Monday, June 17, 2013

Ontario workers exposed to unsafe levels of Agent Orange

Panel concludes several hundred government workers were exposed to dangerous herbicide 

An independent panel named by Ontario's Natural Resources Ministry to investigate the province's use of Agent Orange has concluded workers with three government agencies were exposed to unsafe levels of the herbicide.
The panel was announced by the government in 2011 after former forestry and hydro workers said they had been exposed to the toxic herbicide 2,4,5-T — a dioxin-laced component of Agent Orange.
Chaired by Dr. Leonard Ritter, a University of Guelph toxicology professor and expert, the five-member expert panel was handed more than 45,000 government files in some way linked to Agent Orange.
Ritter said the panel concluded that Agent Orange exposure "substantially exceeded safe levels" for Ontario Hydro, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Transportation workers involved in mixing, loading and applying the herbicide.
The number of workers would have been in the hundreds, and "often it was the same groups that applied across various sites," said Ritter, adding that applications by the three agencies accounted for roughly 90 per cent of cases.
The herbicide was used by Ontario hydro officials to clear power line corridors across the province.


No comments:

Post a Comment