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To Protect America's Health from Toxic Exposures

Are you a Hanford Downwinder?

The Hanford Community Health Project provides educational resources to those concerned about past exposure to radioactive iodine (I-131) released from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

What happened at Hanford?

Between 1944 and 1972, I-131 was released into the air from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The majority of these releases occurred between 1944 and 1951. The releases were related to the production of plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

Who should be concerned?

Children who were up to five years old and lived downwind of Hanford in Adams, Benton or Franklin counties in Washington state at the time of the releases, received the highest doses of I-131 by drinking contaminated milk or eating contaminated fruits or vegetables. Today these downwinders are adults between the ages of 54 and 65.

How can downwinders learn more?

The best place to start is to use the self-assessment quiz on the "Community Resource Center" section of this site to learn if you may have been exposed. On the site there are also a wide range of educational materials and other resources related to exposure to I-131 for concerned individuals and health care providers. People who think they may have been exposed should join the HCHP mailing list so they can receive information and updates.

Hanford Health
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About the Hanford Community Health Project

The Hanford Community Health Project (HCHP) is an outreach and education initiative sponsored by The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The project seeks to provide educational information and materials about potential health risks to individuals who may have been exposed as young children to past releases of radioactive iodine (I-131) between 1944 and 1951 from the Hanford Nuclear reservation, which is in south central Washington state. The project's goal is to assist concerned individuals and their health care providers in making informed health care choices concerning these exposures.

Via this Web site and other outreach efforts, the HCHP is working to make information and educational materials about health risks of exposure to I-131 available to people who lived in the Hanford region during the period of the I-131 releases. This Web site makes available materials that have been developed by several government agencies including, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Hanford Health Information Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

On this Web site you can read and print fact sheets and brochures about Hanford and how I-131 can affect the health of those who were exposed to Hanford releases of I-131; print out an order form to request materials be mailed to you; see other Web sites that contain useful information about Hanford and I-131; see contact information for ATSDR and the HCHP team; and also join the HCHP mailing list so that you will be kept informed about the project.

Although the HCHP is focusing specifically on the Hanford releases of I-131, you should be aware that there were other Department of Energy facilities besides Hanford that may have released radioactive Iodine during their operation. These sites include Oak Ridge, TN; Savannah River Site, GA; and the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The atomic tests conducted on Marshall Island and tests conducted by Russia and China are other potential sources of I-131 exposure.

Hanford Birth Cohort Study

    Hanford Map

People who lived near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State were exposed to various types of radiation, especially during the years 1944–1957. Scientists from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have been evaluating the potential health effects that may have resulted from those exposures. Their data show a small increased risk for certain men to develop a thyroid disease.

The results of the study are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed yet. To view the complete study and the news release on the study, click on the links below:

This page last updated on July 24, 2006
Questions? - Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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