SPOKANE, WashA new organization is collecting health histories from people exposed to radiation from nuclear weapons production worldwide, to provide an international source of in-formation.
The Radiation Health Effects Archives, located on the campus of Gonzaga University, will continue and expand the collection of the Hanford Health Information Archives, founded last year to collect information about the experiences of people who lived in the region around the Hanford, Washington, nuclear facility between 1944 and 1972. These individuals are sometimes referred to as Hanford downwinders.
The Hanford-exposure area includes Eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, and much of Idaho, plus areas along the Columbia River downstream from Hanford. The facilitys airborne emissions were also carried by the wind into parts of Montana and Canada.
The Archives have processed more than 400 donations with information from more than 1,100 downwinders. People have donated medical records, oral histories, journals, yearbooks, photographs, and other items that help describe their lifestyles and diets, as well as their health, from the mid-1940s to the present.