Letter: Radiation Exposure Compensation

Did you know that Congress passed a bill called "Radiation Exposure Compensation?"

In this bill people who lived in certain areas of Nevada, Utah and Arizona during 1951-58 and later suffered from or died from cancer are to be compensated due to the atomic testing that was being done in Nevada.

In the process of trying to find out why seven of my family members died from or endured through cancer, I found that the one common element was that they all lived in Mineral County from 1951-58. My mother, who at the young age of 46 was diagnosed with uterine cancer, attended Hawthorne Elementary School during the period that the atomic testing was being conducted. She remembers going to school and seeing the sky lit up in orange and red. Five other family members worked on the military base in Hawthorne, three of whom have died from cancer, one is dying from cancer and the other one has had a brain tumor. My uncle's wife died many years ago from leukemia.

The problem that I have found is that Congress not only did not include many counties that should have been included, but I was hard pressed to find anyone who even knew that this compensation (which came into effect in 1990) existed. What I did find was that this compensation has a deadline, which is 2012. If the victims do not file their claim by this date, the money will be absorbed back into the government.

I believe that there are many people who lived, or know a loved one who lived in Nevada during this time and later died from or has been diagnosed with cancer. It is bad enough that our government told the innocent people of Nevada that this testing was safe, but to keep this fund so carefully hidden is, in my opinion, an outrage!

It is my goal to reach as many of these innocent people and their families as I can, so that we can begin the process to pursue compensation. Believe me, I know that money cannot in any way take away the pain of losing a loved one or take the suffering away from someone who has cancer, but I do believe that our government does have a responsibility to acknowledge that more than just a select few counties were exposed to the harmful radiation fallout. In order to impact our legislature, we need many people to come forward and join in this pursuit for just compensation.

For more information, please contact Paula Honess, PMB 36, 5820 W. Peoria Ave., Ste. 107, Glendale, AZ 85302.


Glendale, Ariz.


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