Personne : Avard, Ellen
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Université Laval. Département de géographie
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- PublicationAccès libreNorthern Greenhouses : an alternative local food provisioning strategy for Nunavik(2015) Avard, Ellen; Desbiens, CarolineLes serres nordiques: Une approche alternative à la sécurité alimentaire au Nunavik. Les communautés inuites font face à des changements socioculturels et environnementaux rapides ainsi qu’à plusieurs défis concernant la sécurité alimentaire. Récemment, plusieurs projets innovateurs ont pris forme pour pallier aux coûts élevés et la qualité discutable des aliments frais dans le Nord. Cette recherche s’est déroulée au Nunavik (la région inuite de la province de Québec, Canada) et a été élaborée en utilisant une approche de recherche participative. L’objectif de ce travail était de documenter et de participer au développement d’un projet pilote de serre dans le village de Kuujjuaq dans le but de développer un modèle de sécurité alimentaire alternative pour le Nord. Plusieurs personnes ont, de prime abord, remis en question la viabilité à long terme d’un projet de serre dans une communauté inuite. Pourtant, les résultats de cette recherche démontrent qu’il y a de l’intérêt et du soutien de tous les secteurs pour ce type d’initiative. Les résultats démontrent également qu’une stratégie d’approvisionnement local basée sur la serriculture est techniquement faisable et socialement acceptable. La conclusion générale de cette recherche est que les serres nordiques ont le potentiel de devenir des éléments clés dans une nouvelle stratégie alimentaire nordique, une stratégie qui sera plus résiliente que celle que nous connaissons aujourd'hui, et qui va contribuer de manière durable à l’essor de la capacité communautaire et au développement socioéconomique des villages nordiques.
- PublicationAccès libreNon-persistent exposures from plasticizers or plastic constituents in remote Arctic communities : a case for further research(New York NY: Nature Pub. Group, 2022-03-28) Aker, Amira; Caron-Beaudoin, Élyse; Ayotte, Pierre; Ricard, Sylvie; Gilbert, Véronique; Avard, Ellen; Lemire, MélanieBACKGROUND: Persistent organic pollutant exposures are well-documented in the Arctic, but fewer studies examined non-persistent chemicals, despite increased market food and consumer product consumption. OBJECTIVE: To measure phenol, paraben, phthalate, and alternative plasticizer concentrations in Inuit adults. METHODS: The study included 30 pooled urine samples from Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 Nunavik Inuit Health Survey (Q2017) participants. Creatinine-adjusted geometric mean concentrations (GM) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were compared across sex, age, and regions, and compared to those in the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) and the First Nations Biomonitoring Initiative (FNBI). RESULTS: Q2017 bisphenol-A concentrations were double the CHMS 2018–2019 concentrations [GM (95% CI): 1.98 (1.69–2.31) versus 0.71 (0.60–0.84) µg/g creatinine], but in line with FNBI [1.74 (1.41–2.13) µg/g creatinine]. Several phthalate concentrations were higher in Q2017 versus CHMS, particularly monobenzyl phthalate, which was was 19-fold higher in Q2017 versus CHMS 2018–2019 [45.26 (39.35–52.06) versus 2.4 (2.0–2.9) µg/g creatinine] and four-fold higher than FNBI. There were also four-fold higher concentrations of the two alternate plasticizer 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate (TIXB) metabolites in Q2017 compared to CHMS 2018–2019. Women and people living in Ungava Bay had generally higher concentrations of non-persistent chemicals. SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest higher concentrations of certain non-persistent chemicals in Inuit versus the general Canadian population. IMPACT: Few studies have explored non-persistent chemical distributions in Northern communities, despite the increasing consumer product and market food consumption. We analyzed 30 pooled samples from the Qanuilirpitaa? Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2017 to assess exposures to common plasticizes and plastic constituents and compare their levels with the general Canadian population and First Nation groups. We observed particularly higher levels of bisphenol-A, of monobenzyl phthalate, and of two 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate (TXIB) metabolites among Nunavimmiut compared to the general Canadian population, notably among women and Ungava Bay residents. Larger studies are required to confirm our findings and identify potential adverse health effects from these exposures.
