Ernest Mastromatteo was a Canadian occupational physician born in Toronto, Ontario on December 16, 1923. His work includes research into threshold limit values of hazardous workplace materials including extensive research on health hazards associated with nickel mining and processing. He has also done much research and advocacy on broader issues of occupational health including the physiological effects of exposure to other chemical and mechanical hazards such as dust, fumes, and noise, ethical issues around health surveillance of workers and the human rights of workers as they relate to a safe workplace.
Dr. Mastromatteo graduated from Bloor Collegiate Institute in 1940 and was admitted to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1942. He graduated with an MD in 1947. Dr. Mastromatteo also received a Diploma in Public Health in 1950, and a Diploma in Industrial Health in 1958, both from the University of Toronto. In 1958 Dr. Mastromatteo earned Certification in Occupational Medicine (FABPM) from the American Board of Preventative Medicine by Examination, and in 1981, he earned Certification in Occupational Medicine (CCBOM) from the Canadian Board of Preventative Medicine by Examination. In 1982, Dr. Mastromatteo became a Member through distinction of Faculty of Occupational Medicine, London.
Following his graduation from the University of Toronto in 1947, Dr. Mastromatteo did his Junior Internship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto from 1947-1948 and his Senior Internship in Medicine at Ottawa General Hospital. In 1949, he became Medical Director of Virden Local Health Unit in Virden, Manitoba. In 1952, Dr. Mastromatteo joined the Ontario Ministry of Health, where he was appointed director in 1968. Between 1966 and 1974, Dr. Mastromatteo was also a Consultant on Occupational Diseases for the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board and a Professor at the School of Hygiene at the University of Toronto in addition to his role at the Ministry of Health.
In 1974, Dr. Mastromatteo left his three roles in Canada to work as the Chief of the Occupational Health and Safety Branch of the International Labour Office in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1976, he returned to Canada to begin working as the Director of Occupational Health for INCO Limited, a mining company. From 1976 to 1997, Dr. Mastromatteo also served as an honorary consultant for the Occupational Health Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. In 1985, Dr. Mastromatteo left his position at INCO to work as a consultant for the Occupational Health and Safety Branch of the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board until 1990. Between 1984 and 1994 Dr. Mastromatteo was the Program Director for Organization Resources Counselors Canada Inc. in Toronto. In 1987, Dr. Mastromatteo was appointed Professor Emeritus of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mastromatteo never formally retired and continued to do consulting work after leaving ORC Inc.
Dr. Mastromatteo was very active in a number of professional associations throughout his career, most notably the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, where he was president from 1969-1970, and Chair of the TLV (Threshold Limit Value) Committee from 1985-1990. Dr. Mastromatteo was also a member of the Canadian Medical Association, the Ontario Medical Association, where he chaired both the Section on Occupational Health and the Committee on Public Health, and he was a member of the Ontario Thoracic Society where he was President from 1966-1968. Dr. Mastromatteo was also a member of the Ramazzini Medical Society and the International Commission on Occupational Health among others.
Dr. Mastromatteo received many honours and awards throughout his career. In 1979, he won the Canada Safety Council Achievement Award for Occupational Health and Safety in Canada and in 1981, he won the Stokinger Award for Scientific Contributions to Occupational Toxicology in the United States. Dr. Mastromatteo was appointed to the ILO (International Labour Office) Panel on Occupational Carcinogens in 1981. In 1986, Dr. Mastromatteo was given the Yant Award for Scientific Contributions to Industrial Hygiene in the United States and was also elected Member of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians in London. In 1987. Dr. Mastromatteo was inducted into the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International and won the Knudsen Award for contributions to occupational medicine in the United States. In 1990, Dr. Mastromatteo was granted lifetime memberships in the Ontario Medical Association, Canadian Medical Association, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. In 1999, Dr. Mastromatteo received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Occupational Health in Canada.
Dr. Mastromatteo was the author of 45 publications on occupational health, toxicology and environmental health, as well as the author of four book chapters and a member of the editorial committees for two books.
Dr. Mastromatteo died on July 13, 2016.