Oak Ridge Reservation: Public Health Assessment Work Group
Public Health Assessment Work Group
March 17, 2003 - Meeting Minutes
ORRHES Members attending:
Bob Craig (Work Group Chair), Peggy Adkins, W. Don Box, George Gartseff, David Johnson, James Lewis, Pete Malmquist, and LC Manley
Public Members attending:
Gordon Blaylock, Judy Gastelle, Tim Joseph, and Danny Sanders
ATSDR Staff attending:
Burt Cooper, Jack Hanley, Lorine Spencer
Liz Munsen (phone)
Bob Craig called the PHAWG meeting to order and attendance was noted for the record.
The purpose of the meeting was to (1) discuss the minutes from the February 10, 2003, PHAWG meeting, (2) present and review the revised Public Health Assessment (PHA) Process Flow Diagrams, (3) receive an update on the Epidemiology Ad Hoc Group’s effort regarding the Health Statistics Review, (4) receive an update on the PHAs, and (5) develop a calendar for the next three months.
Minutes from the February 10, 2003, Meeting
Bob Craig asked the PHAWG for comments on the minutes. Gordon Blaylock noted one correction on page 17 where the text states, “Gordon Blaylock asked if there have been any effects from radium …” Mr. Blaylock said that “radium” should be changed to “radon.” There was a motion to approve the minutes as corrected and the motion was seconded. The February 10, 2003, minutes were unanimously approved.
Presentation and Review of the Revised PHA Process Flow Diagrams
Presenter: Jack Hanley, ATSDR, and James Lewis, ORRHES
Jack Hanley explained that the Communications and Outreach Work Group (COWG) suggested that ATSDR create a new flow diagram since the agency developed a new project plan. The previous flow diagrams had been approved by the PHAWG and the ORRHES, and the same procedure will be followed with the revised diagrams.
James Lewis provided the PHAWG with copies of two revised flow sheets–Process Flow Sheet for Providing Input into the Public Health Assessment Process and Process Flow Sheet for Public Health Assessments on Contaminants of Concern. Mr. Lewis explained that the first diagram provides a general overview of the process; the second diagram presents the process in more detail.
James Lewis took the PHAWG through the steps of the first diagram, Process Flow Sheet for Providing Input into the Public Health Assessment Process.
Under this section, the first PHAWG meeting (PHAWG 1 on flow sheet)
is designed to identify potential references and data sources for the
PHA, and to see if anyone can identify other sources of information.
James Lewis provided an example where Don Box had located additional
information related to mercury. Mr. Lewis said that the Dose Reconstruction
would constitute most of the information through 1990, and other data
would be used for the years after 1990. After this review is completed,
additional sources can be presented to ATSDR and the agency can determine
if the information is valid and applicable.
ATSDR will present and discuss (informally) the PHA through the next two PHAWG meetings (PHAWG 2 and PHAWG 3). Mr. Lewis added that sometimes ATSDR will give additional presentations to show how data are being used and reviewed.
Jack Hanley stated that at this point, ATSDR will hear issues and concerns that have been raised by the community. ATSDR tries to document these concerns on a concern sheet or in the meeting minutes. He explained that it helps ATSDR to see what the issues and concerns are on the “front end” of the PHA process.
James Lewis explained that this diagram presents a generic example, but that ATSDR is going to try and conduct this process for each contaminant of concern (e.g., mercury, uranium).
James Lewis explained that this is generally an internal government review, but that ORRHES has been added into the process. ORRHES has been given an opportunity to review the PHA and to provide feedback on areas that could be improved in the document. Mr. Lewis noted that with the last PHA, some people had not seen the document prior to the ORRHES meeting. As a result, the process has been revised to ensure that when copies are given to PHAWG members, copies are also given to all ORRHES members.
The PHAWG and the ORRHES will have access to the document during this phase (PHAWG 4). James Lewis said that the “main key” was to provide the PHA to the work group and to have the public become involved. He added that the Oak Ridge office would be open and that copies of the document would be available for people to come and review it.
