Diesel fumes, silica dust and radon gas—to name three examples of well-known air pollutants in mines— continue to affect thousands of miners across Canada and the world. Too little attention is paid to the health costs and impacts of this reality.
Thanks to the work of organizations such as the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) in Ontario, Canada, we get to know a bit more about this ongoing reality.
Yesterday, at the first “Lung Cancer and Prevention in Mining Symposium” held in Sudbury, Paul Demers from OCRC made a powerful plea for more government and industry action to prevent future cancer cases and save more lives.
While Mr. Demers acknowledged that carcinogenic air pollutants have reduced in mines overtime, he also insisted that more needs to be done. He argued that “each new lung cancer case costs the provincial government around $790,000 a year,” not to mention the loss of lives and the destruction of families.
Although there is not a single solution to this problem, OCRC argues that electrification of mine equipment and more investments in better ventilation and air filtration systems could go a long way to help achieve this goal.
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