Dec 19, 2001: Causes of many kinds of cancer in Toms River are still mysteriousTOMS RIVER, NJ -- "The strongest link between pollution and cancer involved female babies of mothers who consumed water contaminated by the Ciba-Geigy site. The report found a statistical 'association' between infant leukemia and women who lived in the area of the old plant and who reported in interviews that they had consumed tap water from wells known to have been contaminated at the time," Iver Peterson, New York Times.
Dec 18, 2001: Study ties childhood cancer in Toms River to pollutionTOMS RIVER, NJ -- "A long-awaited state and federal study of the high incidence of childhood cancers in Toms River, N.J., says that air and water contamination from chemical plant pollution appears to be responsible for at least some of the cancers, people familiar with the report said yesterday," Iver Peterson, New York Times.
Nov 28: 6,500 searchable pages of internal Brush documents on-lineCLEVELAND -- "The documents reveal a backroom deal Brush Wellman cut with the federal government to abandon a proposed OSHA standard which would have drastically reduced worker’s exposure to highly toxic beryllium dust. Although Brush Wellman continues to emphatically deny the deal took place, their own documents confirm the agreement. Other documents reveal the Atomic Energy Commission’s (now the Department of Energy) agreement to alleviate Brush of their legal liability to sick workers by paying Brush Wellman’s legal bills and monetary settlements for lawsuits filed by Brush workers who became sick as a result of working on government contracts. . . Ohio Citizen Action collected most of the documents from current and former beryllium workers and posted them in searchable pdf files on the internet with the help of the Environmental Working Group’s chemical industry archives project," Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action.
Nov 20: Ohio Citizen Action comments on the draft Health ConsultationCLEVELAND -- "Since the Brush Wellman plant has been operating, members of the community have been forced to rely on Brush Wellman and the Ohio EPA for information. Unfortunately, neither Brush nor the Ohio EPA have done much to establish a level of trust or lines of open communication to lead the public to believe that the information they put forth is trustworthy. Clearly one of the biggest problems in this community is poor communication between these two institutions and members of the community. The ATSDR addresses this problem in its recommendations to Brush Wellman and the Ohio EPA. This problem must also be addressed in the exposure investigation. The most effective way to do this is for the Agency to provide the financial resources to the community to hire its own technical expert(s) whose sole responsibility is to answer to members of the community," Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action.
ELMORE -- "More tests suggested near Brush Wellman," Toledo Blade.
Images from the hearing
Public meeting on beryllium set for Wednesday, Oct 24
ELMORE -- The federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry will host a public meeting from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Oct 24 at the Elmore Community Center, 410 Clinton Street, Elmore. The meeting will discuss the agency's draft report on the community health hazards presented by Brush Wellman’s beryllium plant.
Brush Wellman to pay for new phone alert system|
PORT CLINTON -- "[David Cahill, the director of operations and support services at Brush Wellman] said after the meeting that the Feb. 15 release at the Elmore plant spotlighted to county and Brush officials the need for a better system to notify residents of an emergency. The company notified local emergency agencies and said they might want to contact neighbors. Two families had already left their homes, and no one was home at four other residences targeted for evacuation. 'We all quickly learned it was a difficult prospect to get onto that property and identify a neighbor,' he said. 'Shortly after that the Ottawa County commissioners approached us about the (alert system), and asked if we would be interested in helping. It struck us pretty deeply that that's a good system to notify residents,'" Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.
PORT CLINTON -- "Ottawa County to buy telephone alert system; 'Reverse 911' would notify county residents of emergencies," Brenda Culler, Sandusky Register.
|Oct 10: Health Consultation Public Comment Draft: Brush Wellman Elmore Plant,
Elmore, Ottawa County, Ohio
ATLANTA -- "Recommendations: ATSDR should (1) Conduct an exposure investigation to determine whether community members have been exposed to beryllium from possible off-site transport of dust on Brush Wellman workers’s clothing; (2) Evaluate the possible use of biological testing based on the results of the Exposure Investigation; (3) Use air dispersion modeling to review the air monitoring site locations and determine the possible geographic distribution of beryllium levels," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation.
|Sep 11: Brush Engineered warns, stops dividend
CLEVELAND -- "As a result of continued market weakness, Brush said it now expects a loss for the third quarter greater than its previous forecast range of 10 to 20 cents per share. For the fourth quarter, the company said it now anticipates 'a slight loss,'" Reuters.
|Sep 7: New test makes spotting deadly beryllium dust easier
LOS ALAMOS, NM -- "Los Alamos researchers Tammy Taylor and Nan Sauer have developed a test for beryllium that compares a color change to known standards, similar to the common litmus test for measuring the acidity of a water solution. The test allows real-time detection of beryllium contamination on surfaces. The new beryllium detection technique involves wiping the surfaces of the lab with a prepared pad and then adding a solution. If the pad turns blue, beryllium is present; if it remains orange, then the surface is free of significant contamination. . . . The whole process takes less than an hour and the materials for each test cost less than a dollar," Environmental News Service.
|Sep 7: A Town Choking to Death|
'We're not America's Chernobyl,' says mayor of Libby, Mont. But it's close. A mine's asbestos is slowly killing hundreds
LIBBY, MT -- "Federal agencies for years documented--and largely ignored--potential hazards to workers. It took a series of lawsuits to begin tallying the deaths. When Paul Peronard was sent from the EPA's Denver office in November 1999 to check out news reports that up to 200 people had died of asbestos exposure, he didn't see how it could be true," Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times.
|Sep 7: Local lawsuit on beryllium contamination ends
KNOXVILLE, TN -- "Brush Wellman Inc. announced Thursday that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville has granted the company's motion for summary judgment, effectively ending a lawsuit almost seven years ago. . . In a press statement, Brush Wellman officials said, 'The court can be commended for being thorough and reasoned in evaluating Brush Wellman's position that it was not responsible for the health and safety of another company's employees,'" Paul Parson, Oak Ridger.
