21 January 2010

More Hanford downwinders claims to go to trial

A recent article in the Tri-City Herald reports that Spokane judge William Fremming Nielsen will hear more claims concerning health problems resulting from radioactive emissions from Hanford. There are nearly 2,000 pending claims in the 19-year-old case.  The judge said he will select a total of about 62 cases of hypothyroidism, a disease in which the thyroid is underactive, and thyroid cancer. Since 1991, when the case was filed, only 10 claims have been resolved through litigation, and Nielsen previously showed little interest in these cases, indicating that they would be too time consuming and costly. But he has recently stated that the plaintiffs and defense are far apart in their settlement talks, and they seem far from any agreements. So the defense has asked the judge to begin randomly selecting cases to move the process along.

The defense represents early Hanford contractors, who belive that they plantiffs' claims are weak. The plaintiffs argue that radioactive iodine from Hanford, which concentrates in the thyroid, was responsible for at least 636 cases or hypothyroidism represented by the plaintiffs, as well as many cases of thyroid cancer.

The defense and plaintiffs disagree on methods of measuring how much exposure was received, and how much is necessary to be considered responsible for hypothyroidism or thyroid cancer. It is generally agreed that exposure of more than 40 rads is dangerous, but parties disagree as to whether levels below 40 rads can be dangerous.

For more information, visit the Hanford Downwinders' Website.

1 comment:

  1. I had to increase my natural thyroid supplements to 75mcgs. Since i have discontinued the synthetics. I'm finally starting to feel better.