Rocky Flats Downwinders is a community organization. Our goals are to bring about awareness of Rocky Flats in order to educate the community, to sensitize medical professionals regarding potential adverse health effects suffered by Downwinders, and to obtain medical monitoring for Rocky Flats Downwinders, as well as inclusion under the Radiation and Exposure and Compensation Act (RECA).
Educating the Community
Many former local residents, who were children during the production period, may be unaware that they have been exposed to adverse environmental materials or that Rocky Flats played a significant role in the manufacturing of Nuclear Weapons for nearly 40 years. Without this knowledge of exposure, residents are missing the opportunity to be proactive in matters regarding their healthcare. Early detection is the key for diseases related to chronic exposure to ionizing radiation. Without awareness, many are diagnosed in the late stages of disease and have already become terminally ill.
Educating Healthcare Professionals
Many medical professionals are not natives of Colorado and may be uniformed about our nuclear history. Therefore, educating healthcare professionals about Rocky Flats and diseases caused by radiation exposure can be a preventive measure for residents. Diseases related to chronic ionizing radiation exposure are clearly documented on the CDC, EPA, ATSDR, Department of Justice, and Veterans Affairs websites. Some of the diseases related to exposure are difficult to diagnose unless a healthcare professional is specifically looking for the signs and symptoms. Certain related cancers are almost always terminal once diagnosed in a late stage; however, if they are identified early, the prognosis is favorable.
Many people in our community have been told by medical professionals that their diagnoses are caused by radiation exposure or extremely rare chronic exposure to ionizing radiation, and these exposures have a latent effect as cancers and others disease become evident decades later. Radiation exposure can also harm DNA, leading to fertility issues and genetic anomalies for offspring. We would like our healthcare community and public health officials to be educated on the effects of exposure and to recognize that anyone who previously lived in the area is at risk.
Rocky Flats workers are participants in a health monitoring program and Rocky Flats Downwinders should be offered the same protection. We aim to educate, inform and advocate for former Rocky Flats Downwinders. One way in which we can advocate for RFD is by implementing a comprehensive medical monitoring program to provide former residents with preventative testing for early treatment and care of radiation induced illness and disease.
Community Inclusion in RECA
Our community has been potentially exposed to Manhattan Project Nuclear Weapons War Waste through inhalation and ingestion. The Department of Justice currently has a program specifically for exposed Downwinder communities and victims of friendly fire. We would like Rocky Flats Downwinders to be included in RECA.