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Protecting the Atomic Worker 1954 US Atomic Energy Commission
This 1954 film, Protecting the Atomic Worker, by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) describes the safeguards used to protect the men and women working in atomic energy against the dangers of radiation, including the testing and decontamination methods. It was meant to be a reassuring and informational picture designed to dispel fears. However, what it shows did not exist at many sites and did not protect many of these workers. Since World War II, hundreds of thousands of men and women have served their Nation in building its nuclear defense. Thousands of these courageous Americans, however, paid a high price for their service, developing disabling or fatal illnesses as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation , uranium, beryllium, and other hazards unique to nuclear weapons production and testing. Too often, these workers were neither adequately protected from, nor informed of, the occupational hazards to which they were exposed. Because of long latency periods, the uniqueness of the hazards to which they were exposed, and inadequate exposure data, many of these individuals were unable to obtain State workers' compensation benefits. This problem has been exacerbated by the past policy of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors of encouraging and assisting DOE contractors in opposing the claims of workers who sought those benefits. In July 1999, the Federal government made a historic announcement that it intended to compensate DOE nuclear weapons workers who suffered occupational illnesses as a result of exposure to the unique hazards in building the Nation's nuclear defense. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) was passed by Congress in 2000 and is designed to compensate individuals who worked in nuclear weapons production and as a result of occupational exposures contracted certain illnesses. The law was signed by President Clinton on December 7, 2000. Go to http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/ for more on this law. A key person behind this law was Dr. David Michaels, current Assistant Secretary of Labor for the OSHA. He served as the United States Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health from 1998 through January 2001.While there, Dr. Michaels developed the initiative to compensate workers in the nuclear weapons complex who developed cancer or lung disease as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium and other hazards. Dr. Michaels describes the history of worker exposure and disease and the development of the EEOICP in Chapter 16, Making Peace with the Past, in his excellent book, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health (Oxford University Press, 2008). This film, Protecting the Atomic Worker, was part of an AEC film series titled The Magic of the Atom aimed at the public and focused on electrical energy and isotopes used in industry, medicine, biological research, and in agriculture. (Markdcatlin)

Autore: Archivi
Data: 07/04/2013
Visualizzazioni: 1813

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