Julie D. Hill

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Dr. John Bend

Second Advisor

Dr. Gideon Koren


Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN) community is located on the St. Clair River

downstream from the large industrial area, Chemical Valley. Members of the WIFN have historically been exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals which could contribute to adverse health, such as type 2 diabetes and chemophobia. We conducted a collaborative community-based biomonitoring study with volunteers from the WIFN. Hair and blood samples were used to assess exposure to POPs and heavy metals and to determine levels of stress within the community by the assay of cortisol on hair. Concentrations of POPs and heavy metals in volunteers were within ranges reported in the scientific literature for other populations, and were either lower or no different from 2 referent groups living in Ontario. Cortisol concentrations in hair of volunteers were higher compared to a referent group, indicating the possibility of enhanced stress from which chemophobia contribution is unknown.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.