Nuclear Weapons Plant Employees May Be At Risk of Some Lung Conditions

Nuclear Power PlantSome workers labor not only for remuneration but also because their love of country is so deep that they are willing to face risks.

In any workplace, there is always the danger of developing some ailment, from muscle pains to serious illnesses like cancer. In a nuclear weapons manufacturing plant, however, that risk is sometimes doubled with the possible development of some occupational lung ailments.

If you are working in a nuclear weapons facility, or have worked there in the past, perhaps you might want to undergo a medical examination. This is to determine if you have somehow developed an occupational lung disease and what to do next.

What causes these lung conditions?

According to the Concerned Citizens For Nuclear Safety website, one of the components used in the production of nuclear weapons is beryllium. It is also used in the aerospace industry to create windshield frames and many other structures in space vehicles, as well as high-speed aircraft.

Unfortunately, those who work with beryllium are at risk for developing a lung condition called chronic beryllium disease. Also referred to as CBD or berylliosis, this disease is characterized by inflammation and nodule growth in your lung tissues. Often, you will not feel anything at an early stage, but a chest x-ray can detect it.

Who are at risk?

Most people who are directly involved in the primary production of nuclear weapons are in danger in varying degrees. But those with tasks that involve reclaiming scrap alloys and metal machining are at greater risk because they are with the highest potential for exposure.

This is the case with the defunct nuclear weapons plant in Rocky Flats where most of its former workers at are found to have developed the disease. The risk of developing such disease increases if you have a genetic predisposition to CBD. According to the US National Library of Medicine, Genetics is seen to play a significant role in the development of the disease.

What should you do if you have CBD?

Try to consult legal professionals if you are covered by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act and The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Under this law, you are entitled to benefits if you have worked in the industries enumerated by the law. Those covered by EEOICPA and RECA can also seek specified care offered by special home health care services.

Former workers at nuclear weapons facilities, particularly those who developed occupational CBD, deserve all the help they can get. Many of them understood the health risks of working in such industry. Despite this, they continued working there primarily because of their conviction in doing something for the country. If you are one of these gallant workers, then you should know you are entitled to additional benefits under the law. It is the least that the government can do for you.