During PHAWG 5, the PHAWG will develop comments. The PHAWG will review the comments, vote on the comments, and assess if the group is in agreement. Following this step, the comments are submitted to the ORRHES. The ORRHES will prepare its comments concerning the PHA in ORRHES 1. These comments are then provided to ATSDR, who will formulate the comments into the formal, public comment draft of the PHA.
Jack Hanley clarified that this is a working, inter-agency draft that is normally only shared with other agencies. In this process for Oak Ridge, however, ATSDR is sharing the document with ORRHES, who then provides the document to the PHAWG for a more involved review. Mr. Hanley added that ATSDR is “putting ORRHES on par with the other agencies” in regards to this working draft type of review.
Public Comment and Final PHAs
After the review has been completed, and the formal and informal comments have been received, the document will be produced and released to the public for comment. All comments need to be submitted within 45 days.
Once the PHAs have been released, ATSDR will give a formal presentation on the Public Comment PHA at ORRHES 2. ATSDR will have this opportunity to explain the document, provide a general overview of its contents, and field questions.
Following the 45-day public comment period, ATSDR will return to ORRHES (ORRHES 3) and provide a brief formal presentation on the Final PHA. At this point, ORRHES reviews the document and it is their … “intent to vote or recommend acceptance” of the document.
Process Flow Sheet for Public Health Assessments on Contaminants of Concern
This diagram details the number of weeks that each part of the process will take. James Lewis explained that the PHAWG meets twice a month and that this flow sheet provides information on each meeting.
Tim Joseph asked if the flow diagrams would include dates. James Lewis responded that these would include dates. Dr. Joseph then asked if the diagrams would show the timeframes. Mr. Lewis said that these would show timeframes and that ATSDR hopes to capture this in the project plan as well.
Bob Craig recalled that mistakes had been made with handing out the Uranium PHA. He noted that the PHAWG received the document far in advance and that the ORRHES received the document 10 days ahead. He said that some ORRHES members, who were thought to have been in the work group, did not receive the PHA until the ORRHES meeting to discuss the document. Dr. Craig added that this should not occur. Jack Hanley agreed and said that ATSDR has tried to fix that type of scenario with the new diagrams. Mr. Hanley explained that the revision ensures that the ORRHES members will receive the PHA at the same time as the PHAWG members.
A meeting participant inquired how long it would take for the PHA to come back to ORRHES, following the 45-day public comment period. Jack Hanley referred the PHAWG to the Process Flow Sheet for Public Health Assessments on Contaminants of Concern. He directed the PHAWG to the public comment section on the bottom of the document. He said that there are six weeks for public comment and nine weeks for ATSDR to address the comments. Mr. Hanley noted that there is also an external peer review that occurs simultaneously with ATSDR’s address of the public comments. Following these steps, ATSDR will present the final PHA and any significant changes that have been made to the document. He added that ATSDR has developed these flow diagrams to present the process that is already in the new project plan, which was developed last fall.
Tim Joseph requested clarification following the nine weeks. He wanted to know if ATSDR returns to ORRHES after this time period. Jack Hanley stated that this was correct. Dr. Joseph thought that the previous question had asked how long it would take for the public release, following ATSDR’s receipt of the PHA from ORRHES. Mr. Hanley responded that the PHA goes from ORRHES, back to ATSDR, and then ATSDR has to release the document. He added that ATSDR hopes to release the document after its final PHA presentation to ORRHES.
Pete Malmquist suggested making a recommendation to ORRHES concerning this modified process.
RECOMMENDATION–Bob Craig read the following recommendation: the PHAWG recommends that ORRHES adopt this modified process flow sheet (dated March 14, 2003) for providing input into the public health assessment process and to replace what was used previously. Dr. Craig asked for any comments or discussion regarding the recommendation. There were no comments. There was a motion to accept the recommendation and it was unanimously approved.
