The Hanford nuclear site – called “the most contaminated workplace in America” -- has made hundreds of workers sick from chemical vapors, including 38 in just the past few months. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has the authority under existing environmental laws to act to protect Hanford workers from toxic exposure, and he needs to hear from us to make the right decision
The Hanford nuclear site made the plutonium for the Nagasaki bomb and subsequently for the US arsenal of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons during the Cold War. The site is a toxic and radioactive disaster area, and workers there are exposed to radioactive, chemical and other hazards on a daily basis.
Yet Hanford, a federal facility run by the US Department of Energy, has exempted itself from worker safety oversight and has failed to offer meaningful protections to workers, as required by their own regulations. This is especially true when it comes to exposure to chemical vapors that emanate from Hanford’s 177 million gallon underground radioactive waste tanks. Workers have little to no protection from inhaling these vapors, and many have suffered permanent, long-term injuries, illnesses, and death from such exposures.
It is time that Hanford workers receive protection. The State of Washington has legal authority to require polluters to protect workers who work around and with hazardous and toxic materials. If enough people sign this petition, we can end the cycle of neglect and illness by putting pressure on the Washington State Attorney General’s office to use existing authority under federal and state hazardous waste laws to regulate health and safety conditions at Hanford when it comes to chemical vapor exposure.
For more information, go to hanfordchallenge.org and click on Vapors! KING 5 TV has also produced a Peabody Award winning investigative series entitled “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” that interviews workers, doctors and experts, revealing a shocking and unfolding scandal at Hanford. You can view that series here.