McIntyre Powder Project

  • Parkinson's related to McIntyre Powder exposure officially recognized as an Occupational Disease

    Parkinson's is now officially recognized by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as an OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE for workers who were previously required to inhale McIntyre Powder (finely ground aluminum dust) on the job. 

    On June 23, 2020, the WSIB (the workers' compensation authority in Ontario, Canada) published an "Adjudicative approach document" on its website under "McIntyre Powder Update", to explain "how we make decisions about Parkinson's disease claims related to McIntyre Powder".  The initial paragraphs of this document are reproduced below, but the full document is available on the WSIB website.  

    WHAT THIS MEANS FOR WORKERS OR THEIR ESTATES (Next-of Kin) in Ontario, Canada:

    If you were a mine or factory worker in Ontario, Canada with a diagnosis of Parkinson's, and you were exposed to McIntyre Powder during the course of your employment, you should file a workers' compensation claim with the Ontario WSIB.  If the worker is deceased, the worker's next-of-kin should file a WSIB claim on behalf of the Estate.  

    In cases where the worker or Estate is unsure about McIntyre Powder exposure, you are welcome to contact Janice Martell of the McIntyre Powder Project for assistance at 1-800-461-7120. 

    WHAT THIS MEANS FOR WORKERS OR THEIR ESTATES (Next-of Kin) anywhere else in the WORLD:

    McIntyre Powder was historically used (between 1943-1979) as a compulsory preventative medical treatment (prophylaxis) for workers in multiple workplaces in Canada, the United States, Western Australia, Belgian Congo, Mexico and Chile, plus an extended trial at Geevor Tin Mine in England. [Refer to list of known industrial licensees under our "RESOURCES" tab on this website].  McIntyre Powder was primarily used in industries (mines and factories) where workers were exposed to silica dust, on the unproven (since disproven) theory that inhaling finely ground aluminum dust would prevent the lung disease silicosis.  

    In March, 2020 an epidemiological data linkage study conducted by the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) in Ontario, Canada, found an increased risk of Parkinson's and parkinsonism in Ontario miners related to McIntyre Powder exposure. A copy of this study can be found on the Occupational Cancer Research Centre website (https://www.occupationalcancer.ca/2020/mcintyre-powder-study/).

    If you were a mine or factory worker anywhere else in the WORLD with a diagnosis of Parkinson's, and you were exposed to McIntyre Powder during the course of your employment, you should contact your local workers' compensation authority to file a claim.  If the worker is deceased, the worker's next-of-kin should contact your local workers' compensation authority to file a claim on behalf of the Estate. 

    In cases where the worker or Estate is unsure about McIntyre Powder exposure, you are welcome to contact Janice Martell of the McIntyre Powder Project for assistance at 1-800-461-7120. 

     

    WSIB Adjudicative Approach Document highlights:

    "Initial entitlement

    The WSIB recognizes Parkinson’s disease resulting from occupational exposure to McIntyre Powder as an occupational disease.

    Initial entitlement is allowed for Parkinson’s disease that occurs due to the nature of one or more employments in which the worker was exposed to McIntyre Powder.

    Claims for initial entitlement for Parkinson’s disease will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, entitlement decisions for Parkinson’s disease must be based on the merits and justice of the case, taking into account all of the facts and circumstances.

    Purpose

    The purpose of this adjudicative approach document is to provide entitlement guidelines for claims of Parkinson’s disease in Ontario miners with McIntyre Powder exposure.

    Guidelines

    Determining initial entitlement In determining the work-relatedness of Parkinson’s disease claims, the decision-maker will consider whether:

    1. the nature of the worker’s employment resulted in exposure to McIntyre Powder;

    2. the worker has an established diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease; and

    3. the exposure to McIntyre Powder preceded the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

    If established, the above will generally be considered persuasive evidence that the worker’s employment made a significant contribution to the worker’s Parkinson’s disease."

    (Source: WSIB website, McIntyre Powder Update, accessed July 2, 2020: https://www.wsib.ca/en/mcintyre-powder-update)


  • 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. 


  • How to Register for the McIntyre Powder Project Intake Clinics

    HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE McINTYRE POWDER PROJECT INTAKE CLINICS

    HOW TO REGISTER: Call Janice Martell at 1-800-461-7120

    NOTE from Janice:  Due to my employment hours (which support my family and fund the work of the McIntyre Powder Project), on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., you will reach my voice mail.  If you reach my voice mail at any other time, I am likely helping other mine workers or their survivors with the pre-registration process.  Please leave a voice mail message, including your name and phone number, and I will call you back as soon as I am able to, OR please try calling me at another time.   Thank you so much! 

    WHO CAN REGISTER?   

    ALL mine workers (miners, electricians, mechanics, millwrights, crusher house & mill workers, etc.) or other workers (e.g. Ministry of Labour mine inspectors) who were exposed to McIntyre Powder aluminum dust at ANY mine (not just McIntyre mine) can still register with OHCOW (Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers) to be part of this study on the health effects of aluminum dust.

    DECEASED MINE WORKERS:  Deceased mine workers who were exposed to the aluminum dust can be registered by their next-of-kin (some legal documents may need to be provided).

    INCAPACITATED MINE WORKERS: Incapacitated mine workers who were exposed to the aluminum dust can be registered by their guardian/caregivers (e.g. whoever has Power of Attorney).

    WHAT WILL REGISTERING DO? 

    Registering will open a file for the mine worker at OHCOW (Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers), and will add the worker's story to the overall picture of the types of health issues suffered by workers who were exposed to aluminum dust.

    ** For more information about OHCOW’s role at the McIntyre Powder Project Intake Clinics, see the June 10, 2016 “News” posting on this website titled:  “OHCOW Statement on McIntyre Powder Intake Clinics”.**

     

    Details on the Next McIntyre Powder Project Intake Clinic:

    WHEN?  Monday, October 3, 2016 and Tuesday, October 4, 2016

    Clinic Hours:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    WHERE?  United Steelworkers Hall, 66 Brady Street, Sudbury, Ontario

    OPSEU Bus - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has generously sponsored a coach bus on both days of the Sudbury Intake Clinics.  The bus will leave from AJ Bus Lines lot in Blind River, Ontario at 8 a.m. sharp and will pick up Intake Clinic participants at the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre parking lot in Elliot Lake, Ontario for 9 a.m. departure to Sudbury. The bus will stop at Tim Horton's restaurant in Sudbury at approximately 11 a.m. for a meal break (at your own cost - you are also welcome to pack a lunch).  The bus is expected to arrive by 12 noon or before at the Steelworkers Hall in Sudbury for the Intake Clinic.  The bus will leave the Steelworkers Hall for the return trip at 4 p.m. sharp.  Thanks to OPSEU Provincial office, OPSEU Region 6 office, and OPSEU Local 604 in Elliot Lake, coach bus transportation will be provided FREE to Intake Clinic participants  and their support persons.  RESERVED SEATING ONLY ON THE BUS.  To Reserve your seat on the OPSEU bus, call Janice Martell at 1-800-461-7120 to pre-register for the Sudbury Intake Clinic.  Please notify Janice that you require a seat on the OPSEU bus when you pre-register for the Sudbury Intake Clinic.  Thank you!

     

    QUESTIONS? 

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT JANICE MARTELL AT 1-800-461-7120. 



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