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Program Update 2006

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Program Update March 2006

The Former Workers Medical Exam Program for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) began examinations in April of 2000 at the Española Program Office. The office is located in the Española Hospital Medical Arts Building, Suite B, 1010 Spruce Street, Española, NM. Currently, we only offer examinations at the Española Program Office but former workers may also request an examination through the DOE National Supplemental Screening Program (NSSP).

Rebecca Trujillo, a LANL former worker, conducts the exposure and medical history interviews, schedules appointments for medical examinations, answers questions of former workers, and provides program information. The Española Program Office is currently open two days a week.

As in the past, the examinations, blood tests, and breathing tests (spirometry) are done in the program office. If a former worker has worked around beryllium during their employment at the LANL site, we will draw three to four tablespoons full of blood for a beryllium sensitization test. This test is called a beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT). The chest x-ray and hearing test are performed at the Española Hospital.

All charts, x-rays, and test results are shipped back to Baltimore where the program occupational medicine physicians review these results. The chest x-ray is sent to a certified B-reader who evaluates the film for possible occupational disease, such as asbestosis. If a former worker has at least one abnormal BeLPT, it is recommended that they apply to be part of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). 

A letter is sent to the former worker that outlines the findings from the examination and testing. Included in this packet is a letter for the former worker's Primary Care Provider (PCP). This letter will include recommendations for further testing if needed and reports any other significant findings from the examination and testing. The program is not funded to perform any additional testing after the one-time free exam. The former worker's Primary Care Provider (PCP) is asked to see that these recommendations are carried out. All program records are kept in locked files to maintain confidentiality.

Program Activities to October 2004

  • Invitation letters sent: 34,369
  • Former workers who agreed to participate: 2,937
  • Former workers not interested in participating: 1,573
  • Return to sender (bad address): 2,464
  • Exposure Questionnaire #1 (EQ1) [exposure questionnaire sent to former worker with unknown exposures by job title, e.g., staff member] completed: 1074
  • Exposure Questionnaire #2 (EQ2) [detailed exposure and medical history interview] completed: 2,773

Examinations to October 2004

  • Total Examinations and Medical Record Reviews = 2,329
  • Española, NM Program office = 1,661
  • LANL Occupational Medicine Clinic = 280
  • Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Baltimore, MD = 14

Types of Examinations

  • Asbestos = 1309
  • Beryllium = 2118
  • Lead = 1363
  • Noise = 1879
  • Radiation = 2072

Beryllium Lymphocyte Proliferation Tests (BeLPT – test for sensitization to Beryllium)

  • Total tests = 2,400 (includes repeat tests)
  • Individual tests = 2,113
  • Single positive LPTs = 30
  • Double positive LPTs = 28
  • Beryllium evaluations for double positive LPTs = 26
  • Diagnosed Chronic Beryllium Disease = 3

Chest X-rays

  • Total chest x-rays = 2,116
  • Chest x-rays with B-reading showing changes suggestive of asbestos exposure or disease = 226

Spirometry (Breathing Tests) Done

  • Total spirometry = 1,275
  • Spirometry suggestive of possible work-related disease = 209

Audiograms (Hearing Tests) Done

  • Total audiograms = 1,879
  • Audiograms with hearing impairment = 799