KNOXVILLE, TN -- "Beryllium makers not liable for ill effects; Oak Ridge workers' lawsuits dismissed," Laura Ayo, Knoxville News-Sentinel.
KNOXVILLE, TN -- "Judge throws out workers' suit against beryllium companies," Associated Press.
|Sep 3: Group Seeks
Strict Rules on Beryllium|
WASHINGTON, DC -- "'OSHA's failure to adopt a standard that will protect workers from unnecessary beryllium exposure is unconscionable,' said Peter Lure, director of Public Citizen's health research group. 'Every day the agency ignores this issue, tens of thousands of workers are needlessly exposed to this life-threatening hazard.' Public Citizen said it was filing a petition with OSHA seeking the changes," Associated Press.
|Aug 16: Brush Wellman fined $145,000 in Arizona case|
TUCSON, AZ -- "Beryllium manufacturer Brush Wellman Inc. has been fined for using a clothes dryer that released toxic dust into the air outside a plant. The Cleveland-based company said Monday it had agreed to pay a $145,000 fine for violating air quality regulations at its Tucson plant," Associated Press.
|Aug 14: Beryllium firm agrees to pay $145,000 fine|
TUCSON, AZ -- "South Side activist Rose Augustine said she was 'shocked' that Brush was fined at all, since previous problems 'have been swept under the rug.' But she said the fine was still 'peanuts. I wonder how much they would've charged them if they were in a community up in the Northeast Side of town. It would have been two or three times what they're charging on the South Side,' said Augustine, president of Tucsonans for a Clean Environment." Mitch Tobin, Arizona Daily Star.
|Aug 12: Workers file lawsuit over exposure to toxic
KANSAS CITY -- "[Plaintiffs' attorney Grant] Davis said that until recently, workers were never given basic safety equipment or cautioned about the dangers of beryllium and the toxic dust created when the metal is drilled or sanded. He said that the industry had evidence that the allowable exposure rate was too high but that workers were told it was safe. 'In this case, just the opposite was true,' Davis said. 'The workers weren't afraid, because they weren't told at all about the dangers,'" Kit Wagar, Kansas City Star.
|Aug 12: Piketon workers' lives devalued by the system|
WELLSTON -- "It is inconceivable to me that the atomic-plant representatives could try to put a dollar value on the lives that they deem "eligible'' for the $150,000 benefit. . . This is not about money. This is about accountability and accepting responsibility for destroying entire families. This is about answers and closure. Lawmakers don't have to give me money; just give me the truth. . . . one never gets over the loss of a parent. I wish my kids could have known my dad, and I know he would have been proud of them. My son favors him, I think, and not a day goes by that I don't think of my father," Diana Johnston Formyduval, letter-to-the-editor, Columbus Dispatch.
|Aug 10: Federal compensation|
Payments begin for ill nuclear workers
IRONTON -- "Perhaps as early as today, Tim Gannon will become the nation's first nuclear worker to get a check from the federal government as compensation for his cancer-ravaged body. Gannon, who worked at the uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, is slated to receive $150,000 under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act, which took effect last week. The check was sent along with a letter from Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. About two years ago the 41-year- old Ironton resident -- who worked at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant for nearly two decades -- learned he has colon cancer. The disease has since spread to his liver, kidney and rectum," Columbus Dispatch.
|Aug 3: OSHA choice vows beryllium review
Harmful effects of metal noted
WASHINGTON, DC -- "The nominee to head the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration told a Senate panel Thursday that if confirmed, he would review reports of American workers being harmed by the highly toxic metal beryllium and report back to the Senate. . . . Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the committee chairman, raised the beryllium issue at the hearing by noting that a Tribune investigative article published Sunday reported that workers have been harmed by the metal in a variety of businesses, including the machining, recycling and dental industries," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.
|Jul 29: Deadly metal's use endangers workers|
Employers often don't warn about risks from beryllium
CHICAGO -- "David Michaels, the top health official in the Energy Department during the Clinton administration, said that given the government's experience with the illness, he thinks it is virtually impossible for small companies with limited resources to adequately protect workers. He called for a ban on beryllium, except for national security purposes, and decried the spread of the metal to many different industries and consumer markets. 'This is a disaster waiting to happen,' said Michaels, former assistant energy secretary for environment, safety and health and now a public health professor at George Washington University," Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune.
|Jul 24: Forums planned on beryllium
ELMORE -- "Workers sickened by beryllium from the Brush Wellman plant near this city will be able to talk to federal officials Friday about a compensation program. ... The program is run by the U.S. Department of Labor and will provide $150,000 in lump-sum compensation as well as some medical expenses for nuclear weapons workers exposed in the Cold-War era to radiation, beryllium, or silica. This includes people who worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, including its contractors and subcontractors," Toledo Blade.
