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Federal panel approves payment for more Mallinckrodt workers

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A federal advisory board approved payment Friday for more Cold-War era workers who were exposed to high-level radiation.

After a series of hearings this year, the board said OK to a $150,000 payment for people who worked at the old Mallinckrodt uranium processing plant in the 1950's. The board had previously approved such payments for people who worked at the plant in the late 40s.

The board had delayed its decision because of challenges to the company's health data. Lead petitioner Denise Brock says the victory is not about money: "It's the admission of the wrong doing, and for them to be given the benefit of the doubt.

"It sort of raises the veil of secrecy. It's very promising."

Congress ultimately will have the final say on the compensation package. Brock says payment is expected within about 90 days.

Specifically, the payment was recommended for Mallinckrodt employees who worked at the company's uranium processing plant in St. Louis between 1949 and 1957.

The board determined that it was not feasible to reconstruct radiation dosages. "I have no regrets over the process or the decision that the board made," Dr. Lewis Wade, the board's senior science advisor, said Friday. "I do regret that it took such a long time.

"But again, that was because of the complexity of some of the scientific issues that really were the underpinning of any decision that would be made."


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