- PublicationAccès libreSeasonal variations in exposure to methylmercury and its dietary sources among pregnant Inuit women in Nunavik, Canada(Elsevier, 2020-11-01) De Moraes Pontual, Mariana; Ayotte, Pierre; Little, Matthew; Furgal, Chris; Boyd, Amanda D.; Muckle, Gina; Avard, Ellen; Ricard, Sylvie; Gauthier, Marie-Josée; Anassour-Laouan Sidi, Elhadji; Lemire, MélanieAmong populations living in close connection with the sea, rivers and lakes for subsistence, diet varies according to local monthly wildlife species availability and food preferences. This may lead to variations in methylmercury (MeHg) exposure over a year, although no biomonitoring studies have documented this issue in Circumpolar populations, the most exposed to international Hg emissions. Our aim was to characterize seasonal variations in MeHg exposure among pregnant Inuit women from Nunavik and to identify country foods responsible for these variations. Between October 2016 and March 2017, 97 participants were recruited. Blood mercury (Hg) was tested and hair Hg was measured by centimeter as a surrogate for monthly MeHg exposure over the past year. Latent class growth analysis was conducted to identify groups of pregnant women with similar hair Hg monthly trajectories. Country foods consumption was documented by season. Seasonal daily intakes of MeHg were estimated based on concentrations in country foods. Retrospective monthly hair Hg analyses revealed that MeHg exposure was lowest in winter, and highest in summer and early fall months. Three latent classes (groups) of pregnant women with similar trajectories of monthly hair Hg variations were identified: high (n = 20, 21%), moderate (n = 38, 41%) and low variation (n = 35, 38%). Beluga meat was the country food contributing to most of daily MeHg intake, primarily during summer and fall, and was the only one associated with the odds of being classified into moderate and high variation groups (OR 95% CI: 1.19 [1.01–1.39] and 1.25 [1.04–1.50]). These findings underscore the importance of monthly variations in exposure to MeHg due to the seasonality of local foods consumed and responsible for elevated MeHg exposure. Further studies critically need to understand local diet fluctuations over a year to adequately assess MeHg exposure, adopt timely preventive interventions and evaluate the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention.
- PublicationAccès libreTowards a better understanding of the benefits and risks of country food consumption using the case of walruses in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada)(Elsevier BV, 2020-02-13) Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M.; Lemire, Mélanie; Avard, Ellen; Furgal, C. (Chris); Simard, Manon; Burness, Gary P.; Bertrand, Philip; Suppa, SandyFood insecurity affects Inuit communities. One solution is to consume locally harvested foods, named country foods. However, some country foods are not eaten as often as before, and pressures including contaminants and environmental changes threaten the health of Arctic fauna, thus its suitability for local consumption. By combining Inuit Knowledge with laboratory data, our study assessed the benefits and risks of walrus consumption by Inuit in Nunavik, Québec, Canada. It aimed to increase understanding of: 1) the hunt of healthy Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus); 2) the safe preparation of walruses; 3) the nutritional benefits and risks of consuming walruses. To do so, we interviewed 34 hunters and Elders from Nunavik. Levels of mercury, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium were evaluated from locally harvested walruses. Through the Nunavik Trichinellosis Prevention Program, a total of 755 Atlantic walrus samples, collected between 1994 and 2013, were tested for Trichinella nativa. Information on botulism was reviewed. While interviews informed on how to select healthy walruses and prepare them for consumption, laboratory analyses revealed that walruses had elevated levels of omega-3 fatty acids and selenium but low levels of mercury compared to some other wildlife. Only 3% of the 755 walruses were infected with T. nativa. Most walruses' infections were found within individuals from the South East Hudson Bay stock, where Inuit have thus decided to stop hunting since mid-2000s. Finally, although the number of outbreaks of trichinellosis related to the consumption of walruses has significantly reduced in Nunavik, botulism could continue to be an issue when igunaq (i.e. aged walrus) is not properly prepared. With the support of the Nunavik Trichinellosis Prevention Program and transmission of Inuit knowledge on igunaq preparation, the consumption of Atlantic walruses has the potential to help address issues related to food insecurity in Nunavik in the future.
