Former workers may have been exposed to:
- Beryllium, BeLPT, Chronic Beryllium Disease, Chronic Beryllium Disease Awareness
- Ionizing radiation
- Solvents (1, 2)
- and other toxic substances that were historically used at the Ames Lab.
See all exposures at the U.S. Department of Labor website - http://www.sem.dol.gov/ (scroll to the bottom of this page, click on “Show DOE facilities”, then “Select”, then select “Ames National Laboratory” from the drop down box).
The Iowa State University Industrial Hygiene office performed an assessment of beryllium residual contamination of at-risk buildings in 2001. Although some of the original buildings in which Manhattan era DOE research was performed have been razed, wipe sampling was performed based on historical beryllium work in Gilman Hall, Physics Hall, and Wilhelm Hall. Wipe samples were collected from a variety of representative horizontal surfaces and interstitial building spaces. One hundred fifteen surface wipe samples were analyzed for beryllium content. Beryllium concentrations were below the detection limit in all accessible public areas. However, nine samples collected from ‘restricted access’ mechanical spaces had beryllium concentrations greater than the analytical method’s detection limit, with concentrations ranging from 0.5 microgram/100 cm² to 9.0 microgram/100 cm²: three of these samples had concentrations equal to or less than the “clearance” limit of 1.0 microgram/100 cm²; and the other six samples had beryllium concentrations greater than the clearance limit.
ORISE data for employees prior to 1955 suggest this may have been a highly exposed workforce.