Human Bioaccessibility of Metals Surrounding Northern Hotspots
Exposure to metals and metalloids, such as arsenic, lead, and mercury, through the consumption of contaminated foods poses a potential health risk to human populations. This is especially true for Northern communities due to a reliance on traditional backcountry foodstuffs. Measuring the bioaccessible fraction, the amount of an ingested contaminant solubilized in the gastrointestinal tract, may allow risk assessors to better compare people's exposure to ingested contaminants with toxicological reference values. By resolving the sources of variation of metal bioaccessibility in northern foodstuffs, it will be possible to reduce the uncertainty present in current risk assessments and provide northern communities with precise risk reduction strategies. Additionally, the arsenic and mercury bioaccessibility of mine tailings from Nova Scotia is being investigated to better evaluate the exposure of Nova Scotia residents to toxic metalloids.