McIntyre Powder Project

  • 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. 

  • Return to Timmins Nov 22 & 23, 2016

    The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) is returning to Timmins, Ontario on November 22 & 23, 2016 to register mine workers who were exposed to aluminum dust known as "McIntyre Powder".  Exposed mine workers are eligible for registration, and deceased mine workers can be registered by their next-of-kin.  Information collected from participants will be included in the McIntyre Powder health and exposure database being compiled by OHCOW.  Each participant will also have an individual file with OHCOW to review occupational exposures and potentially related health issues.  Registration for this event will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT, PLEASE CALL JANICE MARTELL AT 1-800-461-7120.  Thanks, and we'll see you in Timmins!  

  • Mine Workers Exposed to McIntyre Powder can Register with OHCOW

    Mine workers exposed to McIntyre Powder (aluminum dust) are invited to REGISTER with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) for the McIntyre Powder database.  

    TO REGISTER, CALL 1-800-461-7120. 

    If you were exposed to aluminum dust (known as "McIntyre Powder) in the mines, you can register with OHCOW to be included in the McIntyre Powder database.  Registering will open an individual file for you with OHCOW, with your informed consent.  OHCOW staff (client service representatives, occupational hygienists, nurses, and doctors) will gather your employment history, workplace exposures, and health information.  You may be referred for further medical tests.  Once all of the necessary information is gathered regarding your situation, you will be provided with a feedback report from OHCOW regarding your individual circumstances.  

    Your information will also be included in a group database, along with other mine workers who were exposed to McIntyre Powder.  This group information will be used to identify possible trends in health issues among exposed workers, to help determine if there may be relationships between occupational exposure to aluminum dust and health problems.  


    Deceased mine workers who were exposed to McIntyre Powder aluminum dust can be registered with OHCOW by their next-of-kin.  For more information, call 1-800-461-7120.


    Exposed mine workers who are incapacitated can be registered by their substitute decision makers [the person who has legal Power of Attorney to act on their behalf]. For more information, call 1-800-461-7120.


  • FREE BUS tickets NOW AVAILABLE for Sudbury Intake Clinics

    If you live in the Elliot Lake, Ontario or Blind River, Ontario areas and want to participate in the October 3 & 4, 2016 McIntyre Powder Intake Clinics in Sudbury, Ontario FREE Coach BUS TICKETS are now available, sponsored by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).  

    For your Ticket(s) and to pre-register for the Intake Clinics, please contact McIntyre Powder Project founder Janice Martell at 1-800-461-7120.  

    For those who have already signed up for the FREE BUS, mail-outs with your Ticket(s) and the below Information Sheet are going out on Monday, September 19, 2016.  Please contact Janice Martell if you have not received your package by Tuesday, September 27, 2106



    OPSEU – Sponsored Coach Bus Travellers


    McIntyre Powder Intake Clinics – SUDBURY



    Monday, October 3, 2016 OR Tuesday, October 4, 2016


    United Steelworkers Hall, 66 Brady Street, Sudbury, ONT.





    8 a.m.: Bus Leaves A.J. Bus Lines parking lot, Blind River

    9 a.m.: Bus Leaves Civic Centre parking lot, Elliot Lake

    11 a.m.: Bus stops at Tim Horton’s in Sudbury

    12 p.m.: Bus arrives at United Steelworkers Hall

    12 to 4 p.m.: Participants complete the Intake Clinic process

    4 p.m.: Bus departs Steelworkers Hall parking lot

    6 p.m.: Bus arrives at Civic Centre, Elliot Lake

    7 p.m.: Bus arrives at A.J. Bus Lines, Blind River




    YOUR FREE BUS TICKET(S) ARE ENCLOSED for you and your support person (if applicable).

    You MUST have your TICKET with you in order to board the bus. 

    Please keep it in a safe place and bring it with you on the day that you are scheduled to attend the McIntyre Powder Intake Clinic.




    There are no restaurants within easy walking distance of the Steelworkers Hall.

    Arrangements have been made for “PEROGY PRINCESS” food truck to be on site in the parking lot of the Steelworkers Hall.  You are welcome to purchase food from this vendor (homemade perogies & cabbage rolls, mini-pies and tarts).

    Complimentary refreshments (e.g. coffee, tea, cookies, fruit) are available to participants of the Intake Clinic inside the Steelworkers Hall.

    You are welcome to bring food/snacks with you.

    You can purchase food during the late morning Tim Horton’s stop. 


    Memorial Album, Mining Master Record

    The McIntyre Powder Project will host an information table at the Intake Clinic. It will include information about the McIntyre Powder Project, the McIntyre Powder aluminum dust program, and how to apply for your Mining Master Record.

    A Memorial Album for deceased mine workers who were exposed to aluminum dust will be on display at the McIntyre Powder Project table.

    The Memorial Album contains photos, obituaries & stories of these mine workers, contributed by their families in their memory.  The memorial album is intended to showcase and honour the strength, pride, health struggles, and histories of the mine workers who risked their lives and health to earn a living to support their families. 

    You are welcome to contribute to this album, which stays with Janice Martell of the McIntyre Powder Project.  The album will be on display in an area that is accessible to the public and media. 



    Call me (Janice Martell) at 1-800-461-7120

This website is created and hosted by's Site Builder.