Nfld. & Labrador

IOC responds to silica dust study findings in Labrador City

The Iron Ore company of Canada is responding to a call by the steelworkers union to do more to control dust levels on site after the results of a long awaited dust study on mine workers.

Company encourages employees with health concerns to contact a doctor

Results from a long awaited study on silica dust at the IOC mine in Labrador City show 86 people have lung abnormalities and 35 have suspected silicosis. (CBC)

The Iron Ore Company of Canada says it is working to reduce the amount of dust workers are exposed to.

Last week the steelworkers union local in Labrador City told the CBC findings from a long awaited silica dust study were somewhat worrying.

Ron Thomas of the USW says workers receiving letters should see a doctor and apply for workers' compensation. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Of 636 people tested, 86 showed some lung abnormalities and 35 people had suspected cases of silicosis, some of which had already been reported.

Silicosis is a lung disease which causes scarring on the tissues of the lung. It shows up a number of years after exposure and can increase the risk of other diseases including lung cancer.

The provincial government said people who took part in the study have been informed of their results.

In a statement the IOC said it supported the "follow up dust study" as part of its commitment to the health and safety of its workers.

"We encourage any current or former employees who have concerns to see their doctor, or to contact IOC Occupational Health for support," the statement read.

IOC said it would comment further on the study once it has been finalised.