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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 31, 2012

Compensation program available to additional Iowa atomic workers

A new class of former atomic workers at the Ames Laboratory has been declared eligible to receive compensation for illnesses resulting from their employment at the Iowa State University research facility.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all Ames Laboratory workers diagnosed with any of 22 specified cancers who were employed for at least 250 days from Aug. 13, 1942, through Dec. 31, 1970, may receive compensation.

A University of Iowa College of Public Health screening program has identified numerous cases of potentially work-related cancers and lung diseases among former employees of the Ames Laboratory. Since 2006, the Former Worker Medical Screening Program, directed by Laurence Fuortes, M.D., UI professor of occupational and environmental health, has screened nearly 1,600 former workers.

"The Ames Laboratory has a long history in materials science research and development for the Department of Energy and in the earliest years exposures to radionuclides and beryllium were not as tightly controlled as they have been more recently," says Fuortes. "Medical screenings have indicated at least historical risks for lung disease among those early era workers and on occasion helped guide medical care for such workers."

The UI Former Worker Medical Screening Program is available to answer questions and assist Ames Laboratory employees in filing claims. Medical records generated in screenings may be used as documentation for these claims.

Former Ames Laboratory employees who have not yet been screened and others seeking information are encouraged to contact the Ames Laboratory-Former Worker Program toll-free at 866-282-5818 or visit Individuals may also contact the Department of Labor Denver Resource Center directly, toll-free at 866-540-4977 or visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, S171 CPHB, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jill Welch, Ames Laboratory-Former Worker Program, 866-282-5818, Dan McMillan, 319-335-6835,