• Risk of Parkinson's Linked with McIntyre Powder Exposure

    On May 7, 2020, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) released the results of a March 12, 2020 study conducted by Paul Demers and colleagues of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC).  

    The study found an increased risk of Parkinson's and parkinsonism among McIntyre Powder-exposed miners in Ontario, Canada. 

    The study also found an increased risk of Alzheimer's and motor neuron disease associated with miners overall in Ontario, Canada.  This would be of particular interest to anyone diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), since the researchers noted that 70% of all motor neuron disease cases are ALS. 

    The study concluded: "This study found an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease associated with exposure to McIntyre Powder among Ontario miners, in comparison to both unexposed miners and the general population of Ontario. The risk appeared to increase with duration of exposure and was stronger for people exposed after 1956, when the formulation was changed to decrease the particle sizes. The association was also stronger for gold miners than uranium miners. No association was found between McIntyre Powder exposure and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or motor neuron disease, although miners overall had an increased risk compared to the general population. These other associations deserve further research to identify whether they may be related to other suspected neurological hazards in mining." (INVESTIGATION OF MCINTYRE POWDER EXPOSURE AND NEUROLOGICAL OUTCOMES IN THE MINING MASTER FILE COHORT: FINAL REPORT - Occupational Cancer Research Centre, March 12, 2020). 

    Between 1943 and 1979-80, employees at many mines, factories, and industries were required by their employers to inhale McIntyre Powder (finely ground aluminum dust) each work shift, on the unproven theory (since disproven) that it would prevent the lung disease silicosis.  McIntyre Powder was used in mines and factories in Canada, United States, Western Australia, Mexico, Chile, and the Belgian Congo, plus Geevor Tin Mine in England.  For a list of known industries that were licensed to use McIntyre Powder, see our "Resources" tab. 

    If you (or your deceased loved one) worked in mining, factories, or industries where McIntyre Powder may have been used and you have Parkinson's or parkinsonism, you may be eligible for workers' compensation, or your Estate may be eligible for survivor benefits. Contact the local workers' compensation authority in the province/state/country where you (or your loved one) worked. In Ontario, Canada, you can make a claim by contacting the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) at: 1-800-387-0750.  

    If you (or your deceased loved one) worked in mining in Ontario and you are/were diagnosed with Alzheimer's or motor neuron disease (particularly ALS), you may also wish to contact the Ontario WSIB to make a claim. 

    For further information, you are welcome to contact the McIntyre Powder Project founder, Janice Martell, at 1-800-461-7120. 

  • 500 Mine workers on MPP Voluntary Registry

    In April 2015, the McIntyre Powder Project began compiling a voluntary registry, documenting health issues experienced by mine workers (and in one case, a factory worker) who had been exposed to McIntyre Powder aluminum dust.  To date, 500 workers have registered with the McIntyre Powder Project or were registered by their surviving next of kin.  Nearly 200 are deceased - 38 of whom died since the MPP voluntary registry was established. 

    Most of the workers have multiple diagnosed health conditions and/or symptoms, with respiratory problems affecting 317 (172 with diagnosed conditions, 145 with symptoms but no diagnosis, 12 have sarcoidosis).  Neurological conditions were reported for 153 workers, including 99 with diagnosed conditions and 58 with symptoms but no diagnosis (55 of which involved memory issues).  Of the diagnosed neurological conditions, there are 44 with Parkinson's, 31 with Alzheimer's, 17 with dementia, and 7 with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease).  121 workers report cardiovascular conditions.  Cancers were reported for 110 workers, 51 of which were lung cancer, and 4 with multiple myeloma. 

    The McIntyre Powder aluminum prophylaxis program was a human experiment.  Documenting the health issues experienced by the affected workers and seeking answers for those workers and their surviving families remains the life work of the McIntyre Powder Project.  Many thanks to those who have contributed their stories. Your courage is making history and changing the future for those at risk for occupational disease.

  • McIntyre Powder researchers and JFIW bike riders coming to Elliot Lake May 25 & 26, 2018!

