QUEEN'S PARK – Sudbury MPP Jamie West, the NDP critic for Labour, issued the following statement in response to a campaign from Sudbury mine workers to reduce workers’ exposure to dangerous levels of Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM):
"Ontarians are indebted to the miners who wake up every day and go to work in challenging environments. Our mining industry provides the raw materials, minerals and metals critical to our economy. No worker should ever be forced to jeopardize their health and safety simply by doing their job. Like all Ontarians, these mine workers deserve to live long, healthy lives.”
But our miners’ health is in danger. The research is clear: Ontario mine workers are getting ten times the recommended maximum exposure level of Diesel Particulate Matter. Ontario mines currently cap exposure at 400 mcg/mg — an amount that far exceeds the legal exposure level mandated by other provinces and by jurisdictions in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Lowering the maximum exposure level of Diesel Particulate Matter in mines will prevent cancer and other illnesses. It will save lives. The Doug Ford Conservative government must listen to miners and health and safety experts, and take urgent action to reduce the maximum exposure of Diesel Particulate in the Ontario’s mines.
The government has the ability to protect mine workers and prevent damage to their short and long-term health; it must step up and keep miners safe.”