Mélanie Lemire

Mélanie Lemire
Laval University | ULAVAL · Department of Social and Preventive Medicine

PhD

About

88
Publications
15,931
Reads
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1,652
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
924 Citations
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Introduction
My projects are transdisciplinary, intersectoral and participatory, and focus on the study of environmental contaminants, ocean change, and nutrition related to the health of Indigenous and coastal populations. Our findings are used to inform decisions, decision making-tools, programs and policies at local, federal and international levels.
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
Laval University
Position
  • Santé Environnementale (SAP-7005)
Description
  • Ce cours est une initiation à la santé environnementale, qui étudie les liens complexes entre les environnements de vie et la santé des populations, en utilisant des approches participatives, interdisciplinaires et intersectorielles.
January 2016 - present
Laval University
Position
  • Titular
Description
  • Our mission is to develop interdisciplinary projects in close partnership with Indigenous Peoples to understanding the complex effects of environmental change on health and to promote northern ecosystems as lands to sustain health and wellbeing.
July 2015 - present
Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec
Position
  • Researcher
Education
June 2010 - June 2014
Laval University
Field of study
  • Environmental Epidemiology
January 2005 - August 2010
Université du Québec à Montréal
Field of study
  • Environmental Health
September 2002 - January 2005
Université du Québec à Montréal
Field of study
  • Environmental Health

