I don't know about you guys, but I am so glad that the federal government is here to look after the health and well-being of workers at the much-maligned (but not malignant!) Bannister Federal Complex. Although traces of depleted uranium and beryllium have been found on both sides of the complex -- not only where workers machine it for the Kansas City Plant but also in the area where General Service Administration desk jockeys do whatever it is they do -- the Centers for Disease Control say, Don't worry! Eat your fruits and vegetables, and you'll be just fine.
A report released yesterday from the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH), says the instances of cancer among employees who work or have worked at the complex since the 1940s "does not appear excessive." More than 400 sick or dead workers have been identified by Russ Ptacek as part of a lengthy investigation for KSHB Channel 41.
"Obviously, there are many more current and former Bannister Federal Complex employees who have been diagnosed with cancer than those who were reported to us, but the numbers and types of reported cancers do not suggest a need for further case finding," the report states.
The federal investigators also tested 22 workers suffering from sarcoidosis and other lung conditions and determined that none of the illnesses could be linked with beryllium sensitivity through contact with the toxic element.
"Employees can take an active role in changing personal risk factors that are associated with certain types of cancer," the report helpfully points out in its conclusion. "High alcohol consumption, a diet low in fruits and vegetables, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity are other modifiable personal risk factors that increase the risk of certain cancers."
NIOSH is waiting to make a final
evaluation on health risks at Bannister until the EPA has finished its investigation into known contaminants on-site.