Dietary exposure to persistent organic pollutants and metals among Inuit and Chukchi in Russian Arctic Chukotka
International Journal of Circumpolar Health
Objectives. The general aim was to assess dietary exposure to selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals among Eskimo (Inuit) and Chukchi of the Chukotka Peninsula of the Russian Arctic, and to establish recommendations for exposure risk reduction. Study design. A cross-sectional evaluation of nutritional patterns of coastal and inland indigenous peoples of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (in 2001Á2003); assessment of the levels of persistent toxic substances (PTSs) in traditional
... s) in traditional foods and their comparison to Russian food safety limits; the identification of local sources of food contamination; and the recommendation and implementation of risk management measures. Methods. Community-based dietary survey of self reported food frequencies (453 persons), chemical analyses (POPs and metals) of local foods and indoor matters (397 samples), substantiation of recommendations for daily (weekly, monthly) intakes of traditional food. Results. POPs in traditional food items are generally below the Russian food safety limits except marine mammal fat, while Hg and Cd are high mainly in mammal viscera. Lead is relatively low in tissues of all animals studied. For the Chukotka coastal communities, seals constitute the principal source of the whole suite of PTSs considered. Consumption restrictions are recommended for marine and freshwater fish, some wild meats (waterfowl and seal), fats (whale and seal), liver (most animals) and kidney (reindeer, walrus and seal). Evidence is presented that contamination of foodstuffs may be significantly increased during storing/ processing/cooking of food due to indoor and outdoor environmental conditions. Conclusions. Based on the analytical findings and the local PTSs sources identified, guidelines on food safety are suggested, as well as measures to reduce food contamination and domestic and local sources. Important and urgent remedial actions are recommended to minimize PTSs environmental and domestic contamination. Waste clean-up activities started in coastal Chukotka in 2007.