Study on health impact of mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows to be released – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
May 24, 2018

TORONTO _ Grassy Narrows First Nation is to release a study today on health impacts in the northern Ontario community linked to eating mercury-contaminated fish.

It says the report includes recommendations for government actions to support improving health and well-being in the Indigenous community.

Mercury contamination has plagued the English-Wabigoon River system for half a century, since a paper mill in Dryden, Ont., dumped 9,000 kilograms of the substance into the river systems in the 1960s.

The symptoms of mercury poisoning include impaired peripheral vision, muscle weakness, impaired speech, hearing and cognitive function, and numbness or stinging pain in the extremities and mouth.

The Ontario government has pledged to spend $85 million on cleaning up the site of a paper mill upstream from Grassy Narrows where the mercury was first dumped.

And the federal government has committed to funding a treatment centre that the community believes will cost about $4.5 million, but a feasibility study needs to be completed to determine the cost.


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