The Steelworkers are holding a special clinic in Sudbury to find more miners who inhaled aluminum dust before heading underground. It was thought the dust would prevent silicosis, but that’s not what happened and the practice was stopped decades ago. The intake clinics are the result of an Elliot Lake woman trying to prove that breathing in the aluminum caused neurological diseases. Janice Martell’s dad is a former underground miner who has Parkinson’s.
Right now the WSIB doesn’t recognize neurological diseases as work-related and the goal is to change that. Martell says the Sudbury clinic will have many professionals who will record a lot of information about the retired miners. To help Blind River and Elliot Lake area retired miners get to the clinic, Martell says her union, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, is providing free bus rides to Sudbury.
And to speed up the intake clinic process, Martell is holding pre-registrations in Elliot Lake this Friday and Saturday at No Frills. The times are 8:30am to 3:00pm. She has another pre-registration event August 27th at the Massey Fair from 9:00am to 6:00pm. The Sudbury clinic is October 3rd and 4th at the Steelworkers Hall.