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NIOSH Advisory Board Meeting on December 13 & 14, 2017

December 19, 2017

December 19, 2017

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The NIOSH Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health met in Albuquerque on December 13 & 14, 2017.  Deb Jerison, Worker Advocated, attended the meeting and supplied the following notes.

NIOSH will be updating its Technical Information Bulletin 49, Estimating Doses for Plutonium Strongly Retained in the Lung, to conform with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) guidance on plutonium Super S solubility.  NIOSH also reported that Denise Brock, NIOSH Ombudsman, held the first Authorized Representative Workshop in Jacksonville, Florida earlier in the month.  Similar workshops are planned to be held in other areas of the country.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reported its statistics on claim payments through November 12, 2017.  These statistics are updated weekly on the DOL website.

The Department of Energy (DOE) reported they had been able to provide all 18,522 of their records requests to NIOSH or DOL in under 60 days in 2017.  DOE also reminded all former DOE workers that all DOE sites are eligible for a free medical screening through the Former Worker Medical Screening Program.

The Advisory Board’s Sub-Committee on Dose Reconstruction Reviews reported that the appropriate results were found in their recent dose reconstructions.  The board thought more work needed to be done to see what parts of the dose reconstruction process could be improved.

Mark Griffin provided insight to the board on how professional judgement effects dose reconstruction and provided concrete recommendations on how to improve the dose reconstruction process.

A Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) was established for Ames Laboratory from January 1, 1971 to December 31, 1989 for all workers meeting SEC criteria; NIOSH agrees there is insufficient data to reconstruct dose.  Now anyone diagnosed with a covered cancer who worked at an SEC site for at least 250 days will have their claim approved.

The Sub-committee on Procedure Reviews reported on the use of co-worker dosimetry data and issues that need to be considered when co-worker data is used for dose reconstruction.

Tim Taulbee reported for NIOSH on whether the Savannah River Site’s subcontractor monitoring data is adequate or not.  Tim feels there is enough data available to do dose reconstructions, while Sanford Cohen and Sons’, Joe Fitzgerald, disagreed. More research is necessary on whether the SEC petition will be approved for the years 1972-2007. It should be noted that SEC petition 103, has been under consideration for more than ten years.

NIOSH reported on the current SEC petitions and where they stand in the process.

  • Currently, Wah Chang, Y-12, and Pinellas petitions are being considered for SEC qualifications.
  • Sandia and Lawrence Livermore have qualified and are being evaluated for SEC status.
  • Seven SEC petitions are currently being reviewed by the Advisory Board: Hanford, Savannah River, Los Alamos, Idaho National Lab, Argonne-West, Santa Susana, and Metals and Controls

NIOSH reported on the addendum to Sandia Laboratory SEC 188 which is being considered for the years 1963 through May 21, 2011 for the completeness and accuracy of available internal monitoring data. More information is being evaluated before a determination can be made.  The petitioner was present and made comments as well.

NIOSH reported on Area IV, Santa Susana Field Laboratory SEC petition 235.  NIOSH listed three issues which need to be investigated more thoroughly. The petitioner was present and provided the board with additional documentation.