2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: petestrauss1@home.com
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:31:20 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] DOE/sick nuclear workers

Marylia and All:

At sites that I work on as a Technical Advisor to community groups, one
of the issues that seems to crop up more and more is providing real
health care to communities that have been affected by contamination.  I
get involved as a advisor on cleanup, and there seems little room in
CERCLA for providing health care assistance, unless proof of disease and
proof of causation are present.  Because of the often long periods
between exposure and disease, this is sometimes very difficult or nearly
impossible to prove conclusively.  In fact, in order to get even the
slightest help form federal agencies, the burden of proof is on the
expos=E9 to show that he/she has been exposed, and that this exposure has
caused illness.  To make matters worse, the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic
Substances Disease Registry) is under funded and understaffed, and
frankly does a very poor job.  (This agency is required by CERCLA to do
a public health assessment of each Superfund site).

So I'm wondering aloud about how we can make this system work better?=20
Are there more stories like Marylia's out there?  I know from first hand
experience in Tucson, EPA (?) did fund a clinic (known as the TCE
Clinic) that tracks people, but a major complaint was that no real
health-care assistance was given.  Based on my opinion (I'm not a
doctor) disease was so prevalent in the exposed community, that more
resources should have been devoted, especially because it was a poor=20
and under-served population.  Although seemingly acknowledged by EPA
staff, there was little that they could do.

So I ask this listserve to share similar stories  and to suggest
possible solutions that can be written into law.


Peter Strauss
Note new e-mail address: petestrauss1@home.com

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