|Jul 13: Portion of Brush Wellman evacuated after leak found |
ELMORE -- "Brush Wellman officials evacuated a cast shop and an adjacent building just after 10 a.m. Wednesday when company workers found a small leak in a furnace. Liquid metal with beryllium in it from the furnace came into contact with a water line and caused a spray, said Brush Wellman spokesman Patrick Carpenter this morning. ... The adjacent building was cleared for work to resume Wednesday afternoon, but operations in the cast shop ceased throughout the night, Carpenter said. He was unsure if operations would restart today," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton New Herald.
|July 2, 2001: PORT CLINTON -- "Testing of air, water near Brush Wellman justified," editorial, Port Clinton News Herald. "Wednesday's meeting was a result of the Ohio Citizen Action group contacting Sen. Mike DeWine, D-Ohio, after OCA conducted beryllium testing earlier this year. OCA says it found beryllium contamination in the cars and homes of Brush Wellman workers. No contamination was found in the cars and homes of people who do not work at the plant, OCA says. 'It tells us the workers are bringing it home with them,' says OCA spokeswoman Amy Ryder."|
|Jul 1, 2001: DENVER -- "Rocky Flats workers deserve better," guest column, Tony Demaiori, Denver Post. "For years the companies at Rocky Flats paid workers compensation insurance premiums. Big premiums. Lots of money. And the reason they paid these premiums was to protect themselves and to protect the workers. The premiums were paid so that workers would be compensated if they became ill or injured as the result of their work at Rocky Flats. But, the Colorado state workers compensation system has failed the Rocky Flats work force - in particular those who are ill with chronic beryllium disease. Forced to fight with lawyers through cases that drag on for years with no relief, the workers have turned to third-party lawsuits, like the Brush Wellman suit."|
|Jun 30, 2001: DENVER -- "Jurors not at fault," editorial, Denver Post. "The four Rocky Flats workers afflicted with lung disease probably do deserve a new trial. But justice won't be served for them or the jurors in the next trial unless clarity and precision are exercised in attorneys' arguments and the court's jury instructions. Don't blame the jurors when the court is muddled,"|
|Jun 29, 2001: ELMORE -- "Ohio," USA Today. "Federal investigators are studying a
beryllium plant to determine if the metal is making residents
sick. The investigators are talking to neighbors and officials
of the Brush Wellman plant. Beryllium dust, when inhaled, can
cause a fatal lung disease, experts say. The Cleveland-based
company predicted the study will find no danger. Beryllium is
used in nuclear weapons, cars, cell phones and computers."|
ELMORE -- "U.S. probes beryllium plant as health risk," Cleveland Plain Dealer.
|Jun 28, 2001: ELMORE -- "Neighbors ask feds to test air near
Brush; Residents don’t want to rely on
firm’s data," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade.|
Left to right: Betty Lemke, Loretta Peters, Barbara Renwand (back to camera), Sharon Lemke, Amy Ryder. Photo by Gail Lemiec.
"Bob Szilagyi, a Brush Wellman worker from Oak Harbor, urged the investigators to focus on determining how much beryllium is in the air. 'You could find beryllium in cars or in people’s carpets, but it’s the stuff that’s in the air that causes the sickness,' he said. David Beckley of Clyde, a Brush worker who filed suit against Brush Wellman because he has chronic beryllium disease, said the workers’ illnesses should be proof enough something has to be done,"
ELMORE -- "Residents near Brush Wellman plant tell feds they want independent testing," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.
|Jun 28, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "New trial sought in beryllium case; Attorney for Flats workers cites jurors' confusion as reason; motion to come soon," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "... cases involving another 47 people suing the company are pending before [District Court Judge Frank] Plaut. The additional cases will be heard in three trials beginning in April 2002, Plaut said. Brush Wellman faces another 75 lawsuits involving 200 plaintiffs nationwide."|
|Jun 27, 2001: ELMORE -- " Health agency looks at reported beryllium hazard," Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade. "Members of a federal public health agency plan to meet with residents living near the Brush Wellman plant today as part of an investigation into whether beryllium could harm them. The Atlanta-based Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also is meeting today with officials from Ohio Citizen Action, a group that says it found beryllium in homes outside the plant, and tomorrow with Brush officials, who argue they have taken great lengths to protect the public and keep beryllium inside the plant. ... officials will be at the Elmore Community Center from 6 to 9 p.m. to listen to any resident who wants to talk to them about their health concerns related to beryllium."|
|Jun 27, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Workers lose beryllium suit; But juror later says panel thought it
was giving partial victory to four Flats plaintiffs," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "... a juror said afterward that jurors thought they
had placed 10 percent of the responsibility on Brush
Wellman. Juror Melanie Voiles said she was
surprised that there was no second phase of the trial to
'I expected a damage phase,' Voiles said Tuesday
night. She said that after the jurors were instead
dismissed, they asked court staff members, 'Did we do
GOLDEN, CO -- "Flats workers lose suit," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.
GOLDEN, CO -- "Manufacturer 'let off the hook,' Flats union rep says," Berny Morson, Rocky Mountain News.
DENVER -- "Beryllium's uses," Rocky Mountain News.
GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium case gag order appealed," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News.
GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium witness wants gag order reversed," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.
