McIntyre Powder Project founder not pleased with new report, pledges to continue research
After commissioning a scientific research review, the Workers Safety and Insurance Board has determined there is no connection between McIntyre Powder exposure and neurological diseases in miners who were exposed to the powder during their day-to-day work in the mines.
Janice Martell has compiled hundreds of files for the McIntyre Powder Project.
Martell says each one is another piece to the puzzle; which links the exposure of aluminum powder to a number of mine-related diseases and cancers.
"All of the mine workers, especially my dad, this is what started it. My dad, he was diagnosed in 2001. He started having symptoms in 2000 of Parkinson’s and he struggled immensely," she explained.
WSIB recently released a review by a scientific and regulatory consulting firm. It states no link has been found between illness and exposure to what is known as McIntyre Powder.
That doesn't surprise Martell. She claims the study was done using clinical literature.
"Their findings, as I read them, were basically, 'we don't know. We can't say. It doesn't look like there could be harm, but we're not really sure'. It kind of waters it down, when you're looking at the whole aluminum exposure overall and not necessarily looking at these particular miners," Martell.
Martel believes studies should focus on miners and she intends to continue her own research.
She is also getting help from a Laurentian University student Andrew Zarnke, who is focusing part of his PHD studies on McIntyre Powder exposure.
"Epidemiological studies are hard and that's a big part of what this registry is going to add. We've only been working on it for three or four months, but we're very close to starting the first set of experiments, so it'll be exciting and once I receive the McIntyre powder, we'll be ready to run," Zarnke said.
WSIB tells CTV that it is conducting another study with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, using historical records to see if exposed miners are more at risk of neurological disease. Results are expected by 2019.