Publications

Publications (88)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Country (traditional) foods are integral to Inuit culture, but market food consumption is increasing. The Qanuilirpitaa? 2017 Nunavik Health Survey (Q2017) reported similar country food consumption frequency compared to that in 2004; however, examining food items individually does not account for diet patterns, food accessibility, and co...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), a subset of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are environmentally stable, mobile and bioaccumulative compounds. This leads to high concentrations in wildlife species essential to the cultural identity and subsistence of Arctic populations. Our objective was to characterize the distribution and exposure deter...
Article
Background Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), a subset of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are synthetic chemicals used in industrial and consumer applications. They are exceptionally stable and highly mobile in the environment, and were detected in high concentrations in Arctic wildlife and Nunavik Inuit. The study's objective was to study the associa...
Article
Full-text available
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 conte...
Article
Full-text available
Background Persistent organic pollutant exposures are well-documented in the Arctic, but fewer studies examined non-persistent chemicals, despite increased market food and consumer product consumption. Objective To measure phenol, paraben, phthalate, and alternative plasticizer concentrations in Inuit adults. Methods The study included 30 pooled...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Despite the abundance and proximity of edible marine resources, coastal communities along the St. Lawrence in Eastern Québec rarely consume these resources. Within a community-based food sovereignty project, Manger notre Saint-Laurent ("Sustenance from our St. Lawrence"), members of participating communities (3 non-Indigenous, 1 Indigen...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To document perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure in four First Nation communities in northern Quebec compared to the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS Cycle 5 2016-2017) and examine the associations between dietary consumption and chemical exposure. Design We used cross-sectional data from the JES-YEH! project...
Article
We measured concentrations of 19 trace elements and mercury speciation in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL), Canada. With interest growing in commercializing grey seal products for human consumption in this region, our goal was to measure essential and non-essential trace elements in grey seals to evaluate health c...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is disproportionally impacting the Circumpolar North, with particular impacts among Indigenous populations. Environmental changes are felt in many aspects of daily life of Northern communities, including both physical and mental health. Thus, health institutions from around the Arctic must meet emerging needs, while the phenomenon re...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to mercury (Hg) is a global concern, particularly among Arctic populations that rely on the consumption of marine mammals and fish which are the main route of Hg exposure for Arctic populations.The MercuNorth project was created to establish baseline Hg levels across several Arctic regions during the period preceding the Minamata Conventio...
Article
There are numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that Inuit may be exposed to from combustion, cooking, heating, vehicle exhaust, active and passive smoking and other local sources of contaminants such as oil spills or open-air burning in landfills. To better assess the levels of exposure to these non...
Preprint
Full-text available
We measured baseline levels of 19 trace element and mercury speciation for grey seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL), Québec, Canada. With interest growing in commercializing grey seal products for human consumption in this region, the goal of this study was to measure essential and non-essential trace elements in grey s...
Article
Full-text available
The members of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation based in Cacouna would like to be able to harvest and consume the blue mussels that are abundant on the shores of the St. Lawrence Estuary in their ancestral territory. However, federal laws communicated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada posters prohibit their harvesting. A pilot project was ther...
Article
Background Biomarker measures of contaminant exposure and nutrient status can help increase understanding of the risks and benefits associated with the consumption of traditional foods by Inuit. While gene-environment and gene-nutrient interactions may help explain variations in biomarker measures, the role of genetic polymorphisms is largely under...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many concerns among Indigenous communities about virus transmission risks from wild food, particularly migratory birds. Snow geese contribute significantly to food security in Indigenous contexts, which is precarious in many communities. The risk to goose hunters is very unlikely as coronaviruses found in birds are...
Article
Full-text available
Ocean conditions can affect human health in a variety of ways that are often overlooked and unappreciated. Oceans adjacent to Canada are affected by many anthropogenic stressors, with implications for human health and well-being. Climate change further escalates these pressures and can expose coastal populations to unique health hazards and distres...
Article
Full-text available
Indigenous Peoples in high-income countries experience higher burdens of food insecurity, obesity, and diet-related health conditions compared to national averages. The objective of this systematic scoping review is to synthesize information from the published literature on the methods/approaches, findings, and scope for research and interventions...
Article
Toxoplasma gondii is a globally distributed protozoan that mainly causes health issues in the fetuses of pregnant women who have never been exposed to this parasite and patients with deficient immune systems. Except in these vulnerable populations, the primary infection generally goes unnoticed in most healthy individuals. Apart from transplant/tra...
Preprint
The aim of this work was to determine the impact of sympagic (ice-associated) algal primary production on the quality of Arctic filter-feeding bivalves. For this purpose, we investigated the sea ice production of lipids (including omega−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and highly branched isoprenoids (HBI)), as well as their subsequent inco...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this work was to determine the impact of sympagic (ice-associated) algal primary production on the quality of Arctic filter-feeding bivalves. For this purpose, we investigated the sea ice production of lipids (including omega−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n- 3 PUFA) and highly branched isoprenoids (HBI)), as well as their subsequent inc...
Article
Full-text available
Among populations living in close connection with the sea, rivers and lakes for subsistence, diet varies according to local monthly wildlife species availability and food preferences. This may lead to variations in methylmercury (MeHg) exposure over a year, although no biomonitoring studies have documented this issue in Circumpolar populations, the...
Article
Full-text available
Background Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent and ubiquitous environmental contaminants that potentially disrupt endocrine system functions. While some PFAAs (perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)) are regulated, currently used fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) can be transported to the Arctic and are degraded in a n...
Article
Objective: The current study undertook a systematic scoping review on the drivers and implications of dietary changes among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. Design: A keyword search of peer-reviewed articles was performed using PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database and High North Research...
Preprint
Background: Despite the abundance and proximity of edible marine resources, coastal communities along the St. Lawrence in Eastern Quebec rarely consume these resources. Within a community-based food sovereignty project, Manger notre Saint-Laurent (Sustenance from our St. Lawrence), members of participating communities (three non-Indigenous, one Ind...
Article
