By THE NEW MEXICAN
July 28, 2007
A state lawmaker who once worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory says she worries that she could have been contaminated in connection with a 2005 incident.
Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-Ohkay Owingeh, made the comments Friday at a meeting of a LANL legislative oversight committee.
She complained to lab director Michael Anastasio that the lab hadn’t provided her information or been responsive to her concerns about her health.
In July 2005, a lab worker was exposed to americium 241, a radioactive decay product of plutonium. The contamination subsequently was spread to his home, to homes in Kansas and Colorado and to a Pennsylvania research lab.
The Department of Energy said the contamination levels were low.
Rodella said she had been asked to retrieve personal belongings about a year ago from an office that had been contaminated during the 2005 incident.
She said she was concerned the contamination may have affected her belongings, but that she has been unable to get any information from the lab about the nature or the extent of the problem in the office.
“I’m concerned about my health as a result because I’m not sure what to get tested for,” said Rodella, who left the lab last year.
Anastasio said the lab is “always concerned about our employees” and promised that the lab’s legal counsel would help her get the information.