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The Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (Board) Held a Teleconference Meeting on October 5, 2017

October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017

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The Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (Board) held a teleconference meeting on October 5, 2017.  The Board finalized the letters with their recommendations on three Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) petitions.  The letters will be forwarded to the Health and Human Services Secretary’s office.  During the August 2017 face-to-face meeting, the Board voted to deny expanding SEC years for Fernald and Grand Junction Facility and to approve expanding a class for the Idaho National Laboratory.

Most of the meeting discussed the Savannah River Site (SRS) SEC petition.  The main issue involved whether there are sufficient monitoring records to develop a co-worker model to reconstruct dose for construction trades workers.

Brad Clawson, the Work Group Chair, reminded the Board members that a Notice of Violation issued in 1997 revealed that 79% of construction trades workers did not participate in the bioassay program.  He questioned if the paucity of monitoring records would allow National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Office of Compensation and Analysis Support (NIOSH) to reasonably reconstruct dose for individuals with sufficient accuracy.

NIOSH believes the data they have retrieved is adequate to develop the co-worker model.  The Board’s contractor, Sanford Cohen and Associates, disagreed and explained that they could locate only fourteen radiological work permits for a twenty-year span.

It was decided that the Work Group would meet in person in mid-November, attempt to resolve the issue and make a recommendation to the full Board on whether this class of workers should be included in the SEC.

The next full Board meeting will be December 13 and 14, 2017, in Albuquerque, NM.  Besides the SRS SEC, NIOSH is prepared to present a new SEC petition for Ames Laboratory and provide as an update on the Sandia Labs evaluation report.  The SEC for Area IV of Santa Susanna Field Laboratory may be added to the agenda.  There was no discussion on whether the Los Alamos SEC petition will be on the agenda.