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Bush Administration to Expand Beryllium Disease Screening Program

February 23, 2005 - 10:27am

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Former employees of DOE vendors eligible for free screening

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today announced the Department of Energy (DOE) will expand a beryllium screening program to include former employees of now-defunct DOE beryllium vendor companies across the country. Beryllium is a component used in nuclear weapons built by the Department of Energy. 

“Through no fault of their own, these Cold Warriors were left out in the cold when their former employers went out of business. By expanding this screening program, President Bush and the Department of Energy honor these men and women and the important role they played in strengthening our national security,” said Secretary Bodman.

Today’s announcement expands the beryllium screening program to include former DOE beryllium vendor employees to ensure that workers who no longer have an employer to turn to for beryllium disease testing can now receive this important screening.   

Beryllium is a metallic element with unique properties that make it suitable for use in many industries, especially for aerospace and defense applications, including nuclear weapons production. In solid form, it is not harmful, but small particles of beryllium-containing materials produced as by-products of machining or other processes can spread through the air and be breathed into the lungs. 

If a screened individual receives a positive diagnosis for beryllium disease, former beryllium vendor employees can receive medical monitoring and/or compensation through the Department of Labor under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation program.

The cost of the expanded program is expected to be approximately $3 million over the next several years.

Former workers interested in medical screening can contact the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) at 1-866-219-3442.

For a comprehensive list of DOE beryllium vendor companies that are no longer in business, please see below:

  • Atomics International (all locations);
  • Nuclear Metals, Inc. (all locations);
  • Beryllium Corporation of America (all locations);
  • Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) (all locations);
  • Speedring, Inc (Culman, AL);
  • Connecticut Aircraft Nuclear Engine Laboratory (Middletown, CT);
  • Machlett Laboratories (Springdale, CT);
  • Gerity-Michigan Corporation (Adrian, MI);
  • Revere Copper and Brass (Detroit, MI);
  • Speedring Systems, Inc. (Detroit, MI);
  • Wolverine Tube Division (Detroit, MI);
  • National Beryllia (Haskell, NJ);
  • U.S. Pipe and Foundry (Burlington, NJ);
  • United Lead Co. (Middlesex, NJ);
  • General Astrometals (Yonkers, NY);
  • Radium Chemical Company (New York, NY);
  • Sylvania Corning Nuclear Corporation – Bayside Lab (Bayside, NY);
  • Beryllium Metals and Chemical Corporation (BERMET) (Bessemer City, NC);
  • Clifton Products Company (Painesville, OH);
  • Aeroprojects, Inc. (Westchester, PA);
  • Foote Mineral Company (East Whiteland Twp, PA);
  • McDanel Refractory Company (Beaver Falls, PA);
  • Vitro Manufacturing (Canonsburg, PA);
  • Vitro Corporation of America (Oak Ridge, TN)

Media contacts:
Mike Waldron, 202/586-4940
Rebecca Neale, 202/586-4940

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