NEWS RELEASE: Uranium miner’s daughter “breaks the trail” for victims of toxic aluminum dust “treatment” (United Steelworkers – February 8, 2022)

TORONTO – A decade-long campaign led by the daughter of a deceased uranium miner has led to victory for workers struck by Parkinson’s disease after being subjected to aluminum dust inhalation “treatments” in their jobs.

Supported by her union, the United Steelworkers (USW), and other worker advocacy organizations, Janice Martell waged a relentless campaign to compel Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to recognize Parkinson’s as an occupational disease linked to the use of so-called McIntyre Powder in mining and other industries.

McIntyre Powder was an aluminum-based inhalant used between 1943 and 1979 in mines and other industries where workers might be exposed to silica dust. The theory, eventually proved false, was that inhaling the powder would protect workers’ lungs. Instead, it made workers sick, and led to many deaths.

The campaign led by Martell, the USW and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW), has finally achieved its goal. Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton has announced the government will recognize McIntyre Powder-related compensation claims from former workers and surviving family members.

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