GOLDEN, CO -- "Brush Wellman cleared by jury in beryllium suit," Associated Press.
GOLDEN, CO -- "Jury says Brush Wellman not liable for Rocky Flats beryllium illnesses," Toledo Blade.
CLEVELAND -- Brush Wellman statement.
|Jun 26, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium case jury deliberates 3rd day," Denver Post. "Jurors told the judge Monday evening they were still struggling to reach a verdict."|
|Jun 23, 2001: ELMORE -- Getting the word out to Brush Wellman's neighbors |
As a jury deliberated Brush Wellman's fate in a Golden, Colorado, courthouse, the smiling activists above distributed thousands of flyers in Elmore, Oak Harbor and Genoa. The flyers announced a community meeting on Brush Wellman and beryllium disease. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will host an open house session for Elmore, Ohio, and the surrounding area on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the Elmore Community Center, 410 Clinton Street, in Elmore. Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action. Photo by Angela Oster.
|Jun 23, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Jury gets beryllium case; could affect other disease lawsuits," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "Plaintiffs' attorney Allen Stewart said Brush Wellman's warnings were defective because they gave no hint how dangerous even an infinitesimal amount of beryllium could be. The labels didn't say, "the most deadly element known to mankind," Stewart told the jury. "They didn't say, 'The dust you can't see can kill you. The fumes you can't smell can kill you.' " For 50 years, Brush Wellman told the public that no one would come down with chronic beryllium disease if the factory kept beryllium dust to 2 micrograms per cubic meter of air. That's the equivalent of a ground-up pencil tip scattered across a football field of air six feet high. In fact, Brush Wellman and federal officials knew in the 1940s that even less than that could kill, Stewart said."|
|Jun 22, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Lawyer: Influence fueled Flats coverup; Closing arguments in beryllium suit," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.. "The case also is being watched across the country because Brush faces
more than 70 similar lawsuits, and it's the first time claims about the
conspiracy will go to a jury, observers have said. Another 47 workers also
are part of the same Jefferson County suit, but how their claims will be
handled depends on the outcome of the current suit. ... One of the most critical is the diary of Brush's president, which
admitted in 1951 that the company's workers were getting sick from
exposures below the federal safety standard. [Plaintiffs attorney Al] Stewart called the document "very important," while [Brush attorney Sydney] McDole said there
was no way to know what the diary meant, since the writer has died."|
GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium producer knew of danger, attorney says," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News
GOLDEN, CO -- Colo. Workers' Case in Final Arguments, P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press.
GOLDEN, CO -- Jury told Brush knew beryllium standard unsafe, Associated Press.
|Jun 21, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Defense rests its case in lawsuit
over beryllium," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "Beryllium producer
Brush Wellman Inc. ended its defense Wednesday without
confronting evidence that it colluded with the federal
government in the late 1970s to stop OSHA's attempt to
tighten safety standards for beryllium. ...
Defense attorneys also tried to show that the
plaintiffs in this first phase -- four Rocky Flats
beryllium disease victims and their spouses -- failed to
meet Colorado's two-year statute of limitations. They
were diagnosed, and filed workers' compensation cases
against Rocky Flats many years before the case against
Brush Wellman was filed in 1996."|
GOLDEN, CO -- "Closing arguments set in Flats case," Denver Post.
|Jun 20, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium workers’ witness denies try to force mistrial," Associated Press. "[Judge Frank Plaut] denied the defense motion for a mistrial in the case, in which 55 people are suing Brush Wellman, Inc. of Cleveland. Beryllium is used in a variety of products, despite growing evidence that breathing the tiniest amount can bring on an incurable, wasting lung ailment."|
|Jun 19, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Expert's testimony in Flats suit
stricken," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post. "Testimony of an expert witness for Rocky Flats workers was thrown
out Monday after a judge said the witness lacked credibility because of
his animosity and hatred. The workers are suing over contracting a
disabling lung disease after working with the metal beryllium.
County District Judge Frank Plaut said he also will punish the Dallas law
firm of Baron & Budd for calling Dr. David Egilman, a witness the firm
knew was "out of control.""|
GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium testimony thrown out; Expert witness violated gag order, judge says," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News.
|Jun 16, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Doctor: Flats illness was preventable; Brush knew of beryllium problems in '51, internal records show," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post. "If Brush Wellman Inc., the world's leading producer of beryllium, had revealed 50 years ago that its workers were becoming sick, it would have prevented hundreds of other illnesses, a nationally prominent Denver doctor testified Friday. ... Brush's co-founder, Bengt Kjellgren, who was company president in 1951, wrote in his diary that 'our records show' that practically all of the sickened workers that year had been exposed to dust levels below the federal safety standard. "That would have been very important information to be sharing," [Dr. Lee] Newman said."|
GOLDEN, CO -- "'Science' was just political smoke screen," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News.
|Jun 15, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Expert: Flats didn't shield employees; Illnesses blamed on contractors," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post. "[Mark
Van Ert, an industrial hygienist testifying on behalf of Brush Wellman] also said the plant's industrial hygienist believed the federal
standard failed to protect all workers from the lung disease and that he
knew that as early as 1961. The hygienist is expected to testify
GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium maker tries to shift blame; Rocky Flats plant bears lion's share, manufacturer asserts," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. Beryllium health risks targeted.
