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NIOSH Honors National Day of Remembrance for America's Cold War Nuclear Workers

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser, (202) 245-0645
October 29, 2009

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today invited its partners, stakeholders, and the public to join in honoring the National Day of Remembrance, Oct. 30, 2009, for the U.S. uranium and nuclear weapons workers who served their country during the Cold War Era.

The National Day of Remembrance was designated under U.S. Senate Resolution 151. The Resolution honors the men and women who built America's nuclear defense capability after World War II.

The Senate Resolution cites the service rendered by the nuclear weapons workers: "Whereas these dedicated American workers paid a high price for their service and have developed disabling or fatal illnesses as a result of exposure to beryllium, ionizing radiation, toxic substances, and other hazards that are unique to the production and testing of nuclear weapons; Whereas these workers were put at individual risk without their knowledge and consent in order to develop a nuclear weapons program for the benefit of all American citizens; Whereas these patriotic men and women deserve to be recognized for their contribution, service, and sacrifice towards the defense of our great Nation."

NIOSH conducts scientific and technical support under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The Act established a program of federal compensation for former nuclear weapons workers who suffered job-related cancer as a result of exposures to radiation during their employment.

"The National Day of Remembrance reminds us of the pivotal role that thousands of men and women, all across the United States, played in our national defense after World War II," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "We join with our fellow citizens to honor these Cold War heroes on the National Day of Remembrance, and we also take this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to our duties under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act."

More information about NIOSH's scientific and technical support under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/ocas/. NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Further information about NIOSH research and recommendations can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

 
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