Methyl mercury exposure by consumption of fish and marine mammals is associated with a variety of negative health outcomes, particularly during early developmental stages. In British Columbia, there is a lack of knowledge relating to exposures in the freshwater angler population, identified elsewhere as a population at risk. Exposure assessment methods can help to characterize the risk to populations from dietary fish consumption. In Canada, the Aboriginal population is particularly vulnerable due to traditional dietary intake of fish and marine mammals; however, managing the risk from methyl mercury needs a careful approach as changing cultural practices can negatively affect social determinants of health. Globally, the use of mercury in gold mining is increasing exposure to methyl mercury among communities consuming contaminated fish. An informed understanding of patterns of exposure, health outcomes, and culture provides a basis to construct effective policies for the protection of human health.
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