History Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the western hemisphere Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear weapons for WWII Home to the B reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world Focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup
Stakeholders Hanford Tri-Party Agreement - USDOE, USEPA, ECY-WA Hanford Advisory Board Indian Nations Program Hanford Natural Resource Trustee Council Local Advocacy Groups -Columbia Riverkeeper, Heart of America Northwest, Hanford Watch, Hanford Challenge, Physicians for Social Responsibility Nuclear Safety Division of the Oregon Office of Energy Washington State Department of Health
Present Threats Water Contamination 450 billion gallons of contaminated waste have been dumped into unlined soil trenches 53 million gallons of waste in 177 underground storage tanks, 60 have leaked; contamination of groundwater near Columbia River Atmospheric Contamination
Who is at risk? Workers 1 million people living in the 42 cities or towns located below Hanford on the Columbia Draw water from Columbia for municipal, commercial & industrial uses. Tribal members (Yakima, Utmilla, Nez Perce) hunting, fishing, social gathering
Beryllium Grayish, lightweight but strong alkaline earth metal Mining, refining, and in the manufacture of ceramics, electronic, and aerospace equipment. Used at Hanford from 1960 until 1986 in the production of nuclear fuel rods
“When certain sensitive individuals are exposed to even minute amounts of inhaled beryllium, they are at considerable risk of becoming beryllium sensitized and contracting a potentially fatal granulomatous lung disease called chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and an increased risk of lung cancer......from a worker health and safety perspective based on the number of affected workers, beryllium currently rates as a greater hazard than radiation.” - The Hanford Advisory Board
Routes of Exposure Inhalation (Direct) airborne particles of beryllium metal, alloys, oxides, and ceramics Ingestion (Indirect) Hand-to-mouth Dermal (Indirect) ultrafine particles
Adverse Health Affects Beryllium Sensitization (BeS) to clinically apparent pulmonary disease Acute disease: inflammation of lungs and acute pneumonitis Chronic beryllium disease (CBD) or berylliosis Dermal and carcinogenic effects Group B1: probable human carcinogen (EPA) Group 1: human carcinogen (IARC)
Takaro et al. study: Screening for Beryllium Sensitization among Former Hanford Workers Beryllium workers respondent to date, May 1998: AGE: 21-86 years old Average: 62 years old SEX: 108 males (87.1%) 16 females (12.9%)
Precautionary Assessment ParameterScore Community/Social Issues Goal3 Need3 Future Generations2 Democratic community based process2 Alternatives3 Total13/15 Unsupportive of health and community
Exposure Issues Exposure2 Multiple Exposures3 Children Exposed0 Consumer Products0 Occupational Exposure3 Food Exposure0 Total8/20 Relatively medium risk of exposure
Standards and Regulations AgencyFocusLevelComments American Conference of Government al Industrial Hygienists ACGIH Air: workplace 2 ug/m 3 0.05 ug/m 3 0.2 ug/m 3 Advisory: TLV-TWA Notice of intended change, 2007; TLV-TWA Notice of Intended Change, 2007; STEL National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Air: workplace0.5 ug/m 3 Advisory, 10-hour TWA, REL Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Air: workplace2 ug/m 3 5 ug/m 3 25 ug/m 3 Regulation, PEL as TWA Regulation, Ceiling Regulation, STEL, 30 minute maximum peak Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air emissions to atmosphere (Clean Air Act) 10 g/24 hours Regulation
Uncertainty Factors ChildrenN/A Subchronic to chronic extrapolation 8 Human Variability10 Database uncertainty10 Uncertainty Factor: 8 x 10 x 10 = 800
RfC (Reference Concentration) (ug/m 3 ) = NOAEL (ug/m 3 ) / Uncertainty Factors RfC for EPA : 0.02 µ g/m 3 NOAEL from Eisenbud et al. 1949 : 0.01-0.1 u g/m 3 NOAEL from EPA: 0.1 ug/m 3 RfC for Eisenbud: 0.005 ug/m 3 /800 = 0.00000625 ug/m 3 RfC for EPA: 0.1 ug/m 3 / 800 = 0.000125ug/m 3
Conclusions The maximum concentration of beryllium via inhalation should be 0.000125 ug/m 3 to prevent adverse health affects from workplace exposure. (EPA=0.02 ug/m 3 ) The OSHA occupational exposure limit for 8-hr workshift 2 ug/m 3 is not protective. Should use ACGIH: 0.5 ug/m 3 More stringent regulations and guidelines at state, national, and international level.
Risk Management More studies for workplace inhalation exposure data for possible chemical transformation of Beryllium and its half-life in air limited information on reproductive or developmental effects More adequate exposure monitoring
Dose Exposure concentration, duration, frequency Occupational health standard, PPE, Engineering and Administration control Adverse Health Risk: CBD, Lung Cancer Genetic Susceptibility Age, gender, nutrition, behavior Screening Wellness Program Surveillance Hazard Healthy Worker Subclinical Disease (BeS) Repair Progression Pathways from exposure to disease showing modifying factors and opportunities for interventions.
Risk Communication Monitoring ambient concentrations Promote awareness towards Beryllium exposure Preventive Focused Education for workers : safety, PPE, changing clothes AdvanceMed Hanford’s Beryllium Monitoring Program BeLPT (Beryllium Lymphocyte proliferation test) Chest radiographs Pulmonary Function Tests Carbon monoxide diffusion Regular follow-up visits
Media Coverage Do not always get it right Loss of interest Disaster or loss of funding newsworthy
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