McIntyre Powder Project

  • Death of Jim Hobbs, the inspiration for the McIntyre Powder Project - May 24, 2017

    My father, Jim Hobbs, had character and he was a character.  He did not express his emotions well, but he felt deeply and you always knew that he would be there when you needed him.  He had no tolerance for bullies, liars, or hypocrites, and no use for the lazy man. He worked hard and lived simply - protective of those he loved at whatever cost was required of him.  My dad gave up his life for us in the mines. This Project bears witness to that life, and to the cost borne by the workers of the McIntyre Powder experiment and their families.

    in love and solidarity,  Janice (Hobbs) Martell 

  • McIntyre Powder Project at Injured Workers' Day - June 1, 2017 TORONTO

    Please join McIntyre Powder Project Founder Janice Martell at Injured Workers Day - June 1, 2017 in Toronto. Schedule of events is below.  Janice will be speaking at the Rally, following the march from Queen's Park to the Ministry of Labour Head Office.  Janice will also be one of the panelists at the 2 p.m. event at OCAD auditorium.

    Injured Workers’ Day 2017 Schedule of Events


    ·         May 31st, Dinner at 7pm, Vigil at 8pm

    Overnight Vigil at Queen’s Park

    Cultural showcase to celebrate the resilience of injured workers, featuring music, poetry, storytelling, and satire. Led by the Women of Inspiration Injured Worker Group.


    ·         June 1st 11:30am, Queen’s Park


    Despite the epidemic of precarious, unsafe, and toxic work, the WSIB is more concerned with its own bottom line than with protecting the well-being of injured workers. We need to come together and demand our right to compensation. Join us on the streets!

    Event page:


    ·         June 1st, 2:00pm, OCAD Auditorium (100 McCaul St., room 190)

    Fighting Back Against Unsafe and Toxic Work

    A panel discussion featuring workers who are organizing in different sectors but on similar issues. We aim to open a conversation on how we can connect our organizing efforts and bring together a powerful, worker-led front for safe work and full compensation. Featured speakers include:

    o  Janice Martell – Founder of the McIntyre Powder Project

    o  Sue James – Retired worker from the Peterborough GE factory

    o  Heather Neiser – Healthcare worker and anti-workplace violence activist with OCHU

    o  Len Elliott – OPSEU executive member and Health & Safety advocate

    Event page:

  • New! Under "Links" Tab

    Click on the "LINKS" tab on this website for two exciting NEW! postings:  

    (1) April 6, 2017 - Fifth Estate update video on the work of the McIntyre Powder Project over the year since the January 29, 2016 Fifth Estate broadcast of "The Miner's Daughter" episode.

    (2) April 6, 2017 - CBC News Report: "Ontario health agency finds 'concerning' rate of ALS in miners exposed to McIntyre Powder"

  • FREE!! Public Presentation - 50 Guninea Pigs, 13 Rabbits, 20,000 Miners: The McIntyre Powder Experiment - March 23, 2017 at McMaster U

    The School of Labour Studies Speaker Series proudly presents:

    50 Guinea Pigs, 13 Rabbits, 20,000 Miners: The McIntyre Powder Experiment

    With Janice Martell

    Thursday, March 23, 2017


    L.R. Wilson Hall 1003



    Between 1943 and 1980, at least 20,000 miners were dosed by their employers with McIntyre Powder – respirable aluminum/aluminum oxide dust – on the unproven theory that it would prevent silicosis. Under threat of job loss and in the absence of informed consent, these miners became unwilling lab rats in a government-sanctioned industrial disease experiment.  No other humans have been exposed to aluminum in this form, intensity, duration, or by similar route of administration (an inhalable, airborne suspension).  The impacts on their health remain unknown.


    Janice Martell established the McIntyre Powder Project to seek answers about the aluminum dust program and its long-term health impacts.  Janice is the daughter of one of the miners of the McIntyre Powder experiment, Jim Hobbs - who suffers from Parkinson’s. In her first speaking engagement open to the general public, Janice will share her research discoveries about the history of the McIntyre Powder experiment, her experiences in challenging the workplace compensation system, and the stories of mining families that were left in the dust.


    About the Speaker:

    Janice Martell graduated in 1988 from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Psychology. She also holds a Certificate in Addiction Studies from McMaster University.  Janice has spent her career in the helping profession, working in child welfare, social assistance, mental health and addictions services. Janice lives with her husband Don in Elliot Lake, Ontario. She is passionate about her McIntyre Powder Project work, and remains grateful for the kinships being forged with mining families.


  • McIntyre Powder Project presents to international scientific researchers at Keele 12 Meeting on Aluminum March 7, 2017

    On March 7, 2017, the McIntyre Powder Project and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Inc. (OHCOW) will be presenting information about mine workers who were exposed to aluminum dust, to an international conference of scientific researchers of aluminum.  It is hoped that this meeting will result in research partnerships between OHCOW and scientists, to help determine if there are any associations between occupational aluminum dust exposure and health issues.   Our presentation abstract (summary) is below:

    PLATFORM 26 

    The McIntyre Powder Project: A retrospective study of the health effects of respirable aluminum dust in a cohort of Ontario miners 

    Martell, Janice1 ; Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Inc. 

    1. Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Inc. 

    Between 1943 and 1980, at least 20,000 miners were treated prophylactically with McIntyre Powder – a finely ground, respirable dust comprised of 85% aluminum oxide and 15% elemental aluminum. No other group has been exposed to aluminum in this form, intensity, duration, or by similar route of administration (an inhalable, airborne suspension). The only two clinical studies ever conducted on this specific group of workers both supported putative neurologic effects of McIntyre Powder exposure. Over an 18-month period, an informal voluntary registry of 322 exposed workers was compiled by the daughter of a McIntyre Powder-exposed miner – 65% of exposed workers had respiratory diagnoses or symptoms, and 33% had neurological disorders or symptoms. Based on these preliminary findings, a database of exposed mine workers is being compiled by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers to investigate the causal relationship between McIntyre Powder exposure and adverse health outcomes. 



    Archives of Ontario, Laurentian University Labour Studies Program, Elliot Lake Nuclear & Mining Museum, Office of the Worker Advisor, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Sudbury and District Labour Council, Timmins and District Labour Council, Timmins Museum, United Steelworkers District 6. We thank the volunteers at the McIntyre Powder Intake Clinics. We thank the miners and their survivors for participating. We thank the media for their interest in this story, with special thanks to The Fifth Estate. 

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