Protecting the Health of First Nation Personnel at Contaminated Sites: A Case Study of Mid-Canada Radar Line Site 050 in Northern Canada

Leonard J.S. Tsuji, Bruce C. Wainman, Jean-Philippe Weber, Celine Sutherland, Billy Katapatuk, Evert Nieboer
2010 Arctic  
Recently, First Nation (FN) organizations have entered into agreements with federal and provincial government representatives to remediate radar-line sites in Ontario. These agreements stipulated that FN people would take part in the site delineation and remediation process to gain job experience and economic benefits. One important aspect of the process was protecting FN personnel from contaminant exposure and thus, from potential negative health outcomes associated with the cleanup work
more » ... . In this paper, we describe the safety precautions used by FN workers preparing Mid-Canada Radar Line (MCRL) Site 050 for Phase 2 of the delineation process and the health monitoring protocol that was tested. We measured concentrations of total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs as Aroclor 1260), 14 individual PCB congeners, p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, nine other organochlorine pesticides, and lead in the blood of Fort Albany FN workers before they started work at Site 050 and approximately a week before they completed their three-month work period in the contaminated zone. No significant differences were found in the paired samples. These results indicate that the safety precautions taken were adequate for the work and the site in question. The monitoring protocol discussed here may be used as a template and modified to meet the specific needs of other projects. The results of this study are important because other Aboriginal groups have entered or will be entering into agreements with government organizations for the remediation of other MCRL sites in Ontario and across Canada.
doi:10.14430/arctic424 fatcat:s4e4ljeigfg6hgksfxvuovkz5q