DOE Worker Health-Related Studies and Programs

Bridging DOE and DOL Medical Screening Programs for Chronic Beryllium Disease in Former DOE and DOE Contractor Employees

From 1991 through the initial implementation (December 2003) of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA), DOE provided periodic beryllium sensitization screening, and for former workers with two abnormal beryllium lymphocyte proliferation tests (Be LPTs), periodic clinical evaluations by pulmonologists specializing in the diagnosis of CBD.

Because EEOICPA charges the Department of Labor (DOL) with providing medical follow-up after the first abnormal BeLPT, DOE’s Former Worker Medical Screening Program now only offers beryllium sensitization screening and not clinical evaluations to check for CBD. Individuals with one abnormal Be LPT are informed about the DOL medical monitoring program under EEOICPA and how to apply, and are offered follow-up screening until accepted into the DOL program.

Over the years, the DOL claims adjudication process has become increasingly efficient, and the time period between the date a former worker with one abnormal BeLPT files a claim and the date that claim is approved is now as little as a few weeks. During the first few years, there was often time for DOE to offer a follow-up BeLPT and a clinical evaluation to check for CBD in those with a second abnormal BeLPT.

By the end of 2003, DOL had become efficient enough in processing beryllium sensitization claims and providing medical follow-up to individuals that DOE no longer felt it necessary to offer clinical evaluations to check for CBD in former workers with two abnormal Be LPTs. DOE has continued to offer program participants the opportunity to receive a second Be LPT during the interim period between the date the participant files a claim and the date DOL approves the claim.

Because clinical evaluations are now provided by DOL, DOE is no longer informed of the number of CBD cases among former workers.

Content reviewed: August 27, 2012