Search the LHSFNA website
Published: October, 2004; Vol 1, Num 5

 

Did You Work There?

Yucca Mountain Project Carried Silica Risk

By CPWR Staff

Did you perform work at the Yucca Mountain Exploratory Studies Facility Tunnel-Mining Project?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a free silicosis screening exam. For more information, call toll-free 1-866-716-1542.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has funded the University of Cincinnati and the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR) to implement a voluntary Silicosis Screening Program for current and former workers at the Yucca Mountain Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) tunnel-mining project in Nevada. Specifically, the program is offered, free of charge, to employees who were involved in tunneling and underground operations as well as the set-up of experiments in the underground areas of the ESF from 1992 to the present.

Silica is one of the minerals that naturally exist in the desert soils and in the rocks at Yucca Mountain. Silica can become airborne during dust-producing activities such as tunnel boring operations. If inhaled, silica can collect in the respiratory system and, with long-term exposure, can cause chronic, progressive lung disease called silicosis. The most visible symptoms of this disease are coughing and shortness of breath.

Regulatory limits for airborne silica were exceeded at various times during the tunnel mining operations at Yucca Mountain from 1992 to 2000. During early work at the site, respiratory protection was available but requirements for its use were not consistently applied. Some workers may have been exposed to airborne silica.

If you worked at Yucca Mountain and would like to participate in this free medical screening program, please call 1-866-716-1542. This program is ending soon so don’t wait – CALL NOW!

The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights is the research and development arm of the National Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.