On July 18, 2011 the Law Offices of Tony Farmer & John Dreiser submitted a petition to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), on behalf of one of our clients, concerning a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) for X-10 employees and their survivors. On August 17, 2012 NIOSH issued a SEC Petition Evaluation Report, which recommends that a new class of employees be afforded Special Exposure Cohort status as follows:
All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked in any area at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (X-10) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, from June 17, 1943 through July 31, 1955, for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring either solely under this employment, or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort
Information concerning the SEC petition, and the evaluation report can be found, on the internet, at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ocas/x10.html
In 2000 the U.S. Congress passed the law governing the EEOICPA, and provided for a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) regarding the three gaseous diffusion plants in Oak Ridge Tennessee, Portsmouth Ohio, and Paducah Kentucky. The significance of the SEC designation is that an employee, or survivor of an employee, who worked at one of the designated SEC sites, for at least 250 working days, and has been diagnosed with at least one of the 22 specified cancers, is assumed to have contracted that cancer from radiation exposure during the performance of work at the SEC site. Employees, and their survivors, who are not members of an SEC, must have their radiation dose reconstructed to determine if radiation exposure was responsible for their cancer.
As a member of a SEC, an employee, or their survivor, does not have to endure the lengthy NIOSH dose reconstruction process, if they have been diagnosed with one of the 22 specified cancers. Those 22 specified cancers are:
- Leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia) provided that the onset of the disease was at least 2 years after first exposure;
- Lung cancer (other than in situ lung cancer that is discovered during or after a post-mortem exam);
- Bone cancer;
- Renal cancers; or
- The following diseases, provided onset was at least 5 years after first exposure:
- Multiple myeloma;
- Lymphomas (other than Hodgkin’s disease); and
- Primary cancer of the:
- Male or female breast;
- Small intestine;
- Bile ducts;
- Gall bladder;
- Salivary gland;
- Urinary bladder;
- Ovary; or
- Liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated).
Subsequent to the year 2000, and the designation of the initial SEC sites, numerous additional SEC sites have been designated through procedural methods provided for by Congress in 2000. In the Oak Ridge area, the X-10 plant is the one major DOE site which has not been designated as an SEC site for certain years. Both the Y-12 plant and the K-25 plants have previously been designated SEC sites for certain years of employment.
Although the NIOSH has recommended the addition of all employees working for 250 working days and diagnosed with a specified cancer, as members of the SEC, it must be noted that this recommendation has only been presented to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, and that advisory board must review the petition, and the NIOSH recommendation, and discuss the petition and NIOSH recommendation, before determining whether they will recommend acceptance or denial of the addition of this specific X-10 class to the SEC.
On August 22, 2012, NIOSH forwarded their SEC Petition Evaluation Report to the advisory board. Once the advisory board sets a date for discussion of the SEC petition, there should be a notice published in the Federal Register, informing the public of that date. Although the X-10 site still has not officially been designated a SEC site, it is now a distinct possibility that X-10 will possibly be designated as an SEC site in the future.
If you, or someone you know, has a claim with the EEOICPA, or is considering a claim with the EEOICPA, the Law Offices of Tony Farmer & John Dreiser will be happy to review all of your documentation, to assess the possibility of success for that claim. We have assisted numerous claimants, under the EEOICPA and subsequent workers’ compensation actions. Although there is no guarantee of success, with an EEOICPA claim, the Law Offices of Tony Farmer & John Dreiser is committed to providing assistance to those individuals, and their survivors, who were placed in harms way while employed at a covered Department of Energy facility.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.