Diminishing risks related to oil-contamination found in bird eggs in 2022: Health Canada

Press Release

The Nunatsiavut Department of Lands and Natural Resources is pleased to advise that an updated health risk opinion by Health Canada on the consumption of seabird eggs and levels of oil-related contaminants shows lower health risks in eggs collected in 2022, especially in Postville, as compared to previous years.

Results showing an overall lower amount of oil-related contaminants in 2022, in both Nain and Postville, had already been shared in a public release and during community meetings last summer. However, this health risk opinion was necessary to confirm the actual significance of these reduced levels in terms of egg consumption. The new estimated maximum monthly intakes provided with this health risk opinion can be found in the tables below.

Following a diesel spill of 3,000 litres in Kaikopok Bay near Postville in 2020, the Nunatsiavut Government, in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada, began testing for oil contaminants to determine any long-term, lasting impacts. Results of the analyses showed elevated levels of oil compounds in Postville compared to Nain, and elevated levels in both communities for 2021. This resulted in a harvesting advisory and a request to Health Canada for a review of the potential health implications, the result of which were shared in July 2023.

The Nunatsiavut Government is continuing its efforts to understand the impacts of the diesel spill in Kaikopok Bay, as well as to get a better understanding of oil-contaminants in Nunatsiavut in general. Sampling efforts in 2023 included the expansion of seabird eggs and arctic char collections to all communities and the beginning of collections for salmon, mussels, sediments and water. Significant results will be made available as they are obtained.

For more information, please contact:

Frédéric Dwyer-Samuel
Environmental Assessment Manager
Nunatsiavut Government
(709) 922-2380 #227

Media Contact:

Nunatsiavut Government Communications


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