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Highlights from Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health Meeting

August 25, 2021

August 25, 2021

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Industry News

The Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health held a virtual meeting August 18-19, 2021.

NIOSH, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Energy (DOE) provided the Board with updates.  The Board learned that while DOL continues to forward cancer claims to NIOSH, NIOSH cannot access those claims during the security modernization moratorium.  This information was shared when a Board member noticed that NIOSH’s presentation showed that they currently had 772 cases that needed dose reconstructed but DOL’s presentation showed that they forwarded 1,709 cases to NIOSH.  DOE explained that they are gathering records for the cases DOL forwarded and they will be ready to send to NIOSH once the security modernization is complete.

There was only one SEC petition discussed during the meeting – the Y-12 SEC petition 250.  NIOSH provided a presentation explaining how they feel that have enough bioassays to reconstruct dose for thorium exposure after July 1979.  The petitioner’s position is the opposite.  He questioned NIOSH’s response to his concerns raised last year that Y-12 was in compliance with a draft industry standard, used for monitoring thorium.  NIOSH’s response noted that Y-12 was in compliance as early as 1992.  However, the petitioner found that the draft standard was available in 1987 and published by the Health’s Physics Society.

The Board began to discuss the next steps.  The Board’s contractor, Sanford Cohen and Associates (SC&A) has not yet been tasked to review NIOSH’s addendum.  The original plan was to formerly ask SC&A to review the addendum.  However, SC&A responded that since they don’t have access to the Site Research Database (SRDB) and if they were tasked now, they would not be able to meet the six-month deadline to turn in reports.  They explained that they use the SRDB for their research into NIOSH’s methodologies.  NIOSH offered to send the PDF files from the SRDB to them.   SC&A accepted the offer but explained that they like to do their own research.  The Board decided not to officially task SC&A for their review at this time.