The Oak Ridger

OPINIONS

Story last updated at 1:25 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 1998

Your Views

How can workers not be sick?

To The Oak Ridger:

In regard to the article in the Wall Street Journal and articles in "Your Views" from people like Dr. Caldwell and the clique that runs Oak Ridge: These people must be in a state of denial or not living in the real world.

They all contend that there is nothing in the Oak Ridge area to cause the mysterious illnesses that keep popping up.

I lived in Oak Ridge for over 30 years when I was young. Most of the young people of the west end spent a lot of the summers swimming and playing in East Fork Poplar Creek.

At that time, Y-12 was dumping mercury, and no telling what else, into the creek. No one knows what illnesses these people have suffered through the years and did not know the causes.

Those people who preach how clean this area is were not at K-25 when we were jetting UF-6 uranium, hundreds of pounds at a time, from the tops of the process buildings; jetting fluorine, HF gas and other contaminants from the stacks; burning all types of contaminated trash and oils for years in an incinerator without any type of scrubbers sending particles and contaminations up the stack and into the air; and exploding cylinders of uranium sending thousands of pounds into the air and the Clinch River.

The vaults under the old K-25 building are full of fungus and mold. The company knows this for a fact, yet workers are allowed to breathe this daily. The process buildings have pigeon droppings all over the place.

They also have a problem with PCBs dripping out of the ductwork. These types of things have been "business as usual" for years. So tell me, how can people at K-25 not be sick?

Ernest F. Hughart
308 Dyllis Road
Harriman 37748