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Subcontractor Issue in NIOSH IBM Study

An Endicott man recently asked federal researchers if health data from subcontractors was included in the cancer study.
An Endicott man recently asked federal researchers if health data from subcontractors was included in the cancer study.

The findings took into account information from about 34,000 former IBM workers. Wayne Richardson says he worked at the Endicott facility for about 3 years, between 1979 and 1981. He says back then, TCE, which is used to clean circuit boards, was produced around the clock.

"Did you do any study on the plethora of subcontractors who did this work at IBM also, Atlantic Design, Amphenol?" asked Richardson. "I worked in some of these buildings when I was in high school and I thought I've got a job down here making all kinds of money. Now to my displeasure that might not have been such a good job."

It turns out that subcontractors were not included in the study. NIOSH researcher, Sharon Silver, says the agency did meet with some labor organizations that were connected with contractors. However, researchers could not get the exact data they needed.

"We wanted to see if we could get a good records base for including the contractors. We know that there is concern of their exposures. They did some of the cleaning up and maintenance work from what we understand. Unfortunately, the contract organizations did not have type of records that we need," said Silver.

You can learn more about the study at CDC.gov/NIOSH.
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