After much agitation, former workers at the Nevada Test Site and their families have received the help they needed. These workers got special dispensation to their status and compensation for exposure to radiation. This is a victory for the survivors, as many of the workers have died during the time the case was being heard in court.
What Was Done?
Studies conducted by an independent contractor firm along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) helped determine that some of NIOSH’s results had flaws with regard to exposure and didn’t cover the entire test site. Workers from the NTS with at least 250 work days during the period of January 1963 to December 1992 would receive compensation and medical expenses if they had any of the cancers mentioned on a list. Workers filed claims based on their exposure and illness resulting from toxic materials and ensuing disability.
Several groups, including the University of Nevada and the Department of Family and Community Medicine, are offering the following services:
- Talking to workers at the site and those who lived downwind and suffered radiation exposure
- Free medical screenings to detect cancer and other radiation exposure related illness
- Offering referrals to specialists and access to treatment
- Educating the public on cancer and radiation related illnesses
- Assisting eligible patients in filing claims
Clinical studies have shown that people who suffered radiation exposure have a higher risk of developing cancer. One way to manage risk is to get regular screenings and catch the illness early. This assistance is also available to workers of the uranium mining industry. The process of receiving assistance could be a bit confusing – there are ways to get assistance.
Whether one needs claim forms or medical documents, the Nevada RESEP group has people to offer guidance. There is no real need to hire attorneys to file this particular claim.