Update on the Epidemiology Ad Hoc Group’s Effort Related to the Health Statistics Review
Presenter: Pete Malmquist, ORRHES
Pete Malmquist informed the PHAWG that he had still not received the cancer registry data from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH). He said that they have rough data, but that they do not have the data compiled for counties as the group had requested. Dr. Malmquist thought that the TDOH had agreed to conduct a statistical review of these cancers for the PHAWG. He asked Jack Hanley if he was correct. Mr. Hanley replied that an ATSDR representative was going to contact Toni Bounds with the cancer registry at the TDOH to see what the state could provide to the PHAWG, and to assess TDOH’s current capabilities with the cancer registry.
Pete Malmquist explained that the TDOH would not provide data below the county level (i.e., data by census tract). In some census tracts, there may only be one incidence of one type of cancer, and in this case, it would be easy to identify the person. Thus, the state will not provide these types of data. Dr. Malmquist concluded that the PHAWG would have to review cancer registry data by the eight counties.
Pete Malmquist noted that it is important for everyone to remember what ATSDR had mentioned. The group is only looking at data; it is not looking for the cause of any cancer because these causes cannot be identified. Thus, the group is only looking at cancer incidence.
Jack Hanley said that the state might provide a report that it usually releases, but he is not sure. Mr. Hanley said that ATSDR is still waiting to see what the state can provide at this time. He added that Pete Malmquist had mentioned that there have been budget cuts across the state and within health department programs. Mr. Hanley added that another call could be made to Toni Bounds at the TDOH.
James Lewis stated that some inquires had been made after reviewing work that had been conducted by ATSDR (i.e., in the Memphis area). Mr. Lewis stated that the Memphis study used zip codes or census tracts. He believed that it may be possible to search lower than county data. He added that the Memphis study tried to identify areas that were contaminated and where smaller tracts could be combined into larger groups for analysis. Mr. Lewis concluded that Pete Malmquist is correct up to this point, but that there is an indication that the data could be taken to a smaller level.
Bob Craig asked James Lewis if the study he discussed looked at two or three census tracts simultaneously. Mr. Lewis stated that Dr. Craig was correct, but that he has not received the information back yet. As of this date, Mr. Lewis had not submitted anything in writing nor made a formal request.
Jack Hanley commented on Pete Malmquist’s discussion. Mr. Hanley explained that there are a couple of concerns with using census tract data. First, the state does not want people to be identified if there are only one or two cases in a census tract. Second, there is a statistical problem. If the census tract is too small (i.e., there is only one or two cases), it will not yield the statistical power that larger numbers can provide. Mr. Hanley referred to the study that James Lewis had discussed. Mr. Hanley stated that this study looked at six census tracts in Memphis that were located around the Memphis Depot. It was a large enough census tract that there was an adequate number of people to make it statistically viable, and the tract was also large enough to prevent the identification of people with specific cancers.
Jack Hanley mentioned one action that ATSDR can take. He said that if ATSDR knows that a geographical area was exposed, it could pull up those specific census tracts. If the tracts are large enough, ATSDR can conduct analyses to compare the data. When you conduct these types of analyses, which the Ad Hoc group has been dealing with, ATSDR calls it a “Health Statistics Review.” A Health Statistics Review only looks at health outcome data (e.g., cancer incidence). This type of analysis will show whether the rate is high or low, but it cannot be related to any type of exposures.
Tim Joseph inquired if the statistical validity aspects of the Memphis study were looked at by ATSDR or the state. Jack Hanley responded that the raw cancer registry data were handed down from the cancer registry to ATSDR. ATSDR conducted all of the analyses, calculated the statistics, and prepared the written summary. Dr. Joseph asked if the state had the capability of conducting these types of statistics, but Mr. Hanley did not know. James Lewis responded that the state had indicated that it would like to have those capabilities, but that the state’s budget did not allow it.
Tim Joseph thought it was important to know the state’s limitations before requesting data. James Lewis responded that this is the reason why he is trying to talk with Toni Bounds before writing a recommendation. Mr. Lewis added that he would like to make the draft part of the record so that everyone will have a good idea of the limitations associated with these data and to acknowledge that they are discussing a “Health Statistics Review.”
