Methylmercury In Canada

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In a neoliberalist economy, a pluralist model of healthcare is adopted. Consequently, the high powers often “sing” while vulnerable populations are left with inequitable consideration for health 1. This is exemplified in arctic regions of Canada where health status is considerably lower compared to the Canadian population. In these regions, cultural, socioeconomic and difficulty in access create sizable barriers that require significant investment of human and capital resource to overcome. Not only is resource availability limited but also there are numerable negative health outcomes associated with long-range pollution transportation. Pollutants can travels thousands of kilometers through air and water currents that trend toward Arctic regions. Although there are numerous pollutants of concern, mercury is particularly noxious. Mercury is a heavy metal, d- block element understood to be a potent neurotoxin 2. In exposed populations, extensive neurotoxic effects are observed ranging from developmental delays to death. It is well known that individuals residing near mercury producing plants experience exposure well above the recommended guidelines 3. One such example is the Minimata disaster, which resulted in countless deaths and neurological impairments for the Japanese population 3.
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Humans are primarily exposed to mercury through the consumption of freshwater and marine animals that have accumulated methylmercury in their fatty tissues 4. Mercury is absorbed in gastrointestinal (GI) tissues through dietary consumption. From the GI tract, mercury enters surrounding tissues and the blood stream where it can be transported throughout the body 8. The health consequences of mercury are resultant of the intracellular binding of organelles essential for cellular function 3. Thus, mercury exposure at a cellular level can cause cellular degradation and eventual
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