In the wake of some 53 Hanford tank farm workers experiencing a variety of health ailments apparently stemming from vapor exposure at the tank farms this year, a Federal safety agency has offered to do another evaluation of what's causing the issue.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has offered to evaluate four areas they believe could help discover what the vapors are, where they're coming from and why they're causing issues.

The four specific areas of this assessment will include, medical, exposure control, management of safety and health programs, and assessing exposure.

For nearly two decades Hanford workers have raised concerns about the vapors, which are emitted from the hazardous waste storage tanks at the site. The tanks are being pumped out into safer newer double-shelled units, and some waste has been transferred.  But the majority of the work has been shifting waste to ensure further leaks won't happen, as the VIT Plant has experienced delays and stalls. The VIT Plant was supposed to treat and glassify the waste for safer storage.

The DOE has agreed to fully work with the study, no time table has been set yet. This offer comes just days after HAMTC (Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council) unions and workers issued strong demands for better safety and monitoring at the tank farms.

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