Update on PHAs
Presenter: Jack Hanley, ATSDR
Jack Hanley discussed that he and Paul Charp were currently working to address the issues, concerns, and recommendations from the ORRHES regarding the Y-12 Uranium Releases from Y-12 PHA. Mr. Hanley said that he intends to have a presentation ready at the next ORRHES meeting on April 22, 2003, and that he is planning to release a public comment version of the PHA at that time.
ATSDR is currently working on mercury releases. Jack Hanley is aiming to have a presentation at the PHAWG meeting on April 7, 2003, to discuss data from studies on mercury, as well as the basic approach and methodology for the mercury PHA. Mr. Hanley explained that there is too much information to cover in one PHAWG meeting, and suggested having two presentations–one to discuss the Dose Reconstruction and another to discuss exposures from 1990 to the present. Following these meetings, there will be a PHAWG 3 meeting that will consist of an informal discussion where group members can ask questions and raise potential issues. Mr. Hanley said that this could take one or two additional PHAWG meetings if needed.
James Lewis suggested that Jack Hanley refer to the Process Flow Sheet for Providing Input into the Public Health Assessment Process so that the PHAWG members will have a better understanding of this discussion. Mr. Hanley stated that when ATSDR presents the Y-12 Uranium Releases PHA to ORRHES on April 22, 2003, this constitutes ORRHES 2 on the diagram. He said that PHAWG 1 had already occurred for mercury releases. At this meeting, ATSDR presented a list of sources that would be used in the development of the PHA. On April 7, 2003, ATSDR is planning to present current exposures to mercury releases from Y-12, which will be PHAWG 2. The presentation on past historical mercury releases from Y-12 will probably occur on April 22, 2003, or during the first meeting in May 2003. Mr. Hanley added that ATSDR is also looking at White Oak Creek releases. He is anticipating a discussion of this topic on April 21, 2003, which would be PHAWG 2. Bob Craig asked when PHAWG 1 had occurred and Mr. Hanley said that PHAWG 1 had occurred in January 2003.
Bob Craig mentioned that PHAWG 3 and PHAWG 4 had taken place for iodine, but that the topic was “put off to the side” because ATSDR had received new data. Dr. Craig asked when iodine was going to re-surface. Jack Hanley replied that he did not have the dates. He explained that Paul Charp is currently in the process of assessing how to use the data, and if the data can be used, what are the limitations. Mr. Hanley added that he knows that there is a lot of interest in iodine, and that ATSDR will decide how to handle this contaminant as soon as possible.
Development of a Calendar for the Following Three Months
Facilitator: Bob Craig, ORRHES
James Lewis stated that he went through the schedule with Burt Cooper and Mr. Cooper had dates “tied down.” A preliminary assessment to discuss mercury with the PHAWG was scheduled for April 7, 2003. The next meeting was scheduled for May 5, 2003, and another presentation on radiation and surface water would take place on May 19, 2003. On August 4, 2003, there will be a written presentation on mercury to the PHAWG.
Jack Hanley expressed interest in working with the COWG to develop a calendar based on these revised flow diagrams. He suggested presenting the information in advance on a 60- or 90-day calendar. He believed that this system would give everyone an understanding of target dates for presentations and when products were expected from the PHAWG. Mr. Hanley noted that Kowetha Davidson wanted to give a toxicology presentation on mercury, which would need to be worked into the schedule for May. He added that April and May would consist of discussions on mercury and White Oak Creek releases, which would constitute PHAWG 2 and PHAWG 3.
James Lewis suggested that they put the “key dates” for the next three months onto a calendar and put the calendar onto the website. Tim Joseph agreed with Mr. Lewis, but also thought that the ORRHES and the PHAWG members should be automatically notified through electronic mail (e-mail) when updates are made.
Jack Hanley asked James Lewis if the COWG had developed an outline for a calendar. Mr. Lewis responded that it was very simple. They took a calendar and extracted “key dates” for the next three months from the project plan, and incorporated these onto a calendar.