ELMORE -- "Federal agency schedules open house with neighbors," Port Clinton News Herald.
|Jun 14, 2001: ATLANTA -- "U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry announces an open house for Elmore," ATSDR. "ATSDR was requested by U.S. Senator Mike DeWine to investigate the Brush Wellman plant in Elmore to determine whether emissions from the plant and beryllium particles carried off-site on workers clothing in the past pose a health risk to members of the community."|
|Jun 13, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Workers sacrificed, jurors told; TV interview with ex-DOE chief is replayed in [Rocky] Flats civil lawsuit," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post. "[Bill Richardson, energy secretary under President
Clinton] acknowledged in the television interview that the Department
of Energy "cut a deal" with Brush Wellman to ensure the company would keep
producing the lightweight metal for weapons. In return, the Energy
Department actively opposed an effort by a different federal agency to
tighten safety standards for workers' exposure. ...
The lawsuit alleges that Brush and the government covered up the fact
that the safety standard did not protect workers from the disabling lung
disease. Richardson called the collusion between the two 'incredible.'"|
GOLDEN, CO -- "Judge angered by Web posting; Expert witness for Rocky Flats workers violated gag order," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News
|Jun 12, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium report attacked in
court; Ex-Rocky Flats workers say firm's
medical director misrepresented the cause of chronic
disease in 1983," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "On Monday, their attorneys presented a scientific
publication authored in 1983 by Dr. Otto Preuss, medical
director of Brush Wellman. Preuss reported that all
neighbors of the company factory in Lorain, Ohio, who
became ill had been in contact with the
beryllium-contaminated clothing of workers.
In fact, only one of the 11 sick neighbors had washed
clothing, according to testimony from Merril Eisenbud,
the industrial hygienist who conducted the study 50
years ago. Testimony from Eisenbud read to the jury said
he calculated the neighbors had been exposed by air to
only about 0.1 to 1 microgram per cubic meter of air,
substantially less than the 2 micrograms still set as
the maximum safe exposure today."|
GOLDEN, CO -- "Official had doubts about beryllium," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post
|Jun 9, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Dr.: Early test went unfunded; Lack of industry push killed promising screen for beryllium sensitivity," Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News. "[Dr. Sharad] Deodhar said he developed a test in 1973 that showed that the white cells in some people reacted to beryllium, indicating a likelihood that they would later develop chronic beryllium disease if exposed to even very small amounts. ... "We felt it should be developed as a screening test," Deodhar said. "We felt the major push should have come from industry but it didn't happen." Deodhar's work eventually ceased and the test wasn't perfected for years, after others took up the research. The test is now used to screen workers susceptible to developing beryllium disease."|
|Jun 8, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium stories fake, expert
says; Maker allegedly planted medical-journal
articles," Berny Morson, Rocky Mountain News. "[Dr. David Steven] Egilman cited a half-dozen publications, including
safety manuals and textbooks, written by Brush Wellman
employees as early as 1964.
Those materials support the federal standard for
beryllium in place at the time, which said that
beryllium dust was not hazardous in tiny quantities,
estimated at 2 micrograms per cubic meter. One article
claimed beryllium is safe even in concentrations 15
times the federal standard.
But Egilman, who has reviewed the company's own
documents, said Brush Wellman knew even as the articles
were being written that beryllium was dangerous in
concentrations below the federal standard."|
GOLDEN, CO -- "No level of beryllium safe, Flats workers' expert says," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.
|Jun 7, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "U.S. feared loss of beryllium; Company drove hard bargain, ex-Brush
Wellman exec says," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "Retired Brush Wellman vice president Steve Zenczak
testified Wednesday that after the only other producer
quit the business in 1979, defense and energy department
officials called a meeting to make sure that Brush
Wellman would continue to mine and process beryllium.
Rocky Flats needed beryllium to produce nuclear weapons.
Company officials told the government officials that
to continue production, they needed an immediate 35
percent price hike and relief from OSHA efforts to
tighten the safety standard, Zenczak testified on
GOLDEN, CO -- "Worker testifies in injury lawsuit; Beryllium's danger kept secret, he says," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.
|Jun 6, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Safety watchdog says beryllium rule
'a guess'; Lawsuit testimony indicates scientific
research was lacking," Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News. "Retired Brush Wellman executive Martin Powers
testified by videotape that the 2-microgram standard was
only "a guess." ... Another once-secret AEC document said that before any
document was declassified, information that would
support claims for beryllium disease damage should be
GOLDEN, CO -- "Director aware of beryllium ills," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.
|Jun 5, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Workers allege Brush hid beryllium danger," Thomas Gerdel, Cleveland Plain Dealer. "According to court documents, lawyers for the company said that a
tentative workplace standard set in 1949 warned that its guidelines might
not protect all workers. Several government documents, including reports
in the 1980s, also warned that the standard would not protect all people.
Internal company documents and declassified government material
indicated that Brush Wellman knew as early as 1951 that workers were
becoming sick when exposed to beryllium levels that were within the
GOLDEN, CO -- "Workers at Flats say safety ignored; Defense denies ploy to hide beryllium threat," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post.
