Although there are no direct industrial or municipal sources of mercury (Hg) pollution, the presence of this heavy metal is ubiquitous throughout the northern Québec environment. This is a cause of concern because of the high Hg concentrations measured in fish and certain other wildlife species and because of its potential toxicity for humans. In this region, and generally all across Canada, the principal source of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) occurs through consumption of fresh water fish and, for some communities, of sea mammals. During the past two decades, northern Québec has been the site of large scale hydroelectric developments resulting in the impoundment of several reservoirs, flooding extensive tracts of land areas, causing important additional increases of Hg levels in fish.
KeywordsNorthern Pike Fresh Water Fish Reference Lake Aquatic Food Chain Lake Whitefish
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