EEOICPA SEM

SEM, Site Exposure Matrices, Final Decision, Recommended Decision

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 DOL Site Exposure Matrix Information

 

Hazmap screen shotDOL's SEM and How Its Used

In July 2005 a group of EEOICPA advocates recommended to DOL that DEEOIC should develop "a matrix of toxic substances (DOE workers were known to have had exposures to) and all the diseases and /or conditions these toxins were known to aggravate, contribute to or cause."  Although DEEOIC declined to develop a matrix including toxic exposures that aggravate or contribute to the development of nuclear workers' occupational illnesses, DEEOIC developed the SEM in 2007 which did contain information on causal agents taken from HazMap. This matrix was for the exclusive use of DEEOIC Claims Examiners.  In May 2010 after a DOE review DEEOIC released a version of the SEM to the public.  There is still some question as to how the public SEM differs from the DEEOIC SEM.  DOL currently has SEMs for 116 DOE facilities.  There are128 DOE facilities that DOL has not yet developed SEMs for, as well as 29 sites which are combined with AWE(Atomic Weapons Employers and BE (Beryllium Vendor) sites for a total of 157 DOE sites which need SEMs.  On May 1, 2013 DOL removed the public SEM website due to computer hacking.  As of May 23rd it is not yet been available to the public although DOL states it will be available as soon as DOL's security department allows it.  Who did the hacking and which security agency that was responsible for allowing the hacking to happen have not yet been released.

DOE supplies DOL with the information specific to the facilities covered by EEOICPA.  SEM derives it's information linking illnesses to toxic exposure from only one non-peer reviewed source, HazMap, which is owned by Dr. Jay Brown, and published by the National Library of Medicine.  As the Institute of Medicine's 2013 review points out, neither SEM nor HazMap has ever been peer reviewed. SEM has been developed and is maintained by Paragon Technical Services, under contract with DOL.

SEM is a living document which means information is constantly being added and removed.  This has its good side and its bad side.  The good side is that as new information is discovered it is added to the SEM.  The bad side is that the SEM is incomplete which can lead Claims Examiners to infer that since the information is not in the SEM it does not exist.  Another major problem is that in some cases the toxic materials linking to occupational illnesses are added and removed several times a month.  While adding toxic substances rarely causes a problem unless the claimant is unaware of the change, frequent removal of toxic substances can cause major headaches for a claim.

 

Institute of Medicine's Review of SEM 

The Institute of Medicine, under contract with DOL, investigated certain aspects of the SEM. The IOM report was released on March 27, 2013. These documents were part of the investigation:

  • EEOICPA, Overview by Karoline Anders (DOL)
  • ANWAG Presentation to the Committee by Terrie Barrie (ANWAG)
  •  Haz-Map, A Project to Map Occupational Toxicology Information into a Relational Database-Dr. Jay Brown
  • DEEOIC Q and A
  • EEOICPA Bulletin: SEM Quality Assurance Plan
  • Flow Charts
  • Bert Hakkinen, Toxicologist
  • Jay Brown Q and A
  • Paragon Q and A
  • Top 100 Denied Disease Part E List
  •  

    US Government Accountability Office

    Three years before the IOM study the Government Accountability Office released a report, Additional Independent Oversight and Transparency Would Improve Program's Credibility which made specific recommendations on SEM.

     

    How is the SEM Used?

    So how does DEEOIC use the SEM?  One way to determine this is to look at how Recommended and Final Decisions use the SEM.  As you read through the following excerpts note that how over the years, DOL's statements about the completeness and veracity of the SEM seems to change.

     

    SEM Usage in DOL Recommended Decisions

    SEM Quotes from 2007 Recommended Decisions

    2007 Pneumoconiosis Approval Recommended Decision

    “The employee’s Document Acquisition Records (DAR) and source documents used to compile the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) identify lung-related illnesses as a specific health effect from exposures to toxic substances including: silicon dioxide, powdered beryllium and asbestos, all of which are known agents that Blank was exposed to throughout the course of his work as a research physicist at the Mound Plant.”

    2007 Pulmonary Fibrosis Acceptance Recommended Decision

    “According to the EE-3 submitted by Blank, he was a research chemist. Source documents used to compile the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) establish that persons working in the labor category of “research chemist” at Mound Plant could have been exposed to the toxic substance plutonium. Haz-Map lists plutonium as having the adverse effect of being fibrogenic (inducing tissue injury and fibrosis (scarring)).”

    SEM Quotes from 2008 Recommended Decisions

    2008 BCC-Heart Failure Denial Recommended Decision

    “On Blank 2008, the District Office consulted the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether there was any potential for a causal connection between the claimed condition of heart failure and the toxins with which the claimant may have come in contact with during his employment at a DOE facility. The SEM includes information drawn from the National Institute of Health’s HazMap disease list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. SEM did not produce any known toxic substance with which Blank is known to have been exposed in his employment as an instrument mechanic at the Feed facility.”

    EECAP Comment: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed. 

