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Program Update March 2009

The Medical Exam Program for Former Workers from Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories offers a one-time free medical examination and testing for former workers at health care facilities in New Mexico. Former workers may request an examination through the DOE National Supplemental Screening Program (NSSP). LANL former workers who reported past exposures to asbestos and/or beryllium are eligible for a re-examination and testing for possible adverse health effects related to these agents.

As in the past, the examinations, blood tests, and breathing tests (spirometry) are done at 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 a local health care facility.

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.

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 reports any significant findings from the examination and testing to the PCP and may include recommendations for further testing if needed.  The former worker's Primary Care Provider (PCP) is asked to see that these recommendations are carried out. The program is not funded to perform any additional testing after the one-time free exam. 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). 

Program Activities to December 2008

  • LANL
    • Invitation letters sent = 34,851
    • Exposure Questionnaire #1 (EQ1) [exposure questionnaire sent to former worker with unknown exposures by job title, e.g., staff member] = 1,211
    • Exposure Questionnaire #2 (EQ2) [detailed exposure and medical history interview] = 2,972
    • Exposure Questionnaire #3 (EQ3) [updated exposure and medical history interview for past asbestos and/or beryllium exposure re-exams] = 200
  • SNL
    • Invitation letters sent = 2,100
    • Exposure Questionnaire #1 (EQ1) [exposure questionnaire sent to former worker with unknown exposures by job title, e.g., staff member] = 2,100*
    • Exposure Questionnaire #2 (EQ2) [detailed exposure and medical history interview] = 280
    • Exposure Questionnaire #3 (EQ3) [updated exposure and medical history interview for past asbestos and/or beryllium exposure re-exams] = 0**
*Job titles unknown all letters include EQ1
**No re-exams done to date

Examinations to December 2008
  • LANL
    • Total Examinations and Medical Record Reviews = 2,680
    • Española, NM Program office = 2,320
    • LANL Occupational Medicine Clinic = 360
    • Referrals to NSSP = 4
  • SNL
    • Total Examinations = 212
    • Española, NM Program office = 33
    • UNM Family Practice Center  = 179
    • Referrals to NSSP = 31

Types of Examinations

  • LANL
    • Asbestos = 1629
    • Beryllium = 2462
    • Lead = 1525
    • Noise = 2041
    • Radiation = 2245
  • SNL
    • Asbestos = 170
    • Beryllium = 174
    • Lead = 178
    • Noise = 182
    • Radiation = 189
    • Silica = 100

Beryllium Lymphocyte Proliferation Tests to December 2008
(BeLPT – test for sensitization to Beryllium)

  • LANL
    • Total Tests = 2,711
    • Individual Tests = 2,508
    • Single Abnormal = 37
    • Double Abnormal = 28
    • Eligible to file EEOICPA claim = 65*
  • SNL
    • Total Tests = 201
    • Individual Tests = 174
    • Single Abnormal = 6
    • Double Abnormal = 1
    • Eligible to file EEOICPA claim = 7*
* Any former worker with one (1) abnormal BeLPT is eligible to file for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA). 

Chest X-rays
  • LANL
    • Total Tests = 2,487
    • Chest x-rays with B-reading showing changes suggestive of asbestos exposure or disease = 366
  • SNL
    • Total Tests = 181
    • Chest x-rays with B-reading showing changes suggestive of asbestos exposure or disease = 15 
Spirometry (Breathing Tests) Done
  • LANL
    • Total Spirometry = 1,584
    • Spirometry suggestive of possible work-related disease = 300
  • SNL
    • Total Spirometry = 201
    • Spirometry suggestive of possible work-related disease = 46
Audiograms (Hearing Tests) Done
  • LANL
    • Total Audiograms = 2,209
    • Audiograms with hearing impairment = 1,267
  • SNL
    • Total Audiograms = 182
    • Audiograms with hearing impairment = 97