Friday, October 20, 2006

Mercury Poisoning

The following story comes from British Columbia. At first reading and after researching what is considered to be safe levels of mercury exposure, I agreed with Worksafe BC and their decision to reject the claims based on the threshold limit of .025 milligrams per cubic metre of air.

Further research concluded that Worksafe BC are most likely misinterpreting the data. Mercury poisoning can come from foods you ingest or the air you breathe. A threshold level relative to mercury found in fish has been established that is believed to be safe and based on eating fish possibly once a week, but recommendations are that you do not eat the threshold limit every day.

The threshold limit of .025 milligrams per cubic metre of air does not mean that you can breath mercury vapors at that level every day without accumulating excess mercury in the body. It is not the threshold limit that poses a danger, it is the accumulation of mercury over extended periods that will result in mercury poisoning, just as eating fish contaminated with mercury, if eaten every day will result in mercury poisoning. Perhaps the teachers should be asking Worksafe BC to provide the data relative to where it states that breathing .025 milligrams per cubic metre of mercury contaminated air every day over a lifetime does not pose any threat of accumulations of mercury in the body. My advice for these teachers is to hire an expert in toxicology who will explain why it is not the threshold limit that will cause mercury poisoning, it is the accumulation of mercury in the body on a daily basis that will ultimately lead to mercury poisoning.

Gerry Miller .

Daily News Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Worksafe B.C. rejects Cranbrook teachers' mercury poisoning claim

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OH&S News
By: Source: The Canadian Press
Oct 18, 2006 15:39

CRANBROOK, B.C. (CP) - Claims by four Mount Baker secondary school teachers that they were poisoned by mercury vapours at the school have been rejected by Worksafe B.C.

Spokesman Scott McCloy said an investigation found that while the teachers were exposed to mercury the level of exposure did not amount to mercury poisoning.

Chris Johns, president of the Cranbrook District Teachers Association, said the union will appeal the ruling by Worksafe B.C., formerly known as the Workers Compensation Board.

McCloy said the investigation took months and examined medical histories, exposure reports and reports from prevention and hygiene officers.

"And when we looked at all the evidence we determined that these people did not have an occupational disease," he said.

"That's not to say they don't feel sick. Clearly they believe the symptoms they have are a result of their work environment. But we could find no evidence whatsoever that their work environment caused whatever symptoms they have."

Teachers filing the claims said they suffered nausea, headaches, extreme lethargy, tremors and mood swings after teaching for long periods of time in science classrooms where mercury was present.

McCloy said Worksafe B.C. is not doubting the presence of mercury in the classrooms, but the amount did not constitute an occupational health hazard.

"The highest levels of mercury that were recorded by our officers and an independent environmental consulting firm hired by the district were well below the maximum exposure limits," he said.

The maximum benchmark exposure limit for mercury is .025 milligrams per cubic metre of air daily for workers exposed to mercury over a working lifetime, McCloy said.

McCloy said the WCB has received a total of 85 claims to do with mercury from schools in the East and West Kootenays, but 77 of these were information claims only and not seeking action at this time.

McCloy said the teachers turned down by the WCB are free to appeal to an outside body called the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal.

Keith Nielson, chairman of the Southeast Kootenay school district board, said the ruling vindicates the stand of the board to some degree.

"We always felt the levels of mercury reported were well under those set by the WCB. If we didn't we would never have allowed teachers or students to be in that situation."

Nielson said as far as he knows all the mercury has been removed from Mount Baker and other school buildings.

"Our policy now is that there is to be no mercury in any of our schools and mercury is not to be used in any teaching situation."
By Gerry Warner
(Cranbrook Daily Townsman) PRINT VERSION


Workplace Disease Killing Thousands In Canada

Occupational Disease: Illness associated with a particular occupation. The Industrial Revolution's long working hours, dim light, lack of fresh air, and dangerous machinery fostered illness and injury in general, but certain occupations (e.g., mining) carry particular risks (e.g., black lung, a type of pneumoconiosis). Twentieth-century innovations (including use of new chemicals and radioactive materials) caused an increase in certain cancers (e.g., leukemia and bone cancer in workers exposed to radiation) and injuries. So-called “sick buildings” (in which pathogens grow in air circulation systems) contribute to health problems among office workers. Occupational medicine also covers work-related emotional stresses. See also asbestosis .

Now that you have a better understanding of this workplace disease, we will get into why it is that so many Canadian workers who fall victim to this workplace problem, are left to die on their own.
We will investigate why it is that every single Workers Compensation Board and Union across Canada turn their backs on their clients and members. Unions are no longer the protector of the working man and woman , unions have turned into pretty much just another greedy business.

Occupational disease amongst welding, pipefitting, insulators and yes even our military is a growing problem , just look at how many in New Brunswick were made ill from the spraying of herbicides laced with dioxins, such as agent orange and agent purple. Asphalt is used in highway construction and it has been rumoured that the oil from old power transformers is being mixed with the asphalt, these oils contain PCB's , think about that for a minute, now is it any wonder those who work in this industry are dying from cancers???

This blog is set up so you can have a place to tell your story , a story is just a story until you add a face and a name to it, please speak out , lets us know, tell us, what has “YOUR” WCB Board and “YOUR” UNION didn’t do for you. Send in your stories and please go public, tell us how you have been abuse by the system.

It is time citizens injured or made ill from their workplace, who have yet had their injuries and illnesses address join together.

Articles will be posted on this site as long as they are signed