Advocates for workers who were exposed to aluminum dust while working in Northern Ontario mines will present their work on a world stage next week in Vancouver during the 2017 Keele Meeting on Aluminum.
Launched by Prof. Chris Exley of Keele University in Staffordshire, England, the biennial meeting draws researchers from around the world who are experts in aluminum.
Janice Martell, a resident of Elliot Lake, has been invited to the conference to present information on the McIntyre Powder Project, an initiative she launched in an effort to get answers, and potentially compensation, for those miners who inhaled finely ground McIntyre Powder aluminum dust as a condition of employment at the mines between 1943 and 1979.
There are suggestions that the aluminum they inhaled could be linked to neurotoxicity and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gherig’s disease).
Martell was moved to action after her own father, a retired miner, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001.
Along with Martell, three Canadian researchers will present their research: Fiona McNeill of McMaster University in Hamilton will present on in vivo measurement of aluminum in bone; Housam Eidi of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver will look at neurotoxicity in mice injected with aluminum; and Angela Juby at the University of Alberta in Edmonton will speak about aluminium levels in Alzheimer’s disease subjects involved in a ketogenic diet study.
The 2017 meeting, held March 4 to 8, features aluminum researchers from the United Kingdom, Moldova, China, Czech Republic, Spain, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Japan, Luxembourg, Australia, Austria, France, and Finland.