RECOMMENDATION–James Lewis proposed the following recommendation: the PHAWG recommends that ATSDR develop a calendar to capture the key dates and milestones associated with the PHAs for the various contaminants of concern and place it on the website and keep it current. There was a motion to approve the recommendation and it was unanimously approved.
Jack Hanley said that if the calendar was on the website, they could e-mail the website address to people and they could obtain access via this method. Tim Joseph responded that he is concerned about when meeting dates change, and that the PHAWG and public members would need to know the new dates. Dr. Joseph added that if people click on the website address, then they may not know if a meeting was changed. He suggested that an e-mail notification be sent so that people know when meetings have changed. Mr. Hanley stated that ATSDR currently sends these notifications. James Lewis said that the COWG discussed developing a distribution strategy for these types of situations.
Lorine Spencer mentioned that the COWG had talked about using a “list serve” that goes out to people to provide this type of information. She said that this could save a lot of time and energy in regards to many things.
Danny Sanders, Public Member
A public member, named Danny Sanders, introduced himself to the PHAWG and shared his background with the group. Mr. Sanders stated that his parents moved to Oak Ridge in 1942. He was born in 1955 and was raised in Oak Ridge.
Danny Sanders presented a memorandum that he had written, which included an intent and summary of concerns. The memorandum was addressed to ORRHES and ATSDR from Danny K. Sanders. The document was in reference to … “Clinton Engineer Works; Oak Ridge Reservation; DOE [U.S. Department of Energy]; J.E. Jones Construction Company, a DOE subcontractor; K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant; and residents of Happy Valley housing facility, provided by DOE for its employees.” He read the memorandum to the PHAWG, which is summarized in the following paragraphs.
Danny Sanders, along with his three brothers and one sister, were raised in Oak Ridge. His parents, Carl and Evelyn Sanders, moved to Oak Ridge in 1942. His father worked for J.E. Jones Construction Company from 1942 to 1950. During this time, he was hired by DOE to work at the Y-12 plant. Between 1942 and 1949, Carl Sanders worked at K-25, K-27, X-10, and Y-12. He was … “officially an ironworker and rigger by trade, but was also a truck driver.”
Danny Sanders’ parents lived in the Happy Valley community from 1943 to 1948, approximately six years. His oldest brother and sister were born while his parents lived there. According to Mr. Sanders, the Happy Valley community is located less than ½ mile from the east gate of the K-25 plant. This community housed several thousands of workers and their families.
Danny Sanders stated that his primary concern is to determine the “dangerous environmental exposures” that his parents, oldest brother, and sister were exposed to while living in Happy Valley. He inquired if there had been any studies (e.g., Dose Reconstruction) conducted on this area or on the people who lived there. Mr. Sanders added that he did not want to detract attention away from current studies that were being conducted.
Danny Sanders said that his mom died at age 61 from breast cancer. His father had prostate cancer and suffered from complications related to 20 years of cancer-related treatment. His father died as the result of an accident in August 2002. Mr. Sanders requested that ATSDR and ORRHES investigate the possible contamination of Happy Valley and its residents.
Bob Craig asked Jack Hanley if ATSDR was going to look at several contaminants of concern from K-25. Mr. Hanley responded that Dr. Craig was correct. Mr. Hanley added that ATSDR has evaluated the state’s screening process for the past historical releases. This process identified uranium and fluoride as needing further evaluation from K-25, but the other contaminants from K-25 screened out. In addition, ATSDR will look further into the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) incinerator because of concerns, but these concerns were for releases in the 1990s.
Danny Sanders explained that he had conducted research on some of the releases. He said that he knows a minimal amount about cesium and that there were plumes of cesium from K-25. Bob Craig responded that the isotope of concern at K-25 is primarily technetium. Dr. Craig added that, in general, there should have been no cesium at K-25. However, in the mid-1950s to early 1960s, the facility ran some recycled material through its processes that resulted in the contamination of some areas, but technetium would be the contaminant of concern.
