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Albuquerque meeting Saturday for former uranium workers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s a meeting Saturday in Albuquerque for former uranium workers who think they may have suffered health problems as a result of their labors.

The Albuquerque meeting, sponsored by a number of different organizations that work with uranium workers, will provide information about the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. The act provides health care and other compensation for people sickened by their work prior to 1971 in uranium mines, mills and other related facilities.

The meeting also will discuss efforts to expand coverage to post-1971 workers, according to Maria Varela, one of the organizers.

According to Varela, a survey of former workers showed increased levels of uranium-related diseases among those post-1971 workers, who were excluded from coverage under the law when it was passed in 1990.

The Post ‘71 Uranium Workers Committee has been pushing to have the law expanded, and Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and others introduced legislation earlier this year that would extend coverage to the post-1971 workers and also fund more detailed health studies on their problems.

Saturday’s meeting runs from 10 a.m. to noon at Holy Family Church, 562 Atrisco SW in Albuquerque.