Prepared by: Paul Sampara, MEng, ROH
Occupational Hygienist, OHCOW
Last Updated April 18, 2023
Medical Review: Dr. Christine Oliver, MD, MPH, MS, FACPM, Medical Consultant OHCOW
Occupational Hygiene Review: Kevin Hedges PhD, CIH, Occupational Hygienist OHCOW
Editorial Review: Janice Martell, Occupational Health Coordinator, OHCOW
Ontario hard rock miners have been exposed to four major carcinogens: respirable crystalline silica (RCS), diesel exhaust (DE), radon or radon decay products (RDP)a and arsenic for many decades. The following is a summary of the findings from published scientific literature on the association between exposure to these carcinogens and the risk of lung cancer among miners and in particular among Ontario uranium or gold miners. A number of relevant studies have been published in the last 10-15 years.
- There is compelling evidence that Ontario hard rock miners exposed to RCS are at much greater risk of lung cancer than many other occupations also exposed to RCS.
- • Several studies have found statistically significant increased risk of lung cancer at concentrations of RCS substantially below the current Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training & Skills Development (MLITSD) occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 0.1 mg/m3.