- PublicationAccès librePerfluoroalkyl acids in pregnant women from Nunavik (Quebec, Canada) : trends in exposure and associations with country foods consumption(New York (N.Y.) : Elsevier, 2020-10-17) Caron-Beaudoin, Élyse; Ayotte, Pierre; Blanchette, Caty; Muckle, Gina; Avard, Ellen; Ricard, Sylvie; Lemire, MélanieObjectives From 2004 to 2017, 279 pregnant Inuit women were recruited as part of biomonitoring projects in Nunavik. Our goal was to evaluate: (i) time-trends in plasma/serum PFAAs levels in pregnant Nunavimmiut women between 2004 and 2017; (ii) compare plasma/serum PFAAs levels in Nunavimmiut women in 2016–2017 to those measured in women of childbearing age in the Canadian Health Measure Survey (CHMS); and (iii) evaluate the associations of PFAAs levels with the consumption of country foods and pregnancy and maternal characteristics during pregnancy in the 97 participants recruited in 2016–2017. Methods Individual blood sample were collected for serum or plasma PFAAs (PFOS, PFOA, pentafluorobenzoic acid (PFBA), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), perfluorohexane-1-sulfonic acid (PFHxS), PFNA, PFDA, PFUdA) analyses. Socio-demographic data, pregnancy and maternal characteristics and country foods consumption were documented using a questionnaire. Omega-3 and −6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were measured in red blood cell membranes and their ratio used as a biomarker of marine country foods consumption. Time-trends in PFAAs levels were evaluated using ANCOVA models adjusted for relevant co-variables. Serum/plasma levels of PFAAs in the 97 pregnant women aged 16 to 40 years old and recruited in 2016–2017 were compared to those measured in women aged 18 to 40 years old from the CHMS cycle 5 (2016–2017) using the geometric means (GM) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Multivariate regression analyses were performed to examine associations between concentrations of PFAAs and country foods consumption data. Results Statistically-significant downward time trends were noted for concentrations of PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS in pregnant Nunavik women between 2004 and 2017. Conversely, between 2011 and 2016–2017, PFNA, PFDA and PFUdA maternal serum levels increased by 19, 13 and 21% respectively. Among participants in 2016–2017, mean concentrations for PFNA (GM: 2.4 μg/L), PFDA (0.53 μg/L) and PFUdA (0.61 μg/L) were higher than those measured in women aged 18–40 years old in the Cycle 5 (2016–2017) of the CHMS. PFOA (0.53 μg/L) and PFHxS (0.26 μg/L) were lower than in CHMS, whereas PFBA, PFHxA and PFBS were not detected in 2016–2017. Ratios of serum/plasma levels of PFNA/PFOA, PFNA/PFOS, PFNA/PFHxS and PFUdA/PFDA were significantly higher in the 97 pregnant women from Nunavik recruited in 2016–2017 compared to CHMS, highlighting their distinct exposure profile. In multivariate models, PFHxS, PFOS, PFNA, PFDA and PFUdA levels in 2016–2017 were strongly associated with the omega-3/omega-6 PUFA ratio, indicating a positive association between marine country foods consumption and higher exposure to PFAAs. Conclusions The exposure of pregnant women to long-chain PFAAs (PFNA, PFDA and PFUdA) increased from 2004 to 2017 in Nunavik. Associations noted between PFAAs levels and the omega-3/omega-6 ratio highlights the importance of implementing additional strict regulations on PFAAs and their precursors to protect the high nutritional quality and cultural importance of country foods in Nunavik.
- PublicationAccès libreExposure to benzene, toluene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Nunavimmiut aged 16 years and over (Nunavik, Canada) : Qanuilirpitaa 2017 survey(Orlando Fla. : Academic Press, 2021-12-18) Caron-Beaudoin, Élyse; Ayotte, Pierre; Aker, Amira; Blanchette, Caty; Ricard, Sylvie; Gilbert, Véronique; Avard, Ellen; Lemire, MélanieThere are numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that Inuit may be exposed to from combustion, cooking, heating, vehicle exhaust, active and passive smoking and other local sources of contaminants such as oil spills or open-air burning in landfills. To better assess the levels of exposure to these non-persistent chemicals, we measured a suite of benzene, toluene (two VOCs) and PAHs metabolites in pooled urine samples from youth and adults aged 16 years old and over who participated in the Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 Inuit Health Survey (Q2017), a population health survey conducted in Nunavik. A cost- effective pooling strategy was established and 30 different pools from individual urine samples (n =1266) were created by grouping individual urine samples by sex, age groups and regions. To assess smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, cotinine levels were measured in individual urine samples. We found that benzene, toluene, all detected PAHs metabolites and cotinine levels were significantly higher in Q2017 compared to adults in the Canadian Health Measure Survey Cycle 4 (2014–2015) or the general U.S population (2015–2016). Moreover, mean levels of one benzene metabolite, S-phenylmercapturic acid, and several PAHs metabolites, 1-naphthol, 2-and 3-hydroxyfluorene, and 4- and 9-hydroxyphenanthrene, known to be associated with smoking habits, were higher in Q2017 compared to reference values (RV95) established for non-smokers in the general Canadian population. Furthermore, benzene and PAHs metabolites were all correlated with cotinine levels. Our results suggest that the high smoking prevalence in Nunavik is an important contributor to the elevated benzene and PAHs exposure. Other local sources may add to that exposure, although we were not able to account for their contribution. These data highlight the importance of regional and community efforts for reducing smoking and to encourage smoke-free homes in Nunavik, while continuing to investigate and reduce other possible local sources of exposure to benzene, toluene and PAHs.