The Inuit of Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) are exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury (Hg) through their consumption of marine country foods. A temporal trend study was initiated in 1992 to monitor circulating levels of PCBs and Hg in pregnant Inuit women, since the fetus is most at risk of adverse health effects. We set out (1...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Anemia and iron deficiency (ID) are frequent among Indigenous children of Canada, but few data are available in Quebec. The present study aimed to characterize anemia and ID prevalence and associated protective and risk factors among First Nations youth in Quebec.Methods The 2015 First Nations (JES!-YEH!) pilot study was conducted among...
Article
Background The body burden of metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is particularly high in populations that rely on fish and other marine species for sustenance. This exposure has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but results remain contrasted. Objective We studied this association in two Indigenous populations...
Article
Food insecurity affects Inuit communities. One solution is to consume locally harvested foods, named country foods. However, some country foods are not eaten as often as before, and pressures including contaminants and environmental changes threaten the health of Arctic fauna, thus its suitability for local consumption. By combining Inuit Knowledge...
Article
Full-text available
The Green Edge initiative was developed to investigate the processes controlling the primary productivity and fate of organic matter produced during the Arctic phytoplankton spring bloom (PSB) and to determine its role in the ecosystem. Two field campaigns were conducted in 2015 and 2016 at an ice camp located on landfast sea ice southeast of Qikiq...
Article
Full-text available
Setting Consumption of raw game meats is important for Inuit health and well-being but may sometimes increase risk of exposure to parasites. In Nunavik, following trichinellosis outbreaks in the 1980s caused by raw walrus consumption, a diagnostic test was developed for the region and offered to all Inuit communities by 1997. Despite this preventio...
Article
Full-text available
The Green Edge initiative was developed to investigate the processes controlling the primary productivity and the fate of organic matter produced during the Arctic phytoplankton spring bloom (PSB) and to determine its role in the ecosystem. Two field campaigns were conducted in 2015 and 2016 at an ice camp located on landfast sea ice southeast of Q...
Article
Full-text available
Selenium (Se) is a trace mineral essential to human health, and is especially abundant in marine foods consumed by Inuit populations in Nunavik (northern Quebec, Canada), leading to exceptionally high whole blood Se levels. While most epidemiological studies to date examine plasma or whole blood Se, little is known about the health implications of...
Article
Background Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are found in several consumer goods. Exposure to PFASs in children has been associated with alteration in thyroid hormones, which have critical roles in brain function. Objective In 2015, 198 children and youth (3–19 y) were recruited as part of the pilot project Jeunes, Environnement et Santé/Youth, En...
Article
Full-text available
Nunavimmiut (Inuit of Nunavik, Northern Quebec, Canada) exhibit a high selenium (Se) status because of their frequent consumption of marine mammal foods. Indirect evidence from our previous studies had suggested that selenoneine - a novel selenocompound - may be accumulating in the blood of Nunavimmiut. We used a liquid-chromatography/inductively c...
Article
Full-text available
While health needs in Nunavik are distinct, there is a scarcity of knowledge transfer intended for local primary care providers. We aimed to build an information tool in the form of a newsletter and a website to share with them a selection of relevant research articles. To identify such articles, a scoping study of Inuit health research published b...
Article
Contact with infected saliva through the bite of a rabid animal is the main route of infection with the rabies Lyssavirus in humans. Although a few individuals have survived the infection, rabies remains the most lethal zoonotic infection worldwide. Over the last century, the dogma that rabies is invariably fatal has been challenged by the survival...
Article
To survive in the Arctic, the Inuit have developed a unique relationship with the marine environment and its living organisms. Unlike large marine mammals, the importance of smaller marine organisms for food, health, and wellbeing is largely undocumented. To call attention to these components of the food system in Nunavik, in northern Québec, and t...
Article
Background: Inuit are exposed to some of the highest levels of contaminants worldwide. Studies suggest that several genes that mediate the metabolism of these contaminants are polymorphic. We hypothesize that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in such genes may underline differences in biomarker concentrations and/or modify exposure-biomarker...
Article
BACKGROUND: Skunk currant is widely dispersed across North America and a feature of some traditional North American indigenous diets. Whereas many wild and cultivated berries have attracting interest related to their antioxidant phenolic metabolites and putative health benefits in humans, very few data are available concerning skunk currant phytoch...
Article
Full-text available
Aims/hypothesis: There is growing evidence that fruit polyphenols exert beneficial effects on the metabolic syndrome, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In the present study, we aimed to analyse the effects of polyphenolic extracts from five types of Arctic berries in a model of diet-induced obesity. Methods: Male C57BL/6 J...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) undertook this assessment to address concerns about potential human health risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants from a diet that includes traditionally prepared and harvested foods from local northern ecosystems. Traditional food, also known as country food, is central to the social, c...
Article
Selenium (Se) is highly abundant in marine foods traditionally consumed by Inuit of Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) and accordingly, their Se intake is among the highest in the world. However, little is known regarding the biological implications of this high Se status in this Arctic indigenous population. We used a method combining affinity chro...
Conference Paper
Background: Compared to traditional behavioral and clinical risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), the role of social determinants on the incidence of CVD among the circumpolar Inuit has received less attention. Objective: Analyze, using prospective data, the association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and risk of CVD am...
Article
Full-text available
Country foods are central to Inuit culture and replete in selenium (Se) and long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA). However, some marine country foods bioaccumulate high concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg). Se and n-3 are associated with several health benefits in Nunavik, Northern Quebec, but, recent studies show that prenata...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Amazonian riverside communities consume large quantities of freshwater fish, comparable to marine fish consumption of Inuit, Scandinavian and Japanese populations. Few studies have considered the relation of high fresh- water fish consumption and intake of omega-3 fatty acids (FA). Objective: The objective of the present study was to de...
Article
We evaluated the levels of selenium and mercury in five fish species commonly eaten by local populations of the Brazilian Amazon. Fish specimens were sampled in two lotic and three lentic areas at two different phases of the hydrological cycle. Analyses of Carbon and Nitrogen stable isotopes allowed us to confirm the trophic levels of the fish spec...
Article
Background: Visual functions are known to be sensitive to toxins such as mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb), while omega-3 fatty acids (FA) and selenium (Se) may be protective. In the Tapajós region of the Brazilian Amazon, all of these elements are present in the local diet. Objective: Examine how near visual contrast sensitivity and acquired color vis...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1995, the Caruso Project used an Ecosystem Approach to Human Health to examine mercury (Hg) exposure in fish-eating communities in the Brazilian Amazon and develop interventions to maximise nutrition from traditional diet and minimise toxic risk. In 1995, 2000 and 2006, this study followed fish consumption, Hg levels, and visual and motor fun...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To examine the associations between near and distant visual acuity and biomarkers of Hg, Pb, n-3 fatty acids and Se from the local diet of fish-eating communities of the Tapajós River in the Brazilian Amazon. Design: Visuo-ocular health and biomarkers of Hg (hair, whole blood, plasma), Pb (whole blood), Se (whole blood and plasma) and...