29 October 2009

"Working at Hanford put workers' health at risk"

An article in the Tri-City Herald today describes opportunities for more Hanford workers to receive federal compensation for illnesses developed as a result of working at the Hanford site. Here are the major shocking facts, directly from the article:
  • "As many as 25,000 former Hanford building trades workers may have developed illnesses covered by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program"
  • "Ample evidence that working at Hanford put workers' health at risk"

  • Diseases & health problems listed in the article include: asbestosis, blood cancer, lung disease & lung cancer, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, work-related hearing loss


  1. I appreciate the Heart of America Northwest's commitment to shedding light on issues pertaining to worker safety at Hanford.
    NPR ran a special a few years back regarding the health effects associated with low-dose radiation that brought up a series of questions/concerns:
    The issues of particular concern to me relate to workers that tragically fall ill due to high radiation exposure and their arduous battle in seeking compensation for their health related expenses. Unfortunately, directly attributing illness and developed cancers to radiation exposure is a especially hard and burdensome. I am curious as to what resources are made available to workers in the event that they become sick after being exposed to radiation.

  2. From reading the article in the Tri-City Herald it sounds as though if you do all the leg work and apply to Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, then its possible you could be eligable for money. It does not sound like they give out easily however they said they have made it better recently and are planning on increasing those who could be covered. I am glad to hear that people needing medical care can recieve money to help pay for it and that the rules for who can apply are getting lossened. Medicine is extrememly expensive, but we all need access to it so programs such as these need to work well for the Hanford workers with illnesses or injuries.