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Most Hanford nuclear site workers report exposure to toxic or radioactive chemicals

57% of Hanford nuclear site workers surveyed by WA state report toxic exposures,
Tri City Herald


 More than half of Hanford site workers responding to a Washington state survey said they had been involved in an incident at the Hanford nuclear reservation that resulted in exposure to radioactive or toxic chemicals.

Some 57% of about 1,600 past and present workers who took the survey reported being in an exposure incident, which could include the release of radioactive material into the air.

And nearly a third, 32%, reported they had long-term exposure to hazardous materials at the nuclear reservation, rather than exposure during a single incident………

Workers are cleaning up and treating radioactive and hazardous chemical waste left from the past production at Hanford of two-thirds of the nation’s plutonium for its nuclear weapons program……….

For incurable diseases, such as chronic beryllium disease caused by breathing in fine particles of the metal beryllium, information sharing could be key to finding cures, the board said.


It also recommended expanding Tri-Cities access to care that is tailored to Hanford workers’ health needs.

Some workers reported they did not receive a diagnosis until they visited clinics outside the Tri-Cities area and sometimes outside the state.

After an initial assessment or diagnosis related to Hanford exposures there was not long-term coordination of care, said workers in survey comments.

Part of the difficulty was that some health problems, such as cancers, are not diagnosed until years after exposures, the report said……………

July 26, 2021 - Posted by | employment, health, USA

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