Beryllium study

December 4, 2012 

FAYE VLIEGER, for ANWAG members, Kennewick

The Department of Energy announced that National Jewish Hospital will conduct a study on Hanford workers to determine the incidence of chronic beryllium disease. Some members of the Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groupsare concerned with NJH's involvement with this study.

NJH appears to be not the dedicated advocate for CBD claimants they once were. NJH opts not to diagnose CBD using the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act criteria. The act allows a claimant to prove that he or she has CBD without the necessity of undergoing an invasive and oftentimes uncomfortable procedure known as lung lavage biopsy.

Sadly for the ill workers, NJH will not diagnose CBD unless the worker undergoes this gruesome procedure, thus preventing them from receiving the appropriate medical treatment at an earlier stage.

The alliance's second concern is whether NJH will be including the information from previous screenings in the new study. NJH has already been compensated for this screening and statistical information by the Department of Energy. Is it ethical to be paid twice for the same research?

The best way to protect the workers and ensure they get the earliest therapy is to use the standard for CBD outlined in the compensation program legislation.

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