Contaminants

Contaminant trends

Parts per million, logarithmic scale
Map and graphs: contaminant trends in various species across Canada. Click for graphic description (new window).
Sources: burbot: Stern, 2009;8 murres: Braune, 20079 updated by author; beluga: Stern, 200910 and Tomy, 2009;11 cormorants and gulls: Environment Canada, 2009;12 lake trout: Carlson et al., 201013 and Ismail et al., 200914

The charts show a range of trends and levels of two legacy contaminants (PCBs and DDT), mercury, and an emerging contaminant (PBDEs) in wildlife. Amounts and trends are partly related to proximity to contaminant sources and partly to otherfactors that influence an animal's exposure to and uptake of contaminants, including position in the food web. Magnitudes ofcontaminant levels should be compared from chart to chart only in general terms - datasets are not all comparable in the types of tissues sampled and in analysis and data reporting methods.

Note: DDE is a breakdown product of DDT.