GOLDEN, CO -- "Beryllium firm hid health peril, attorney says," Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News.
|Jun 4, 2001: GOLDEN, CO -- "Flats workers' suit eyed; Trial tests claim of beryllium exposure," Stacie Oulton, Denver Post. "[Former Brush Wellman worker Dave] Norgard will be closely watching a trial starting today in Jefferson
County [Colorado] District Court involving some of those stricken Rocky Flats
workers. He may come here from his Michigan home to attend the four-week
trial. His daughter and son live in the Denver area. He knows that it's a case that could gain national prominence for
several reasons. It will be the first time a jury reviews documents
showing what the federal government and the world's leading beryllium
supplier knew about what was happening to workers, according to union
officials, attorneys and others."|
DENVER -- "Government to open Flats health office," Berny Morson, Rocky Mountain News.
|Jun 2, 2001: ELMORE -- "Brush Wellman incident properly handled," letter to the editor, Harold Wiegard, Brush Wellman, Toledo Blade. "One has to wonder where the true 'sophistry' lies. While Brush Wellman does contest whether the barrel contained 'waste' as defined under EPA regulations, it has never contended that the incident posed no potential hazards. In addition, Brush Wellman has begun to proactively address each of the EPA items listed in the notice of violation. The incident was treated as a hazardous materials response at all times, and any implication to the contrary is true 'sophistry.'"|
|May 25, 2001: PORT CLINTON -- "Ottawa Co. to install reverse 911 system," Brenda Culler, Sandusky Register. "Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency Director James Greer said incidents like the vapor cloud released from Elmore's Brush Wellman plant in February illustrate the need for such a system. Although residents in the immediate downwind area were evacuated when the cloud, which contained 'un-harmful' traces of beryllium, floated over nearby residential property, Greer said residents who lived a few miles downwind of the plant heard about the release on the news. Greer said those residents expressed said they would have liked to have been notified directly by the county. An emergency call system would allow this."|
|May 25, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Congress limits survivor benefits," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. "Sam Ray of Lucasville, Ohio, said cancer, beryllium disease and silicosis – the diseases for which the government will compensate exposed workers – can be slow killers, and a child under 18 when the parent got sick will no longer be a dependent by the time the person dies. 'The bad thing about it is the latency period,' said Ray, who lost his larynx to cancer."|
|Mar 31, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Let Labor handle nuclear workers' aid, lawmakers say," Jonathan Riskind, Columbus Dispatch. "'While the federal government rearranges the deck chairs, the ship is
sinking for a lot of people who served this country with dedication,' [U.S. Senator George] Voinovich said. 'We don't have time to figure out which agency can serve
them best. . . . [The] Justice [Department] will, I think, be overwhelmed, and people won't
get the help they need.'"|
WASHINGTON, DC -- "Lawmaker asks Bush to reconsider moving nuclear worker program," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press.
|Mar 30, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Draft order shows Chao winning battle to shed nuclear worker program," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. "Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, immediately called the White House and asked Budget Director Mitch Daniels to reconsider. 'Many of these people don't have time to wait. They're sick now and can't wait while the government tweaks its bureaucracy,' Voinovich said."|
|Mar 27, 2001: TOLEDO -- "Don’t delay beryllium aid," editorial, Toledo Blade. "If Labor Secretary Elaine Chao has any intention to obstruct the program to compensate northwest Ohio nuclear weapons workers made ill by exposure to beryllium, she should forget about it. In the midst of the trashing of a whole series of workplace-safety and environmental regulations by the business-friendly Bush administration comes news that Ms. Chao has asked the White House to rescind the executive order under which the program was created and transfer it to the Justice Department. ... Only the coldest bureaucrat would want to sabotage a program to aid Americans who unwittingly forfeited their health in service to their country,"|
|Mar 25, 2000: BRAINTREE, MA -- "James Paustenbach and Brush Wellman," memo, David Egilman. " [As a result of] the corrupt nature of the process by which the Conference sets TLVs, and the resultant TLVs, many workers have died. We now have a unique opportunity to intervene in this process and stave off further deaths and injuries."|
|Mar 22, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "More senators weigh in against Labor Department proposal," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. "Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., one of the main authors of the law creating the new entitlement, sent Chao a letter laying out the reasons lawmakers want her agency to have control. The new program was modeled after a large worker compensation program that the Labor Department already runs, he wrote. ... Thompson's letter asked for an efficient program to do right by 'brave, hardworking men and women who helped this nation win the Cold War' and were put in harm's way."|
|Mar 21, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Labor Department balks at starting new program," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. "In just four months, the government is supposed to start taking applications from job-sickened nuclear workers eligible for special federal compensation. Congress gave the Labor Department $60.4 million to set up the program. But Labor Secretary Elaine Chao doesn't want to do it, and lawmakers with ailing constituents said Wednesday they're worried about people with incurable illnesses having to wait too long for compensation if Chao gets her way."|