Jack Hanley told Danny Sanders that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had forwarded Mr. Sanders’ e-mail to Mr. Hanley. Mr. Hanley said that he will respond to the e-mail. Mr. Hanley suggested that Mr. Sanders provide Burt Cooper with his phone number and e-mail address so that Mr. Hanley can contact him directly.
Lorine Spencer suggested that Danny Sanders also fill out a community concern form to ensure that the concern is captured in ATSDR’s community concerns database. Jack Hanley explained that the forms help ATSDR keep track of the concerns, specific interests, information that people already have, and information that people need. Mr. Hanley explained that ATSDR will be looking at uranium and fluoride related to K-25. He added that when ATSDR begins its evaluation of K-25, the agency will research Happy Valley and its location, and try to identify if any releases from the facility could have impacted that area. Mr. Hanley said that Mr. Sanders has introduced this information at a good time, as the evaluation of the K-25 area will not begin until later in the fall of 2003. Bob Craig encouraged Mr. Sanders to stay involved.
Danny Sanders explained that he had visited ATSDR’s website and utilized its search engine. He said that he had entered key words, such as K-25 and Happy Valley. However, the website provided very little information related to any of his search terms. Mr. Sanders stated that there was one “hit” on Happy Valley. It was mentioned by Walter Coin in past meeting minutes. In the minutes, Mr. Coin stated that Happy Valley was a community for people who worked at the plants, but that it was closed down in 1948 because DOE feared it was too close to fluoride separation activities.
Gordon Blaylock asked for clarification on the location of Happy Valley. Danny Sanders said that it was no longer in existence. However, if you were traveling from Oak Ridge, the former location would be situated off of Highway 92, on the left-hand side towards K-25. Mr. Sanders added that there were thousands of workers who had lived there.
Danny Sanders discussed his friend, Ed Westcott, who is a photographer. He said that Mr. Westcott had documented the history of Oak Ridge since its beginning in the 1940s. To Mr. Westcott’s knowledge, there are no official photographs of Happy Valley. Bob Craig asked if Happy Valley was sold when the government sold property to the public. Mr. Sanders said that Happy Valley is still government-owned property.
Gordon Blaylock asked the PHAWG if the Dose Reconstruction looked at Happy Valley. Jack Hanley responded that he did not think that the state looked at this area, and did not know if the state even knew about Happy Valley. He said that the Dose Reconstruction used reference locations based on the population areas. Mr. Hanley added that he thought that the reference locations in the Dose Reconstruction were further west. He explained that the screening of the Dose Reconstruction on uranium identified reference locations, such as Scarboro and the other two used for K-25. A dispersion model was used wherever there was an estimated population, and the areas that had the highest concentrations were selected as the reference populations.
Tim Joseph stated that he would go to the archives on March 18, 2003. He noted that DOE has pictures of everything at Oak Ridge since its beginning in the 1940s. Jack Hanley said that a map would be helpful if photographs could not be found.
Don Box mentioned that he was the president of the Oak Ridge Historical Society for a few years and collected many “Westcott” and other photographs. He said that these photographs are now at the Oak Ridge Library. A meeting participant asked where the photographs had been found. Mr. Box responded that the photographs were collected from files at the X-10 facility. He estimated that there were between 500 and 700 photographs.
Gordon Blaylock suggested that he and Danny Sanders go to the archives together to conduct research on Happy Valley. Mr. Sanders said that this could be coordinated.
James Lewis asked Danny Sanders if his parents were living in Oak Ridge when they died. Mr. Sanders replied that they were living in Oak Ridge at that time. Mr. Sanders said that his mother had many problems with her thyroid. In addition, when his brother graduated from high school in 1972, he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue from thyroid-related problems. Jack Hanley responded that ATSDR will be looking at iodine; it is on the project plan. Mr. Hanley suggested that Mr. Sanders look at the ORRHES minutes from December 2002. These minutes summarize an “excellent” thyroid presentation by Dr. Jerome Hershman, who discussed cancer and other abnormalities related to the thyroid.
