The study reports on mercury levels and other contaminants in fish at various selected sites in the province, including those affecting the two First Nations in question. The levels are still above the Health Canada guidelines of 0.5 parts per million for safe consumption, e.g. northern pike. Others, such as whitefish, are safe for the human diet. Health Canada suggests that populations that consume fish on a regular basis should consider the safer guideline of 0.2 parts per million. It is important that people should refer to the Ontario guidelines for the consumption of mercury contaminated freshwater fish.
Unfortunately, science cannot yet say how long the poisonous mercury will last in affected waters, but it could be several decades. Almost forty years have gone by since mercury poisoning was first discovered in the area studied in the Cosway Report. This toxin remains a serious health threat.
Eligibility to Apply for Benefits
For a person to be eligible to apply for benefits (per legislation), that person must be a current member of Grassy Narrows First Nation or Wabaseemoong Independent Nations; a past member of one of the two bands; or a registered Indian who was customarily resident on one the two first nation communities prior to the first day of October 1985