Contaminants exist in a variety of forms in the environment, including Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), heavy metals and radionuclides. These contaminants include things such as DDT, PCBs, dioxins, methylmercury, brominated flame-retardants and fluorinated compounds.

Contaminants can arrive in Nunatsiavut usually in two ways, through local source contamination or through long-range transport.

The Northern Contaminants Program is a key partner in contaminants work in Nunatsiavut.

Local Source Contaminants:
Local source contamination can be a result of many things, including spills of toxic chemicals on to the ground or water, or improper disposal of toxic waste (Hopedale and Saglek radar sites).

Current Projects:

Long-range Contaminants:
These contaminants are produced a far distance from Nunatsiavut, usually as a result of industrial development, but are transported to the Arctic as a result of climate processes in our atmosphere and oceans. These contaminants can exist for long periods of time and are known to biomagnify and bioaccummulate (increase) in the food web, resulting in top-predators having higher concentrations of contaminants.

Current Projects:
Through a partnership with Nunatsiavut communities and many universities, with funding from the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), the Nain Research Centre is conducting the following long-range contaminant monitoring projects:

Ringed Seal Monitoring Program
Sea-run Char Monitoring Program
Air Monitoring Program
Water Monitoring Program

Local Contaminants Contact

Through funding from the Nunatsiavut Government and the Northern Contaminants Program, the Nunatsiavut region has a full-time Northern Contaminants Researcher that helps facilitate contaminants research projects, working with local hunters, researchers and youth to better understand contaminant levels in Nunatsiavut.

Liz Pijogge
Northern Contaminants Researcher
Nunatsiavut Government
(709) 922-2380

For more information on the Northern Contaminants Program, click here.