Advancing soil ecological risk assessments for petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils in Canada: Persistence, organic carbon normalization and relevance of species assemblages
Sediment toxicity studies and ecological risk assessments on organic contaminantsroutinely apply organic carbon normalization to toxicity data; however, no studies examine its potential for use in soils with petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) contamination. Limited studies in soil ecotoxicology assess the influence of species assemblages used in species sensitivity distribution construction on the resulting guideline designated to of soil dwelling organisms. Canadian regulations utilize more conservative approaches to deriving guidelines with soil ecotoxicology data compared to the rest of the world, so we investigated the impact of these on soil invertebrates in a variety of field soils. In addition to toxicity, the persistence of a medium PHC mixture was also assessed in the field soils to determine the duration of toxic effects. We found organic matter influenced PHC toxicity to soil invertebrates, but persistence was influenced more by soil cation exchange capacity. Incorporating organic carbon normalization into species sensitivity distribution curves provided a higher level of protection to soil dwelling receptors in low organic matter soils as well as reduce the variability of PHC soil toxicity data. Soil remediation guidelines derived for protection of soil dwelling organisms using a diverse species assemblage provided similar levels of protection as guidelines developed with test species specific for remote, forested land uses in Canada. We conclude that: (i) Canadian hazard concentration values for PHC contamination of soils should be revisited as they may not be protective and (ii) that soil PHC guidelines for protection of soil dwelling organisms should be expressed as carbon normalized values.View Publication Details ⇨
Lead exposure through consumption of small game harvested using lead-based ammunition and the corresponding health risks to First Nations in Alberta, Canada
The harvesting of game birds, such as grouse, with small arms using lead ammunition continues to be common practice in Alberta, Canada. Grouse are routinely consumed as a subsistence traditional food by First Nations in Alberta and the use of lead ammunition increases the potential lead exposure through the consumption of residual bullet or shot fragments in the edible portion of the meat. After removal of visible shot and ammunition fragments, similar to how the samples would be prepared for consumption, impacted and non-impacted grouse breast meat samples were analyzed to characterize the lead content. Using publicly available consumption rates, the potential lead exposures from consumption of both impacted and non-impacted grouse breast meat were estimated and the corresponding health risks were predicted. Comparison of the predicted health risks revealed a significantly higher risk (p< 0.05) for the consumption of ammunition-impacted meat.View Publication Details ⇨
Cadmium Tissue Concentrations in Kidney, Liver and Muscle in Moose (Alces alces) From First Nations Communities in Northern Alberta
The consumption of traditional foods, including moose, is vitally important to Canada’s indigenous communities for dietary, social, and cultural reasons. Cadmium is a key contaminant of concern in moose as it accumulates primarily the organs, with the kidney accumulating more than the liver. The objectives of this study were to identify relationships between cadmium concentrations in the kidney, liver and muscle tissue of moose, and to estimate benchmark consumption quantities that are associated with minimal health risk for three First Nation communities: the Chipewyan Prairie Déné First Nation, the Swan River First Nation and Cold Lake First Nations. Moose quality studies were conducted with the Chipewyan Prairie Déné First Nation in 2012, the Swan River First Nation in 2014 and the Cold Lake First Nations in 2016, all located in Alberta, Canada. The measured cadmium tissue concentrations from these studies were found to be comparable to those reported in the 2016 Alberta First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study, and other North American studies. The results of our study suggest that linear relationships exist between cadmium concentrations in kidney and liver tissue, which can be used as a tool to predict organ concentrations in moose from northern Alberta. First Nations communities can use this information to predict cadmium tissue concentrations in both kidney and liver in the absence of actual, measured cadmium concentrations. Benchmark consumption quantities that are associated with minimal risk were estimated for the different tissue types.View Publication Details ⇨
Health Impact Assessment of transportation projects, plans and policies: A scoping review
Dr. Faiza Waheed article on ‘Health Impact Assessment of transportation projects, plans and policies: A scoping review’ has been published in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review.
- • Transportation HIA practice varies widely with some core similarities.
- • NGO funding of transportation HIAs in the US provided a significant boost to practice.
- • A positive association exists between transport planner involvement and impact of HIA.
- • Very few HIAs conduct evaluation of the HIA process and its effectiveness.
Inventory and Analysis of Exposure Factors for Alberta 2018
Intrinsik’s expert scientists prepare Alberta Health Report on ‘Inventory and Analysis of Exposure Factors for Alberta’ that was released in January 2018.View Publication Details ⇨