Demanding Awareness of the Risk of Nighttime Shiftwork for Workers in the Field of Energy

Demanding Awareness of the Risk of Nighttime Shiftwork for Workers in the Field of Energy

March 5, 2022
Signatures: 654Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Crystal Swinton

This petition is being written on the behalf of the late Jacob Swinton in regards to wrongful denial to cover his health related expenses and to compensate him for the radioactive exposures he received while working nighttime shift work for BXWT, under the division of the United States Department of Energy located in Lynchburg Virginia. 

In December of 2020, my family received news that my husband was diagnosed with a rare radiogenic cancer of the cecum. This diagnosis was found twenty years after conducting work for the Department of Energy while working at BWX-Technologies (BWXT). 

Jacob Swinton was as a licensed police officer that worked at BWXT. His work required him to work directly with securing access to highly toxic radioactive nuclear chemicals for the US Department of Energy inside spaces that were considered “too restrictive” for other employees. He was required to be where others were not allowed and after experiencing several of his own incidents of exposure and witnessing things that are hazardous to anyone’s health, he made a financial decision to leave BWXT for the sake of his own health and well-being and as we now see, his resignation from BWXT was a little too late, as the exposures he received had already done the damage needed to develop into terminal cancer. 

Evidence of Exposures while employed at BWXT for Jacob Swinton. 

Jacob's employment medical records showed he was exposed to various sources of radiation during his employment at BWXT. There were several incidents of exposures which showed he was emitting radiation from his body. His body was considered to HOT and therefore he was not allowed to return to work until his levels went down. His medical records in the first year showed base line levels. In his final year, his uranium radioactivity levels were nine times greater according to his NIOSH report.  

Research shows that the cancer my husband had is carcinogenic in nature and  develops slowly over a lengthy latency period of 10 to 20 years. A person's risk of developing cancer depends on how much, how long, how often, and when they are exposed to these chemicals. 

Carcinogenic cancers can develop from a high diet of processed foods, meats, physically inactivity, overweight, has a history of smoking or heavy alcohol use, has family history of diagnosis or is exposed to highly toxic chemicals and radiation.

Jacob has never participated in the use of alcohol or smoking, not EVEN on an occasional basis.

Jacob has no family history, close or distant showing diagnosis of any related disease found within the GI track, bowls or cancers.  

Jacob’s family, friends and colleagues, can contest that Jacob lived a physical fit lifestyle, mentoring others to live a healthy lifestyle internally and physically. He knew the value of protecting his health, eating right and never putting anything into his body that would risk his health. The only remaining most likely cause of his cancer was the exposures he received while working for BWXT. 

Not only was Jacob constantly being exposed to radioactive chemicals, he was exposed to gamma rays while working in the spaces that were restrictive to others, all while working night shifts. 

Research acknowledges and confirms that sleep loss due to nighttime work reduces the body’s natural killer (NK) cell response by an AVERAGE of 72%. Nurses across America are taught and trained on this but nighttime shift workers, working in the field of energy are not being taught this. While being exposed to these dangerous chemicals, Jacob's body was not able to fight for him because of working at night. His immune response was ultimately comprised while working and therefore could not protect him against the radioactive exposures he was receiving while employed at BWXT. 

Millions of Americans across the U.S. are working in the field of energy and are working nightshifts. Nearly all of the workers who apply for occupational illness compensation are being denied. This compensation was created, signed and approved by Congress to compensate them for the occupational illness exposures received while at work. Nighttime shift workers in this field are at a even greater risk for developing cancers and they are being denied compensation based on a statistical analysis generated by NIOSH. This analysis fails to include dose reconstruction for nightshift work and individual differences in peoples lifestyle choices. 

This Petition Demands the U.S. Department of Labor and the US. Department of Energy must address this lack of accountability for analyzing dose reconstruction for NIOSH and the greater risk for Workplace Safety and Health while working nightshifts. Nighttime shift workers that work for the U.S. Department of Energy should be made aware that any radioactive chemical exposures will put them at a greater risk for developing cancers. 



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Signatures: 654Next Goal: 1,000
Support now