Rosalind Orr

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical Epidemiology


R.S. Roberts


This thesis is a study of chronic methylmercury exposure in two Indian Reserves in Northwestern Ontario - White Dog and Crassy Narrows.

The study consists of three major divisions which are the analysis of trends in human mercury levels in the two communities from 1970 to 1978; the design of a study to examine three major research questions; and conclusions drawn from the study.

The analysis of data from White Dog and Grassy Narrows indicate that mean human mercury levels have declined significantly in the 1970 to 1978 period. This attributed to the success of programs designed to discourage the consumption of local fish.

A cross-sectional prevalence study is designed to address the question concerning possible neurological effects of chronic methylmercury exposure in White Dog and Grassy Narrows. A second sub-study utilizes a sample of individuals for whom early information is available on peak mercury levels to examine the question of a mercury exposure gradient. A retrospective study of stillbirths and congenital abnormalities is designed to examine the effect of prenatal exposure to methylmercury.

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