Families seeking aid through Radiation Exposure Compensation Act via KOB4

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Los Alamos of the 1950s was far different than the city on the mesa of today. And the precautions and safety measures of the ’50s were far different than any modern work site.

Lynne Loss was a little girl during that era living in Los Alamos when her father worked as an engineer in the lab and mother worked on site buying nuclear supplies.


In 1957, her family moved to Colorado, but she fears the damage was already done by then. Her father Henry Davis was frequently exposed to radiation and beryllium, a lightweight metal used in weapons.

“And then he would come home with it on his clothes and we would have to wash his clothes with ours and sit on the furniture, eat dinner, and whatever you do when you’re a family,” Loss said.

Davis suffered for 40 years from beryllium disease and radiation exposure, finally dying in 1994.  Soon after, Loss learned she had colon cancer.


Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is sponsoring amendments to the act.

“That’s an issue that we’ve been working on a lot over time,” Udall said. “And I think if a family member can show they have significant exposure, then there is a good argument they should be included.”

Udall admits at this point, family members of employees aren’t covered under the act, but it may be in the works.


It would help children of lab employees like Loss. Her cancer has hurt her physically and financially.

“Oh my god, David and I lost all of our retirement money, $300,000 paying my medical,” she said. “My deductibles went up. My premiums went up. Everything went up sky high.”

Thousands of men and women helped to make the country safer and stronger by lending their brains and hands to research that could eventually cost them their lives and now the lives of their children. Lynne Loss hopes her country won’t forget about her.

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2 Responses to Families seeking aid through Radiation Exposure Compensation Act via KOB4

  1. yukimiyamotodepaul says:

    It is highly confusing that the author concludes this piece by saying: producing nuclear weapons “make the country safer and stronger.” The point of this article is that the production of nuclear weapons not only make the workers sick, but also their families…

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