A new registry of information about former employees and contractual workers of the Baie Verte asbestos mine has been completed — almost five years after the project began.
Gathering the miners' work history and health status began in July 2008, and at the time, the project was expected to take a year and a half.
Collection data involved thousands of people who were employed at the mine between 1955 and 1995.
Former miners and their union have been raising questions about exposure to asbestos for decades. Years of research have shown that asbestos exposure can cause lung diseases, such as asbestosis — and cancers like mesothelioma.
In 1977, miners went on strike for 14 weeks demanding measures to reduce workers' exposure to asbestos particles.
The union hopes the registry and the final report will lead to more people receiving compensation for injuries caused by exposure.
All database registrants will be advised on how they can access their registry information, and how their health care providers may also access the information.
The final report, completed by SafetyNet, is expected to be finalized and released in the near future.