Additional Hanford Workers Sent for Vapor-Related Evaluations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Additional Hanford Workers Sent for Vapor-Related Evaluations

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UPDATE/HANFORD, WA - Three more Hanford workers were sent for medical evaluation Wednesday after experiencing vapors-related symptoms in Hanford's T Farm.

Two were sent to the hospital for further evaluation. The third was taken to the site medical provider for evaluation and subsequently released back to work.

Separately, three non-WRPS workers reported possible vapors-related symptoms today after working yesterday near AY/AZ Farms, where other workers were evacuated Tuesday. All three were taken to the site medical provider; two were released back to work. Evaluation of the third is pending.

As of 9PM Wednesday, all employees had completed their medical evaluations, including those who were seen at Kadlec Wednesday. WPRS issued a statement Wednesday night saying, "those who have not been previously cleared to return to work will visit the site medical provider tomorrow [Thursday] morning to undergo a final clearance process to be released back to the job site."

Data collection and analysis is underway in the affected farms to understand what happened and what might be done to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

HANFORD, WA. - Several Hanford workers returned to work Tuesday after a chemical vapor scare at a Hanford tank farm.

Washington River Protection Solutions says there have been several incidents in the past week where workers have smelled chemical vapors at the tank farms.

On Tuesday morning two workers were taken to Kadlec Hospital after complaining of coughing and throat irritation. The two were examined and then returned to work. Seven additional workers elected to go to the Hanford site medical provider (HPMC) where they were also examined and released.

Last Wednesday two workers were checked at HPMC after smelling chemical vapors. They also returned to work.

Hanford's underground waste tanks are vented to the atmosphere. Chemicals contained in the waste generate vapors. Washington River Protection Solutions has a comprehensive industrial hygiene program that monitors chemical vapors in the tank farms and in recent years WRPS has taken a number of steps to reduce potential vapor exposures to its workers.