Former miners were forced to inhale an aluminum powder in Ontario between 1943 and 1979 that is now linked with Parkinson’s disease
In the late 1970s, a 20-year-old Roger Genoe would try to sneak through the tunnels of an Ontario uranium mine to avoid a room where he and other workers were forced to inhale an aluminum powder that was supposed to be a preventive step against silicotic lung disease.
“They would catch you and send you back there. If you didn’t go you would get penalized,” Genoe, now 66, said on Thursday during a conference call by the New Solutions journal that featured former miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre powder in Ontario between 1943 and 1979, when authorities were trying to tackle the rise in cases of silicosis.
“Once the room was full, a guy there would close the doors and say, ‘OK boys, here we go,’ the McIntyre powder is going to be exposed to you,” the former electrician said. “If you tried to cover up with your t-shirt to breathe cleaner air, they came by and said you can’t do that. The trouble with that is, later on in life, this is what you find out, the difficulties.”
In February, Ontario formally recognized the link between the powder and the development of Parkinson’s disease, and made a change in its Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to allow workers to claim compensation if they were exposed to the powder and developed the disease.
For the rest of this article: https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/treated-as-guinea-pigs-says-former-worker-forced-to-inhale-mcintyre-powder-as-miners-await-apology