In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began the Los Alamos Historical Document Retrieval and Assessment Project (LAHDRA). The LAHDRA's goal is to review, over several years, all pertinent historical contaminant releases from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), leak and emission records. The LAHDRA will produce a public database of retrieved unclassified documents and develop of a prioritized list of the potential health significance of historical contaminant releases from LANL. At the end of the review, the evidence may indicate that a second phase dose reconstruction/dose assessment study is necessary.
The dose reconstruction/dose assessment study would estimate, according the emission data collected through the LAHDRA, the amount of radionuclides and chemicals to which LANL workers and community members have been exposed due to LANL operations. At other sites, workers have been able to use these dose reconstructions to support their claims under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA), which compensates workers whose illnesses were caused by their work.
Currently, the CDC's work is threatened due to budget restraints and heightened security at LANL. LANL has restricted access to documents, allowed review of documents by title alone, and required that CDC employees be accompanied by LANL employees into certain document storage areas. All of these measures have forced CDC to ask its contractors to wrap up the project, of which only the first half of the first phase has been completed. Thus far, CDC's work has been fruitful. Their preliminary documents show that plutonium emissions at LANL may have been 100 times higher than previously estimated. Furthermore, according to autopsy reports, plutonium has been found in the bodies of Los Alamos County residents who never worked at LANL.
If the LAHDRA is not completed, we will have lost our best chance to better understand the health impacts of past LANL operations. The LAHDRA has gained the support of LANL employees and community members alike.
Sign CCNS's letter and join us in asking our Congressional delegation to urge DOE and LANL to support the continuation of CDC's work! New Mexico has a right to know the amount of deadly radionuclides and chemicals it has been exposed to due to LANL operations! The letter will be delivered to New Mexico's Congressional delegation. Also, as the University of California (UC) is LANL's managing contractor, there is also a letter to California's Congressional delegation, asking UC to support the CDC's work at LANL.
For more information:
See CCNS's latest report New Mexico's Right to Know: The Impacts of Los Alamos National Laboratory Operations on Public Health and the Environment.
Sign a letter to New Mexico's Congressional delegation
Sign a letter to California's Congressional delegation