    The McIntyre Powder Project is thrilled to host expert researchers and Justice for Injured Workers cyclists for FREE public information and reception events in Elliot Lake and Massey, Ontario on May 25 & 26, 2018.

    Details below! This will be of special interest to mine worker and their families, health care providers, and researchers, along with community members in general.   Opportunity for learning, questions, discussion, and participation in displays highlighting occupational disease and McIntyre Powder miners' memorial.

    Friday, May 25th - Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre (Theatre), 255 Hwy 108, Elliot Lake, Ontario 

    1-4 p.m. FREE public Seminar: "Occupational Disease in Mining and McIntyre Powder Research"

    Presentation Schedule: 

    1 to 2 p.m.  McIntyre Powder Project & Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

    Janice Martell, Dave Wilken

    o   History of the McIntyre Powder aluminum prophylaxis program

    o   Updates on McIntyre Powder-exposed worker group at OHCOW 

     2 to 3 p.m.  Occupational Cancer Research Centre – Cancer Care Ontario

    Dr. Paul Demers, Dr. Victoria Arrandale

    o   Occupational disease in mining

    o   Study of McIntyre Powder-exposed mine workers and neurological disorders

     3 to 3:30 p.m. Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian University

    Dr. Douglas Boreham, Andrew Zarnke, PhD candidate, Dr. Christopher Thome

    o   Radon and McIntyre Powder 

    3:30 to 4 p.m.  Wrap-Up, Justice for Injured Workers Bike Ride, Announcements

    o  Opportunity for further questions from audience        

    o   Announcements for evening events and 2018 Justice for Injured Workers bike ride

    Friday, May 25th - Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre (Theatre), 255 Hwy 108, Elliot Lake, Ontario 

    7-9 p.m.  RECEPTION EVENT for the 2018 JFIW Bike Ride -  FREE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! All are welcome.

    • Welcome to the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG)'s cyclists for the 2018 Justice for Injured Workers Bike Ride 
    • Workers Comp Is a Right campaign
    • McIntyre Powder Project - Overview and In Memoriam

    Friday, May 25th - Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre (LOBBY outside Theatre), Elliot Lake, Ontario 

    MEMORIAL DISPLAY & INFORMATION TABLES: The lobby outside the Civic Centre theatre will host information tables and memorial displays dedicated to mining, occupational disease awareness, and the Workers Comp Is A Right campaign. FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

    SIGN THE MINERS' COVERALLS: A set of miners' coveralls will become a memorial display bearing the names of mine workers who are living with or have died with an occupational disease.  Travelling to Timmins, Elliot Lake, Massey, and Sudbury in May 2018 - and to Queen's Park in Toronto for Injured Workers Day on June 1, 2018 - these coveralls will bring awareness to occupational diseases in the mining industry. Any mine worker living with an occupational disease can sign their name on the coveralls OR their names can be signed by family members of mine workers who died with an occupational disease.

    VIEW & CONTRIBUTE TO MEMORIAL ALBUM: The McIntyre Powder Project's MEMORIAL ALBUM will be at all events in May. Family members of deceased McIntyre Powder-exposed mine workers can contribute photos or stories to the memorial album, which is open to the public and media.

    Saturday, May 26th - 7 a.m. Miners' Memorial Park, Elliot Lake 

     7 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Jim Hobbs Memorial Ride - 2018 JFIW bike ride from Elliot Lake to Massey

    Starts: 7 a.m. - Elliot Lake Miners' Memorial Park- Hwy 108 North (600 metres north of Hampton Inn) 

    Ends: 1 p.m. - Massey Arena, 455 Government Road, Massey, Ontario 

    Reception event and public presentation follows at Massey Arena from 1-3 p.m.

    The McIntyre Powder Project and members of the Jim Hobbs family and Massey community will welcome the 2018 JFIW cyclists as they arrive from Elliot Lake. Information, memorial display, and FREE public presentation on McIntyre Powder Project and Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups.

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