Science of The Total Environment, Volume 841

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Elsevier BV
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Contributions and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples to the study of mercury in the Arctic
Magali Houde | Eva M. Krümmel | Tero Mustonen | Jeremy R. Brammer | Tanya M. Brown | John Chételat | Parnuna Egede Dahl | Runé Dietz | Marlene S. Evans | Mary Gamberg | Marie-Josée Gauthier | José Gérin-Lajoie | Aviaja Zenia Edna Lyberth Hauptmann | Joel P. Heath | Dominique Henri | Jane L. Kirk | Brian Laird | Mélanie Lemire | Ann Eileen Lennert | Robert J. Letcher | Sarah Lord | Lisa L. Loseto | Gwyneth A. MacMillan | Stefan Mikaelsson | E. A. Mutter | Todd M. O’Hara | Sonja K. Ostertag | Martin D. Robards | Vyacheslav Shadrin | Margery A. Smith | Raphaela Stimmelmayr | Enooyaq Sudlovenick | Heidi K. Swanson | Philippe J. Thomas | Virginia K. Walker | Alex Whiting

Arctic Indigenous Peoples are among the most exposed humans when it comes to foodborne mercury (Hg). In response, Hg monitoring and research have been on-going in the circumpolar Arctic since about 1991; this work has been mainly possible through the involvement of Arctic Indigenous Peoples. The present overview was initially conducted in the context of a broader assessment of Hg research organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. This article provides examples of Indigenous Peoples' contributions to Hg monitoring and research in the Arctic, and discusses approaches that could be used, and improved upon, when carrying out future activities. Over 40 mercury projects conducted with/by Indigenous Peoples are identified for different circumpolar regions including the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Sweden, Finland, and Russia as well as instances where Indigenous Knowledge contributed to the understanding of Hg contamination in the Arctic. Perspectives and visions of future Hg research as well as recommendations are presented. The establishment of collaborative processes and partnership/co-production approaches with scientists and Indigenous Peoples, using good communication practices and transparency in research activities, are key to the success of research and monitoring activities in the Arctic. Sustainable funding for community-driven monitoring and research programs in Arctic countries would be beneficial and assist in developing more research/monitoring capacity and would promote a more holistic approach to understanding Hg in the Arctic. These activities should be well connected to circumpolar/international initiatives to ensure broader availability of the information and uptake in policy development.

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Rapid transition between SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Delta and Omicron detected by monitoring municipal wastewater from three Canadian cities
Femi F. Oloye | Yuwei Xie | Mohsen Asadi | Jenna Cantin | Jonathan K. Challis | Markus Brinkmann | Kerry N. McPhedran | Kevin Kristian | Mark P. Keller | Mike Sadowski | Paul D. Jones | Chrystal Landgraff | Chand Mangat | Meghan Fuzzen | Mark R. Servos | John P. Giesy

Monitoring the communal incidence of COVID-19 is important for both government and residents of an area to make informed decisions. However, continuous reliance on one means of monitoring might not be accurate because of biases introduced by government policies or behaviours of residents. Wastewater surveillance was employed to monitor concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in raw influent wastewater from wastewater treatment plants serving three Canadian Prairie cities with different population sizes. Data obtained from wastewater are not directly influenced by government regulations or behaviours of individuals. The means of three weekly samples collected using 24 h composite auto-samplers were determined. Viral loads were determined by RT-qPCR, and whole-genome sequencing was used to charaterize variants of concern (VOC). The dominant VOCs in the three cities were the same but with different proportions of sub-lineages. Sub-lineages of Delta were AY.12, AY.25, AY.27 and AY.93 in 2021, while the major sub-lineage of Omicron was BA.1 in January 2022, and BA.2 subsequently became a trace-level sub-variant then the predominant VOC. When each VOC was first detected varied among cities; However, Saskatoon, with the largest population, was always the first to present new VOCs. Viral loads varied among cities, but there was no direct correlation with population size, possibly because of differences in flow regimes. Population is one of the factors that affects trends in onset and development of local outbreaks during the pandemic. This might be due to demography or the fact that larger populations had greater potential for inter- and intra-country migration. Hence, wastewater surveillance data from larger cities can typically be used to indicate what to expect in smaller communities.