|Mar 1, 2001: CLEVELAND -- "Your dental crown may be dangerous; Metal is durable, but can be harmful," Susan Davies, TV-5 ABC. "'There is no reason in the world we should be working with beryllium at all,' Tom Muzic of the Universal Dental Studio says. ... Like Muzic, [dentist Terrence] Messerman has made the decision never to use beryllium. But a recent survey conducted by the consumer watchdog group Citizen Action found that a number of dental labs in this area do use beryllium, and many were unaware of the potential hazard to the lungs of workers. 'What I'm looking for is a quick solution to a dangerous problem,' Amy Ryder of Ohio Citizen Action tells NewsChannel5. Citizen Action wants beryllium producers like Brush Wellman to stop supplying the dental industry."|
|Feb 28, 2001: ELMORE -- "Brush-Wellman should be a good neighbor and pay for testing of air, wells and river," letter, Gary Renwand, Sr., Port Clinton News Herald. "If they are such good neighbors, why would they be afraid to do testing for the neighbors? ... It is going to take all of us to get this testing done. If you care about the future and the health of yourself and children, you will be writing letters to your representatives in this state and to Brush-Wellman to get these tests done."|
|Feb 23, 2001: PORT CLINTON -- "Plant should agree to pay for testing of area residents," editorial, Port Clinton News Herald. "We're glad to see Brush Wellman officials taking a proactive approach toward two recent incidents, but we'd like to see them go further and agree to testing demanded last week by neighbors of the Elmore area plant. ... For those reasons, the company should respond positively to demands that it share the cost of a series of beryllium exposure tests in the wake of the chemical releases. The demands and other concerns were aired last week at a press conference. Members of Ohio Citizen Action of Toledo, a public health and environment watchdog group, helped organize the event."|
|Feb 22, 2001: COLUMBUS -- "Group seeking ban on use of beryllium in dental products," Misti Crane, Columbus Dispatch. "The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies to prepare and distribute safety information to labs handling dangerous materials. According to the Citizen Action survey, four of five dental-laboratory suppliers failed to mention beryllium disease or accurately warn of the cancer risks associated with the material."|
|Feb 21, 2001: CLEVELAND -- "Ohio Citizen Action wants beryllium banned in dentistry," release, Amy Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action. "Ohio Citizen Action today released a report showing dental lab employees are working with a deadly metal and likely have little knowledge of its toxicity. The group says that some dental laboratory suppliers are withholding life-saving information from the workers handling beryllium. 'Dental laboratory technicians are being lied to about the health hazards of beryllium,' said Amy Ryder, Cleveland Director of Ohio Citizen Action." Full text of report.|
|Feb 18, 2001: ELMORE -- "Brush douses fire, EPA smolders; Handling of accidents perturbs state agency," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade. "The second accident in three days occurred yesterday at the Brush Wellman plant here, this time a fire inside the facility. And like Thursday’s accident, when a chemical reaction in a 55-gallon barrel caused a 100-foot-wide plume of beryllium-tainted smoke to waft through a residential area, the company did not immediately notify the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. ... State environmental regulators view the two events as proof that the company has gotten lackadaisical about communicating with them."|
|Feb 17, 2001: ELMORE -- "Locals want renewed testing for
beryllium," Brenda Culler, Sandusky Register. "'The accident proves that beryllium is leaving the plant
and entering the community,' said Ohio Citizen Action Director Sarah
Ogdahl. 'The overwhelming response from Friday's meeting of local
residents is that the neighbors want their blood, their homes and their
water tested for beryllium.' ... Bryan Sharples, who lives on the Portage River about
three miles west of the plant, said he thinks the hundreds of fish he
has seen floating dead in the river and a green slime plant officials
say is algae are direct results of beryllium contamination. "|
ELMORE -- "Ohio EPA looks for beryllium in sampling,"(Kelly Lecker, Toledo Blade).
|Feb 16, 2001: ELMORE -- "Beryllium dust is
released into residential site; Emergency crews evacuate workers, area
homeowners," Kelly Lecker, Joe Mahr, Toledo Blade. "The incident
prompted Ohio Citizen Action, the state’s largest environmental
group with 150,000 members, to renew its call for the plant and the
federal government to pay for testing of nearby residents to
determine whether they have contracted beryllium
disease. 'This company is going to continue to put people in
danger, and we need the federal government to step in and pay for an
investigation into the plant,' said Sarah Ogdahl of Ohio Citizen
Action. 'It’s a crisis. We need to get the testing in the
community.' Ms. Ogdahl said she had been contacted by members
of the organization’s Coalition for a Safe Environment who live in
the area and told her they were concerned about their
ELMORE -- "Homeowners’ reaction to beryllium leak mixed,"(Joe Mahr, Toledo Blade).
ELMORE -- "Elmore: Living in fear," (WNWO-TV NBC Toledo).
|Feb 15, 2001: ELMORE -- "Chemical reaction forces evacuation near plant," Associated Press. "A chemical reaction inside a barrel filled with potentially toxic metal chips sent smoke spewing Thursday and forced the evacuation of seven homes... The 55-gallon barrel contained chips of beryllium, a metal used in the defense, automotive and electronics industries... Workers inside the plant, which is about 20 miles southeast of Toledo, were moved away from the smoking barrel, and seven homes were evacuated for about four hours."|
|Feb 14, 2001: PROVIDENCE, RI -- "Beryllium: The "double standard" standard," report, David S. Egilman, MD MPH in the case of Ballinger v. Brush Wellman, Inc., Civil Action No. 96CV2532, memo dated Dec 15, 2000. "'Government and medical standards use 2 mg/m3 as the air count limit, but the committee thought that this could be unacceptable at St. Clair because personnel [Brush corporate officers and research staff] are used to a greater margin of safety. ...While the committee realized that some personnel would be critical of anything besides zero level, it agreed to use a 0.05 mg/m3 'for purposes of discussion'.'" (May 24, 1991, Dombrowski to Kelly).
