|Toxins sickened Barrick Gold�s 326 Dominican miners, study says|
March 24th, 2010
A joint unofficial study revealed Wednesday that inhaled toxins sickened the 326 Barrick Gold mining company employees last week, when executives had initially blamed the mishap on food poisoning in the cafeteria of the site located in Pueblo Viejo (northeast).
The study by the Science Academy�s environmental team and the Santo Domingo State University UASD�s Environmental Commission and Chemistry Institute states that the illnesses weren�t from bacterial infection, noting that neither the symptoms nor the treatment were congruent with the workers� complaints.
It said symptoms such as tearing, eye and nose irritation, and muscular weakness in both extremities and strong, irritating and nauseous pains evident in the workers are more akin to a chemical poisoning and inhalation of a toxic gas, �and cannot be linked to a bacterial infection or a toxin of bacterial origin developed after the infection.�
The study also notes that there�s no coprology or copro-culture evidence of a bacterium infection which has been identified in all cases as the common causal factor cause which ailed the hundreds of workers.
Another aspect the study took into account that none of the patients were treated with anti-bacterial antibiotics, and whose recovery can be attributed to the fact of just having leaving the affected area, which bolsters the evidence of air tainted by toxic gases which affected the workers.