Processing history at Vale Canada’s (Inco’s) Ontario nickel-copper smelters pre-1950
CIM Journal, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2012
B. R. Conard
BRConard Consulting Inc., Oakville, ON
Occupational epidemiology of the nickel-producing industry has found that
inhalation exposures to certain nickel-containing substances are linked to
respiratory cancers and to nonmalignant respiratory endpoints. Establishing such
a linkage, however, is complicated by the fact that some diseases occur long
after exposure to a causal agent (i.e., some diseases have long latencies).
Furthermore, most chemical agents (especially nickel substances) vary
significantly in their toxicological properties and their concentrations in
workplace air have varied over processing history. Because of these
complications, it is critical to understand historical exposures to specific
nickel substances. To assist in this effort, the author focuses on the history
of smelting and its related processes at Vale Canada’s (Inco’s) Ontario
operations in the first half of the 20th century.