published July 24, 2001
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
The town hall meetings, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the
multipurpose room at Woodmore High School, is designed to help
workers and eligible survivors of people who died from beryllium
disease learn how to apply for benefits from the federal
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.
The law that provided the
compensation was passed in October and takes effect July
Labor and energy officials have been traveling the
country this summer, explaining the program in a number of town hall
meetings. Elmore, which is home to Brush Wellman’s largest beryllium
plant, was not originally on the town hall list but was added at the
request of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo).
obviously a great deal of concern about this in Ottawa County,’’
said Frank Szollosi, a spokesman for Miss Kaptur.
will be able to ask questions specifically related to the
compensation program. They will learn what forms they need,
including work history and medical records, to apply for the
"This is primarily to explain the program," Department
of Labor spokesman Juan Solano said.
There are 10 centers
nationwide where workers can go to get help and file claims under
the Energy Employees Occupational Injury Compensation Program. One
of the centers is in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Beryllium is a strong,
lightweight metal used to make nuclear bombs. About 1,200 current or
former workers have contracted beryllium disease since the 1940s,
including workers at the Elmore plant. The disease is an incurable,
sometimes fatal lung disease.
Woodmore High School is at 633
Fremont St., Elmore.