Story last updated at 12:50 p.m. on Thursday, December 30, 1999

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Letters to the Editor

To The Oak Ridger:

Concerned about toxic emissions

To The Oak Ridger:

I worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory back in the latter '80s, as the TSCA incinerator was being designed and problems with HF releases from K-25 and Y-12 were causing health concerns.

ORNL was so concerned they sent a team of white coat lab persons into the communities around K-25 to collect samples of milk, well water, and produce. Some say these HF concerns that I raised caused the K-25 plant to be shut down just after that.

The basic truth on what makes persons sick at the Oak Ridge plants has a lot to do with a poison gas called hydrogen fluoride or HF. HF is used in the "green salt" operations at Y-12, where many are so sick that the plants benefits workers call the area "death row."

Same problem at K-25 where leaky buildings and open processes allow trapped UF-6 to react with moisture and form HF gas that is in high concentrations in the buildings, since they were shut down and the large air flows turned off.

The problems with the design of the TSCA incinerator were centered mostly on burning the soluble uranium fluorides and releasing HF and other toxic fluorides into the air.

This was helped by adding chemical catalysts, like methyl cyanide, that modify the fluoride toxic products by creating less toxic methyl fluoride products.

TSCA operates no different than a catalytic converter on a car and the health problems from K-25 are not the incinerator, but connected to the releases of HF from the careless dismantlement work.

The Oak Ridge managers planned to hide these problems by using distractions and misinformation like the missing area in the aerial survey near the Scarboro community. This pulled attention to uranium dusts and off the high HF releases from the Y-12 Plant that can easily travel over the ridge and damage children's lungs and get into the food chain uptake of gardens.

TSCA concerns were even played up to pull the public attention off the extreme chemical toxic hazards of the plants tear down.

Similarly, corrupt managers and many so-called activists that help them planned to play up toxic metals and radiations that would never prove to be the real problem.

As part of this, an adviser to Richardson, dump Pu and Np documents into the Washington Post articles on Paducah illnesses and totally ignore the HF exposures that are well established to be a 1,000 times worse than the uranium in the body.

The bulk of the sick worker problems indicate exposures to fluorides or HF. The lung damages and the high blood calcium are prime indicators of HF exposures.

The arthritis, sore joints, thinking impairment, rashes, and fatigue are also prime indicators of increasing amounts of insoluble calcium fluoride rat poison in the body. HF calcium scavenges and will impact nerve myelin and also kill off mitochondria in cells and lead to heart spasms and attacks.

Toxic fluorine is the most volatile, toxic, and abundant toxin in Oak Ridge. Doctors that failed to diagnose persons affected from the above effects or have them properly treated have committed malpractice.

Workers and area residents deserve a break from the misleading games played in Oak Ridge to hide the massive mistakes of the plants managers and scientists. More information is on the Internet at: http://members.aol.com/doewatch.

Happy holidays.

Jim Phelps
1600 Buttercup Circle

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