The judge in the case against Brush Wellman for beryllium-caused illness and death at the Rocky Flats plant has issued a gag order in the case, requiring Dr. Egilman to temporarily close his website. Thus there is no longer a link to this report.
|Feb 6, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Government Reimburses Nuclear Weapons Contractors for Legal Bills," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. "David Norgard, who worked at Brush Wellman Corp.'s Elmore, Ohio, plant and is suing the beryllium maker, said 'it really did hit hard' to learn the government reimburses the company for legal fees. 'It's very upsetting,' he said. 'I think the company was responsible and the company ought to pay.'"|
|Feb 2, 2001: CHICAGO -- "The bomb's Chicago fallout; U.S. says '40s research put thousands at high risk," Sam Roe, Jeremy Manier, Chicago Tribune. "Herbert Anderson was a major figure in the race for the atomic bomb, a pioneering physicist who made history at the University of Chicago in 1942 when he helped create the world's first controlled nuclear chain reaction. But Anderson paid a heavy price for such achievements. He contracted a rare lung disease from handling beryllium, an extraordinarily toxic metal critical to nuclear weapons production. Before he died, his lungs were so damaged he couldn't breathe without an oxygen tank, and his bones were so brittle he once broke two fingers just by shaking someone's hand."|
|Jan 30, 2001: DENVER -- "Beryllium exposure and chronic beryllium disease caused from working with dental alloys," (letter from Dr. Lee Newman, National Jewish Medical and Research Center to Ohio Citizen Action). "I have recently diagnosed Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) in a dental technician who has worked in the dental field for 13 years. She has symptomatic CBD due her occupational exposures to beryllium alloys used in the production of bridges and crowns. I fear that there are many other such cases like hers in the U.S. dental industry and that action must be taken to raise awareness of the hazards of beryllium in this segment of the American workforce."|
|Jan 24, 2001: MIAMI -- "I am sure that you had no idea how dangerous beryllium can be..." (letter from Vaughn Simon to Boy Scouts of America, dated Jan 23). "I am sure that you had no idea how dangerous beryllium can be when you decided to offer these [beryllium rings]. I would like to help you understand by relating my family's personal experience with beryllium. My wife was working in a dental lab grinding and polishing tiny metal castings. Later she discovered that some of these castings contained up to 1.8% beryllium. Over a period of time she developed a series of symptoms that gradually grew worse and worse."|
|Jan 23, 2001: CLEVELAND -- "Ohio Citizen Action urges the Boy Scouts of America: Recall beryllium rings," (release, Ohio Citizen Action). "In her letter to Boy Scout President Edward Whitacre, Amy Ryder wrote, 'The Boy Scout catalog says ‘beryllium rings cannot be resized.’ Is this because the manufacturer knows of the dangers of beryllium? If so, what warning accompanies the ring when purchased by an Eagle Scout? What warnings do the ring manufacture workers receive prior to handling
beryllium? The workers who make the beryllium Eagle Scout ring are in danger of
developing and dying from beryllium disease. While the ring manufacturer is
ultimately responsible for the health and safety of its workers, we believe
the Boy Scouts can set a good example for its young members by discontinuing the sale
of beryllium-containing jewelry."|
CLEVELAND -- "Environmental group urges Boy Scouts to stop selling beryllium rings," (Associated Press).
|Jan 12, 2001: OAK RIDGE, TN -- "Boy Scouts selling beryllium rings," (Glenn Bell letter to Boy Scouts of America). "I am appalled to find that the BSA is offering the rings below which contain beryllium.... If the rings were ground, filed, or otherwise abraded, allowing particles to become airborne, sensitization and or disease could result. Taking such a ring to a jeweler for resizing would have the same result, should the jeweler not know of the ring's composition, and how to protect himself."|
|Jan 12, 2001: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Government lists bomb factories where sickened workers might get help," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. "Bob Schaeffer of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability called the weapons plant inventory 'a major step in recognizing the geographic scope of contamination.' But, he complained, 'DOE is still acting as if the contamination stopped at the fence line. Thousands of neighbors and people who lived in nearby communities also are affected by the contamination from the plants. Addressing their needs must be the next step.'"|
WASHINGTON, DC -- "Ohio's connection," Cleveland Plain Dealer.
WASHINGTON, DC -- "More money urged for ailing nuclear workers," Jonathan Riskind, Columbus Dispatch.
|Jan 10, 2001: GENOA -- "Residents urge wider testing for beryllium dust near plant," Toledo Blade. "Others who spoke last night asked for testing of the Portage River, farmland, and residential wells. Ohio Citizen Action was told of the need to have any testing done independent from the state Environmental Protection Agency. 'Clean up the [darn] place. I don’t think that is too much to ask. All the thinking in the world is not going to cure it,' Brian Sharples, who lives near the plant, said."|
|Jan 3, 2001: ELMORE -- Jan 9 public meeting set to discuss beryllium contamination found in Elmore homes, cars. "Citizen Action has found beryllium contamination in five out of six workers' homes tested, and in three out of three workers' cars sampled. Beryllium was also found on a car owned by a resident who lives across the street from the plant." The meeting will be held at 6:30 PM, Tuesday, Jan 9, at the Genoa Public Library meeting room. For more information or directions: Sarah Ogdahl, (419) 866-9093.|