NIOSH Hears First Hand "Ordered to Destroy Medical Records" Admission at Board Meeting

Updated 6 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
NIOSH Hears First Hand "Ordered to Destroy Medical Records" Admission at Board Meeting

 Medical record destruction has  been admitted at Rocky Flats Plant (RFP), Golden, Colorado  . During the September 18, 2012 Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health

According to a CDC/NIOSH Powerpoint presentation RFP primarily produced plutonium triggers for and recovered plutonium from nuclear weapons. The September meeting had been called to address tritium exposure who worked with pits and special materials.

Terrie Barrie, founding member Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups (ANWAG), attended along with about 120 RFP workers. Barrie and Charles Saunders presented a petition asking that tritium exposure be added to worker exposures.

Stu Hinnefeld, speaking for NIOSH, asked for additional time to study the petition, even as other NIOSH board members asked how the dose could be accurately reconstructed since it clears the body quickly.

Prior to the meeting’s opening in Ms. Barrie’s words, “Michelle D. addressed the Board and told them she was ordered by Bob Card to destroy medical records.  You should have seen  every Board members head perk up.”

ANWAG deliverred a Powerpoint presentation arguing that NIOSH withheld petition information from the board members, NIOSH missed information, and NIOSH did not adequately consider worker affidavits.

As early as 2007 the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health had been put on notice at a May 2, 2007 hearing by Mary Ann Rupp, the wife of a decreased Rocky Flats worker, that “I am not confident in the fact that NIOSH estimated his [her husband’s] dose adequately without investigating ALL the facts. I have dosimetry readings that were scrawled on pieces of paper, just handwritten, no scientific data… [the workers] deserve … taking it out of the hands of NIOSH and the Department of Labor.”

The medical records destruction admission comes about  three weeks after HNN ran a September 3 article joining others in asking for a criminal investigation of dosimeter reading changes at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP).The article included assertions  stating that permanent  employees were also issued temporary dosimeter badges, that TLD cards hung on a wall, and that “incidents” occurred from “time to time” requiring changing worker dosages in the TLD database.

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