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Extramural Research

Environmental Contaminants in Foodstuffs of Siberian Yu’piks from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska

EPA Grant Number: R831043
Title: Environmental Contaminants in Foodstuffs of Siberian Yu’piks from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Investigators: Miller, Pamela K. , Arnason, John , Carpenter, David O. , DeCaprio, Anthony P. , Eckstein, Lorraine
Current Investigators: Miller, Pamela K. , Carpenter, David O. , Eckstein, Lorraine , Waghiyi, Viola , Welfinger-Smith, Gretchen
Institution: Alaska Community Action on Toxics , SUNY at Albany
EPA Project Officer: Manty, Dale
Project Period: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2006
Project Amount: $449,510
RFA: Lifestyle and Cultural Practices of Tribal Populations and Risks from Toxic Substances in the Environment (2002)
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Global Climate Change , Tribal Environmental Health Research



We have shown that the Siberian Yu'pik people of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska have relatively high serum levels of PCBs and pesticides. This project will examine traditional foods of the Yu'pik people for PCBs, three pesticides and several metals in order to determine which are the most significant sources of exposure, and how preparation for consumption influences the level of contaminants.


We will obtain multiple samples of traditional foods (seal, whale, walrus, fish, seal oil, greens, sea bird eggs, berries), including various parts of animals, for congener-specific measurement of PCBs and levels of pesticides and metals. We will compare levels in raw foods and in foods after preparation for consumption.

Expected Results:

We expect to demonstrate higher levels of contaminants in some foods than in others, and in some parts of food animals than in others. We expect to find levels of contaminants to be different in some foods if they come from more contaminated areas. We also expect to demonstrate that preparation of the food for consumption will alter contaminant levels. This information will be critical to the community to help individual members make choices about what they eat so they may reduce their exposure to environmental contaminants.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 10 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

DDE, hexachlorogenzene, mirex, blubber, salmon, polar bear, reindeer, mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic, Health, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, HUMAN HEALTH, Health Risk Assessment, Exposure, State, Risk Assessments, Ecological Risk Assessment, mercury, lead, pesticides, Siberian Yu'piks, human exposure, PCB, Alaska (AK), cadmium, dietary exposure, biomarker based exposure inference, human health risk, metals

Progress and Final Reports:
2004 Progress Report
2005 Progress Report
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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