Union of New Brunswick Indians
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Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) encompass an array of anthropogenic organic and elemental substances and their degradation and metabolic by-products that have been found in the tissues of exposed animals.

Listing of POPs in the Stockholm Convention

As a consequence of bioaccumulation by, bio magnification of legacy and emerging, POPs are found in biota and humans.  The potential biological effects of these contaminants on exposed plants, wildlife and fish and the people who harvest them are extremely important.

Chlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins ( CDDs & CDFs

Dioxin-like Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

The World Health Organization's Dioxins and their effects on human health.

Highly dissolved in fat -this enables CDDs and CDFs to bio-accumulate in fatty tissues of living organisms, which results in higher levels in an individual than levels in the environment or in food The most vulnerable are the young who are exposed in-utero and post-partum (breast feeding) Although human exposure from food can be small, organochlorines do not break down easily and can build up in the body over time Affect human health at very low levels in terms of:

      • Cancer
      • Compromised immunity causing susceptibility to viruses and bacteria
      • Birth defects and miscarriages
      • Learning and behavioral impairments
Pesticide Spraying in New Brunswick

Spraying of pesticides containing POPs in New Brunswick during the 1950’s into the ‘70s


Contains information licenced under the GeoNB Open Data Licence

Utility Lines  1955-1972 - 17 years
Roads          1955-1973 - 18 years
Railroads      1950’s-1973 ~20 years

The intent of the spray program was to control vegetation growth at/or near features resulting in a corridor of sprayed vegetation
  • Among the oldest, most toxic and most environmentally destructive man-made pesticides
  • Agent Orange, Agent White and Agent Purple were utilized in New Brunswick
  • ~90% of exposure occurs through eating contaminated foods
  • First introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, used extensively in agriculture, forestry, and in home pest control -most were banned in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Typically very persistent, breaking down exceedingly slow once released into the environment, they are incorporated into ecosystems and food chains accumulating in sediments, plants and animal and remaining for years
  • Classed as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which cause cancer and other debilitating diseases such as birth defects, learning disabilities, immunological, behavioural, neurological and reproductive disorders in humans and animals