Ontario pledges $1M to help ailing miners exposed to toxic dust – by Sara Mojtehedzadeh (Toronto Star – October 11, 2017)


The Ontario government will commit $1 million in funding to assist Ontario miners who believe years of exposure to toxic aluminum dust left them with debilitating neurological diseases, the Star has learned

The Ministry of Labour is expected to announce Wednesday that it will finance the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to assess miners exposed to the substance known as McIntyre Powder establish whether their health conditions are linked to its use, and make compensation claims for work-related illnesses where possible.

But miners who already made claims under previous guidelines will not be eligible to have their cases reopened. As previously reported by the Star, thousands of miners across northern Ontario’s gold and uranium mines were routinely forced to inhale the powder, which was sold as a miracle antidote to lung disease.

Historical documents suggest it was created by industry-sponsored Canadian scientists bent on slashing compensation costs caused by illnesses like silicosis. Some workers have since claimed they were treated as “guinea pigs” in a human experiment aimed at cutting company costs.

“When you tell people in today’s context and the workplace protections that we now have, it seems pretty unbelievable that this happened,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn in an interview with the Star.

For the rest of this article: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/10/11/ontario-pledges-1m-to-help-ailing-miners-exposed-to-toxic-dust.html