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Toxic Substances Linked to a Disease

January 28, 2018

January 28, 2018

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Industry News

While it may appear to some claimants that it would be close to impossible to provide information the Department of Labor requires to approve a claim, there are tools available to the public to help with this process.

Linking Toxic Substances to a Disease

There are a few government sites which can be helpful in linking a disease with exposure to toxic substances.

Department of Labor’s (DOL) Site Exposure Matrix (SEM) database,, contains extensive information on the toxic substances present at each site, in which building and which labor categories may have come into contact with them.  Visit Deb Jerison’s Radioactive Daughter blog to learn more about the SEM.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) publishes the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards,  The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) also can provide necessary information,

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment has a database which is similar to DOL’s SEM.


Hundreds of Department of Energy (DOE) sites are covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP).  DOE has a publically available database which lists the facilities involved with atomic weapons research, development and production.  The sites can be found by name or the state in which they were located.  This database includes the dates of DOE’s contracted with the site, the type of facility, i.e. Beryllium Vendor, Atomic Weapons Employer, etc., and a brief description of the site’s operations.

DOE will also provide employment records to an employee or his or her survivor by filing a Privacy Act Request.  Requesters should include as much information as possible, such as employee name, Social Security Number, name of facility, years of employment and employee number, if known.  While the claimant will want all employee records it may also help to specify that the documents should include dosimetry and medical records, and incident reports.  To request employment record for workers at a current DOE site (Hanford, Los Alamos, e.g.) contact that site directly.  For sites that are closed, Rocky Flats, e.g., you will file a Privacy Act with DOE’s Office of Legacy Management.  You can find complete information on how to file here

Workers and survivors can contact their local Social Security Office and request a copy of their earnings’ records to help prove employment at a DOE facility.  However, DOE prime contractors used many subcontractors to perform certain operations such as cafeteria workers.  Social Security records will not necessarily place a subcontract worker at the facility.  A resource that can help prove that a subcontractor was at a facility is DOL’s Subcontractor Database,  This database is a great first step in establishing employment especially for survivors who must recreate the worker’s employment history.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact us.