This is an archived article.

October 13, 1998

“Health of Hanford” conference gathers diverse audience to review and discuss health issues

Emergency preparedness, ecological contamination, worker health and groundwater quality in and around the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are among topics to be addressed during a two-day conference Nov. 3 and 4 in Richland, Wash.

The second annual “Health of Hanford” conference, sponsored by the University of Washington, will join scientists, contractors, workers, residents, tribal leaders and others together to discuss the latest ecological, community and occupational health issues at Hanford. “If not properly managed, the Hanford site and its associated wastes pose one of the greatest threats to the health of the Northwest,” said Dr. Scott Barnhart, director of the University of Washington Occupational Medicine Program. “This conference offers an opportunity for a diverse group of people to examine the highest priority issues at Hanford.”

The conference will include a mix of workshops, panel discussions and poster presentations covering a wide range of topics — from toxic exposure in Hanford workers and thyroid disease in downwinders to the protection of nesting birds and bats on the Hanford site.

Among those presenting at the conference are members of local research companies, university faculty and experts from national and state health organizations.

“This is truly an eclectic conference, with information and dialogues for members of the public, researchers and, importantly, for those who live and work near Hanford,” Barnhart said.

Highlights of presentation topics include:
* Emergency preparedness at Hanford
* Contamination analysis of fruit trees growing on the Hanford site
* Medical surveillance of former Hanford workers
* Elk management issues
* Interactive computer demonstration of workers’ occupational safety and health hazards
* Columbia River comprehensive impact statement

The meeting is supported through funding from the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health. Cost for registration is $40, and a limited number of scholarships are available. For information on attending, please call (206) 685-3676.

Abstracts of conference presentations are available on the Web at http://weber.u.washington.edu/~hanford/uwhanford.html.