Letter: Anniversary should include Hanford health issues

September 15, 2013 

I recently was alerted to Hanford's upcoming "Manhattan Project 70th Anniversary." I am a Richland native, born at Kadlec Hospital in 1950 and raised in an "F" house. My father worked as an engineer at Hanford. I have many happy memories of my childhood in Richland.

Scanning the agenda for the anniversary, I see that a crucial element in the history of Hanford is missing.

Where is the voice of those of us who now live with the physical scars of Hanford? In my case, this includes father dead of thyroid cancer, mother lost to malignant melanoma, brother passed away in Hanford downwind zone in late 1940s. I have autoimmune thyroiditis with its accompanying physical limitations. A complete thyroidectomy in 2009 after precancerous cells were detected, led to loss of parathyroids, leaving me with hypoparathyroidism and tetanic seizures.

The authors and artists on the agenda are accomplished individuals. They will aptly relay the incredible science and engineering of Hanford. But conference organizers have overlooked the voice of those of us who paid the ultimate price for Hanford's plutonium production.

This should be an anniversary commemoration reflecting both the science and the human toll of the facility on Hanford's families.

TRISHA PRITIKIN, Berkeley, Calif.

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