Peggy Adkins asked Danny Sanders about the water source that was in his community. Mr. Sanders replied that he knew that they had “spigots” and assumes that they were on well water in the early years. However, Gordon Blaylock believed that they would have been on public water because it was one of the first things installed at Oak Ridge.
Peggy Adkins described how she grew up five miles from Danny Sanders and that she has a similar story. She said that she has mapped out what has happened to her neighbors. Mr. Sanders replied that he has been conducting research as well. His parents had been given diplomas from Clinton Engineer Works, which were “more or less a satire of what was going on in Oak Ridge in the 40s.” Mr. Sanders has attempted to research and contact individuals whose signatures were located on the diplomas, but he has only been able to locate two.
Peggy Adkins said that she knows that this sounds extreme, but that she has often wondered if autopsies could be conducted on deceased bodies. She said that she would be willing to do this with her family to see if there is a presence of uranium, nickel, cadmium, strontium, mercury, and other contaminants. She asked if it was possible to conduct something of this nature as part of this study. Jack Hanley responded that he was not sure how the data could be compared to assess if something was high or low. Ms. Adkins believed that the presence of any uranium, especially at high levels, would be significant. Mr. Hanley asked what would be considered “high.” He said that the problem is that there is nothing to compare the numbers to, and that he is not sure that this type of work could be conducted with cadavers.
Bob Craig explained that the target organ for uranium (epidemiologically) is the kidney. Peggy Adkins asked if any uranium would remain. She said that the tissues would be destroyed, but inquired if the metals would be left after the tissues were gone. Jack Hanley reiterated that the health endpoint of uranium is the kidney. Thus, you are not likely to find uranium in the bones.
James Lewis requested that Jack Hanley or ATSDR address this issue as part of its letter. Mr. Lewis said that he is not trying to distract the agency’s attention from current studies (i.e., work that is being conduced on the Scarboro community). However, he feels that it is of equal importance to look at other communities. He added that he does not think that they, as a group, have focused on any particular community.
Burt Cooper explained that ATSDR is looking at potential exposures to this entire area, not just in relation to Scarboro. He said that he was struck by a part of Danny Sanders’ letter. He said that the letter mentioned that his father had worked at the DOE facilities from 1942 to 1949, and that there was clearly potential for exposures during that time period. However, ATSDR would not evaluate those types of exposures. ATSDR is an agency that can only look at what went over the “fence line” and into communities. He added that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is an organization with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that conducts worker studies. The effort of ATSDR is to only evaluate exposures that occurred as a result of living in the area.
Danny Sanders explained that his father was in the process of filing a claim with the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) before he died. Mr. Sanders, along with his sister and brother, finished and filed the claim. In addition, his father had mentioned that their mother had worked in the commissary and/or in security at Oak Ridge. Mr. Sanders said that the government did not find any record of his mother’s employment, even though she had been issued badges. His father’s claim is still pending.
Jack Hanley asked the PHAWG if there were any medical resource sheets around the office. He explained that NIOSH and DOE have been involved in worker studies and that he thought that they were currently conducting a surveillance program on construction workers. Mr. Hanley believed that Eula Bingham was in charge of the program and he thought that the studies specifically focused on evaluating workers at K-25. He said that the name, number, and website were listed on the back of the medical resource sheet.
Jack Hanley added that the ORRHES website contains a Compendium of Public Health Activities that provides a summary of all of the on-site and off-site public health activities that have occurred over the last 15 to 20 years at Oak Ridge.
Jack Hanley told Danny Sanders that it was a good time to bring up his issues because they have not focused closely on K-25 yet. Mr. Hanley noted that he had a colleague who was conducting a screening of all of the contaminants across the site and that they can use this information.
Bob Craig asked if there was any additional business. James Lewis replied that they have talked about listing key items on the database to make the system more user-friendly for the public. In addition, he said that the database needed to include cross-references. Lorine Spencer replied that she hears Mr. Lewis’ concerns and that they are moving forward with this action item. The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 pm.