Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Mercury, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Selenium, and Fatty Acids in Tribal Fish Harvests of the Upper Great Lakes. Risk Anal 2018 10;38(10):2029-2040



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85046822737   1 Citation


The Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority monitors fish contaminants in Anishinaabe (Great Lake Native American) tribal fisheries. This article updates previously reported trends in two persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) substances that are the primary contributors to consumption advisory limits for these fish: methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Also, we report, for the first time, an analysis of nutritional benefit bioindicators and metrics in these same Upper Great Lakes fish harvests: selenium (Se) and omega-3 fatty acids (PUFA-3s). A novel risk/benefit quantification originally presented by Ginsberg et al. is reported here to characterize the tradeoffs between fatty acid benefits and toxic MeHg health outcomes. We also report a Se benefit metric to characterize the possible protective value against MeHg neurotoxicity based on Ralston et al. Congruent with Anishinaabe cultural motivations to consume fish from their ancestral fisheries, nutritional content was high in locally caught fish and, in some respects, superior to farmed/store-bought fish. These Great Lakes fish still contained levels of PBTs that require careful education and guidance for consumers. However, the contaminant trends suggest that these fish need not be abandoned as important (both culturally and nutritionally) food sources for the Anishinaabe who harvested them.

Author List

Dellinger MJ, Olson JT, Holub BJ, Ripley MP


Matthew J. Dellinger PhD Assistant Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Fatty Acids
Food Contamination
Great Lakes Region
Health Promotion
Health Status Disparities
Indians, North American
Polychlorinated Biphenyls
Risk Assessment
Species Specificity
Treatment Outcome
Water Pollutants, Chemical
jenkins-FCD Prod-387 b0ced2662056320369de4e5cd5f21c218c03feb3