People of Lab West waiting two years for silicosis investigation

NDP Health Critic Gerry Rogers

It has been two years since Service NL committed to do a medical review of x-rays of mineworkers in Labrador West. Today in the House of Assembly, NDP Health Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) wanted to know why the review hasn’t yet started, despite the fact that a company has been selected to do the job.

“Despite the existence of a Silica Dust Code, there are even more cases of silicosis and cancer among the hard working miners in Labrador West,” Rogers said in the House today.

“In November 2010, Service NL issued a Request for a medical review of the x-rays of mine workers, and a company was chosen to do it. It’s November 2012, two years later. Two years later, Mr. Speaker and workers are still waiting for this study to start? How many more cases of Silicosis and cancer will it take?”

She then asked the minister, “Why has the medical review of these workers’ x-rays not started and when will it start?”

Health concerns about silicosis and lung cancer extend beyond the mine boundaries to the entire area. “The Silica Code of Practice was expected to result in safer air quality for miners and for the people of Labrador West,” Rogers said.

“I ask the Minister will the Department fund a dust study of the communities to ensure that the public health of the people of Labrador West is protected?”

WATCH THE VIDEO OR READ THE FULL EXCHANGE FROM QUESTION PERIOD

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