ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico Health System is urging uranium workers, “downwinders” and people who worked or lived near radioactive material in the southwest to participate in the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program. The program specializes in working with uranium workers and others who have a higher risk of health issues such as cancer.
Doctors at the UNM RESEP Clinic check individuals for cancer, lung scarring, or damage caused by breathing in silica dust and uranium. Millers and ore transporters are also checked for kidney problems.
You may qualify for RESEP screening if you were a:
- uranium miner or miller
- uranium miller or ore transporter
- lived downwind of a nuclear weapons testing site,
- were an onsite participant at certain nuclear atmospheric test sites
UNM reports uranium workers who worked in New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Arizona, and Texas may qualify for screening. If you have certain types of health damage due to radiation exposure, you can file a claim under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).
If the claim is accepted, you will receive a medical card to help with our related medical expenses in addition to a one-time payment. All RECA claims must be processed before July 9, 2022.
While the deadline seems far of, researchers at UNM say the pandemic has made it harder to reach out to people who may qualify. Patients can qualify to be followed with annual screenings even if they don’t initially qualify for health care and treatment through the program.
You can call 505-272-4672 to schedule an appointment. Interpreters are available. For additional information on RESEP, visit hsc.unm.edu.