Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Why am I receiving mailings from the BAECP-Former Worker Program?
A: The purpose ofBAECP-Former Worker Program (FWP) is to contact all former employees who worked on or in the vicinity of Line 1/Division B/ Burlington Atomic Energy Commission Plant (BAECP) at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP) from 1949-1975 and inform them of their eligibility to receive a free medical screening. The medical screening is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the 1993 Defense Authorization Act, which requires the DOE to conduct medical screenings for chronic health conditions of at-risk former employees as a result of their employment at DOE-facilities. This medical screening is being carried out by The University of Iowa College of Public Health.
If you are interested in receiving the free medical screening please complete and return the enclosed blue “Participant Response Form” or call us toll-free at 1-866-282-5818.
Q: What if I don’t remember where or when I worked at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant?
A: The BAECP-FWP may be able to assist you in confirming dates of employment, job codes, and Line 1 status. This information may confirm eligibility to receive a free medical screening. If you received this mailing, then you qualify for the medical screening.
Q: I haven't worked at IAAP in many years, so why should I be screened now?
A: The benefit of medical screenings is to detect early stages of treatable health conditions. Former workers may have been exposed to asbestos, beryllium, silica, cadmium, chromium, nickel, mercury, lead, ionizing radiation, solvents, high explosives, depleted uranium, and other toxic substances that were historically used on Line 1. These exposures on Line 1 are associated with certain occupational health conditions (i.e., lung diseases and cancers). Some of these occupational health conditions have a 10-40 year latency period and may not arise until later in life. There is still value in this medical screening many years after working on or around Line 1.
Q: What if I did not work for IAAP for very long?
A: You are eligible to receive the free medical screening regardless of the length of time you worked on or around Line 1. There is no minimum period of employment for eligibility to receive the medical screening. Even if you worked at the IAAP for a few months, you are still eligible.
The screening is available to anyone who worked on or around Line 1 between the years 1949-1974. Those who were directly involved with AEC/DOE production operations, guards on surveillance duty, laundry personnel who handled contaminated clothing, cafeteria staff, various tradespersons, delivery and storage personnel, contractors, sub-contractors, IAAP employees who were involved in ongoing construction and maintenance activities, and those who worked in the rail and storage yards, burning fields and demolition areas are eligible. Other areas included in eligibility are Yards C, G, and L, Firing Site Areas, Burning Field B and Storage Sites for Pits and Weapons, including Buildings 73 and 77.
Q: I worked construction and was not part of the production lines, am I eligible?
A: Construction, contractors, and sub-contracted workers are eligible as long as they were employed between 1949-1974 and were ever present in any of the following areas: Yards C, G, and L, Firing Site Areas, Burning Field B and Storage Sites for Pits and Weapons, including Buildings 73 and 77.
Q: I never used beryllium, so why should I be screened?
A: In addition to physically handling the metal beryllium, which was in the tools and weapon parts, Line 1 employees may have also been exposed to beryllium as bystanders through inhaling airborne dust particles. Beryllium is a spark-free metal used in the tools and weapons. When the tools were machined, sharpened, ground, or polished, beryllium became airborne as very fine dust particles.
Exposure to beryllium could occur from being around those who worked on Line 1 or from being in the vicinity of Line 1.
Q: My health is fine. I don’t have any health problems or symptoms now. Since I am healthy, do I still need to be screened?
A: You are eligible to receive the free medical screening regardless of your current health status. The medical screening is still important, as the screening may lead to early detection of latent and treatable health conditions.
The screening includes a chest x-ray, pulmonary function test/spirometry, and general blood tests. One unique screening test offered in the FWP is the Beryllium Lymphocyte Proliferation Test (BeLPT). The BeLPT is a blood test that measures sensitization to beryllium, a metal that may have been used in some processes on Line 1. The BeLPT is not offered during routine physical examinations and is available to you for free through the BAECP-FWP medical screening.
Q: What are advantages of receiving the medical screening?
A: Eligible former workers receive the following free medical screening tests:
- Chest X-Ray;
- Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)/Spirometry - a lung function test that evaluates breathing patterns;
- Beryllium Lymphocyte Proliferation Test (BeLPT) - a blood test that measures sensitization to beryllium,
- General Laboratory Tests: - blood counts; liver, kidney and thyroid functions; blood sugar; urinalysis; and Hemoccult fecal blood test ("stool card" kit).
One unique screening test offered is the BeLPT, as it is not commonly offered during routine physical examinations. The BeLPT is offered to you for free through the BAECP-FWP medical screening.
A separate program, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) is a federal law that provides compensation to former workers who were potentially exposed to hazardous materials as a result of their employment.
If the medical results from the BAECP-FWP medical screening program suggest an occupational illness, then they may be used to support a claim for compensation for toxin or radiation-induced occupational illnesses that may have resulted from work for the DOE, including sensitization to beryllium, chronic beryllium disease, asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and radiogenic cancers. Compensation may be available to eligible workers or their surviving spouses or dependent children.
The BAECP-FWP medical screening is an independent and separate program from state and federal compensation programs, including the EEOICP, which is currently administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). Filing a claim with the DOL is a separate process from completing the BAECP-FWP Health and Work History Questionnaire. The BAECP-FWP can provide claims forms and guidance on how to fill them out.
For more information, you may call us toll-free at 1-866-282-5818 or the DOL Resource Center directly toll-free at 1-866-540-4977 or visit the DOL-EEOICP website.