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Is It Smoking or Silica Dust?

I was employed at at a mine as an underground mechanic for 23 years. In that time I was exposed to lung damaging working conditions.

COPD as a result of working in the mines

I was diagnosed with COPD. My Respiratory Care Doctor examined my MRI scans & said I had scarring of the lungs, and that it would be too invasive to take a biopsy.

Applying for worker’s compensation

I made an application to the Workers Compensation Board in my area for compensation. They said because I had previously smoked for 17 years that was the cause, not the dust and conditions in the mine. My company has stated they have a problem with silica that they can not control. Since retiring from there in 2014 I have been on 3% oxygen to assist with my breathing. I made 4 appeals to the Workers Compensation Board they said the same thing my smoking 17 years previous was the cause and because I can’t have a biopsy to positively show silica in the lungs I don’t know what to do. I will have a mortality test at my death to find out the cause. There are more miners having lung problems at the mine.

Yours, Edward Youdan

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  • Mendo Bruce
    2 weeks ago

    You could discuss your options with a good personal injury attorney (The initial consultation is often free) or do a search to see if there are any class action suits against the mine.

    Unfortunately, I would guess that BOTH smoking and silica dust have caused your lung disease. Also, it is doubtful a biopsy would establish the cause even if they could do it.

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Edward – Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I hear your frustration at the system and the situation. I’m sorry for that. I would have hoped after four appeals something might be reconsidered.
    I hope at some point justice is served for all of the miners that have worked under such conditions and how suffer becuase of it.
    Best – Lyn (site moderator)

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