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Chemical Vapor Whiffs Reportedly Smelled by Six Hanford Workers

An onion-like smell, possibly chemical vapors, was reported by six different Hanford nuclear reservation employees Wednesday afternoon.

Hanford Nuclear Reservation
Hanford Nuclear Reservation

The workers were preparing for routine electrical maintenance outside the TX Tank Farm and were not wearing supplied air respirators at the time because they were outside of the tank farm’s fence line.

This is the first report of any suspicious odor near the tank farm since June 13th, when five workers received medical evaluations after they and others smelled suspicious odors. All of those workers later returned to their jobs.

More than 50 workers received medical checks in 2016 because of potential exposure to chemical vapors, and subsequently Washington River Protection Solutions began requiring supplied air respirators for most work inside the tank farms.

None of the workers in Wednesday’s incident reported any negative symptoms and they all declined precautionary medical evaluations according to tank farm contractor Washington River Protection Solutions.

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