice Arctic GIS radar imagery wet ice Atmosphere atmospheric boundary layer boundary layer
13. New Persistent Chemicals in the Arctic Environment

The objectives of this project are A) to determine coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), brominated diphenyl ethers (BDPEs), chlorophenolic compounds and chloroparaffins in air from arctic monitoring stations; and B) to search for other "new" chemicals in the arctic environment, not currently monitored by Canada's Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) but of potential concern based on known persistence, extent of usage and toxicology.

Sources PCAs BDPEs Pollution sources Exposure monitoring chloroparaffins Sediments Pesticides SCCPs Human intake Marine mammals new chemicals polychlorinated naphthalenes Pathways Organochlorines PCBs chlorinated paraffins Long-range transport brominated diphenyl ethers Spatial trends HAAs Arctic PCNs Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) synthetic musks haloacetic acids Atmosphere polychlorinated alkanes
14. Global Gridded gamma-HCH and Endosulfan Emission Inventories

The aim of this project is to compile information and create a computerized database of historical and present global lindane and endosulfan usage data as well as emission data for gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH) and endosulfan with 1 degree x 1 degree lat/long resolution. The objectives of this project are: A) to create global gridded g-HCH and endosulfan emission inventories; B) to study the linkage between global g-HCH and endosulfan use trends and g-HCH and endosulfan concentration trends in the Arctic; and C) to assist in comparing concentrations and ratios of different HCH isomers in the Arctic biotic and abiotic environments.

Sources emission inventory b-HCH alpha-HCH Pollution sources Contaminant transport Modelling GIS a-HCH hexachlorocyclohexane Pesticides endosulfan beta-HCH Organochlorines Mapping lindane ß-HCH Long-range transport Discharges Spatial trends gamma-HCH gridded Emissions HCH Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) g-HCH Data management Atmosphere Temporal trends