    2008 Melanoma Denial Recommended Decision

    “The District Office also utilized the SEM database. Using information supplied by the Department of Energy, the Department of Labor has compiled this database of the toxic substances that may have been present at the facilities covered under this program. This database includes information drawn from the National Institute of Health’s HazMap diseases list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. The District Office consulted the SEM database to determine whether there was any potential for a causal relationship between toxins at the Mound Plant and the claimed conditions. This search did not show any link between toxic substances and the claimed melanoma.”

    EECAP Comment: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed.  This also sounds like the claim was denied because information linking the illness and toxic exposure was not in the SEM.

    2008 Polyneuropathy Denial Recommended Decision

    “The District Office consulted the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether Mr. Blank was exposed in the course of his employment at the Mound Plant to substances having a causal connection to the condition of polyneuropathy. According to employment records provided by the DOL, Mr. Blank worked as press operator at the Mound Plant from 1951-1953. In this position he printed forms on various types of offset presses, performed minor repairs and preventive maintenance on the presses to assure they were clean and operable and trained and assisted lower level operators. Source document used to compile the SEM database show that persons performing job processes related to printing services at the Mound Plant may have been exposed to the lead; moreover the SEM/HazMap data shows that lead exposure is potentially linked to the condition of polyneuropathy.”

    EECAP Comment: While it is good that the SEM mentions that printers would be exposed to lead common sense would also dictate that given the description of the work done the worker would also have been exposed to inks and solvents used to clean the presses and other machines.

    SEM Quotes from 2009 Recommended Decisions

    2009 Actinic Keratosis Denial Recommended Decision

    “Using information provided by the DOE, the Department of Labor (DOL) has compiled a database, entitled Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) that identifies toxic substances possibly present at DOE facilities. The SEM also includes information from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) HazMap disease list documenting known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances.”

    “The district office consulted the SEM database on Blank 2008 and again on Blank 2009, to determine whether there was any potential for a causal connection between (actinic) keratosis and the substances with which Blank may have come in contact with during his employment at the Feed Materials Production Center, a DOE facility. Keratosis is not shown as a health effect, due to toxic substances. The SEM also includes information drawn from the National Institute of Health (NIH) HazMap disease list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. The condition of keratosis is not among the diseases listed in the NIH HazMap disease list as being caused by any known toxic substance.”

    “By letter dated Blank 2008 the District Office advised Mr. Blank of the SEM findings and required evidence showing that it is at least as likely as not exposure to a toxic substance at the Feed Materials Production Center was a significant factor in causing, contributing to, or aggravating his actinic keratosis.”

    EECAP Comments: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed. 

    Also, it sounds like only causal connections were explored rather than the required "caused, aggravated or contributed to" standard that the law requires.

    The discussion of the SEM in this document comes very close to sounding like it is saying that if the SEM doesn't list a connection the connection doesn't exist.

    2009 Parkinson Denial-BCC Approval Recommended Decision

    “The district office also utilized the SEM database. Using information supplied by the Department of Energy, the Department of Labor has compiled this database of the toxic substances that may have been present at the facilities covered under this program. This database includes information drawn from the National Institute of Health’s HazMap disease list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. The district office consulted the SEM database to determine whether there was any potential for a causal relationship between toxins at the Mound Plant and the claimed conditions. The SEM database contained records showing that Mrs. Blank’s was exposed manganese, and that this toxic substance is related to Parkinson’s disease. She was also exposed to other substances that are related to skin cancer, specifically, arsenic, carbon, and mineral oil. The SEM database also confirms that Mrs. Blank was likely exposed to carbon disulfide, as claimed. It does not however, support that carbon disulfide is related to Parkinson’s disease.”

    EECAP Comments: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed.

    This Recommended Decision says that HazMap documents the known potential health effects and makes the SEM sound as if it is complete rather than a living document.  Exposure to carbon disulfide is discounted because it was not currently in the SEM as a causal agent although it was at this time listed as a causal agent in another DOL publication.

    SEM Quotes from 2011 Recommended Decisions

    2011 COPD, Kidney disease Denial Recommended Decision

    “To assist in the development of your pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, chronic beryllium disease (CBD), chronic pancreatitis, chronic kidney disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema claim under Part E, the district office performed searches of the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine the toxic substances that you were potentially exposed to at the Kansas City Plant. The SEM acts as a repository of information related to toxic substances potentially present at covered DOE sites and has information regarding site investigations to assist in evaluating causation. Based on the SEM search and review of all available evidence, the district office was unable to find a link between toxic exposure and pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis in your labor category of millwright at the Kansas City Plant. A search in the SEM revealed that asbestos, cement, and welding fumes may cause chronic obstruction pulmonary disease in your labor category of millwright. Another SEM search revealed that cadmium, lead, and welding fumes may cause kidney disease in you labor category of millwright at the Kansas City Plant.”

    EECAP Comment:  This Recommended Decision implies that the SEM is all encompassing enough to list all toxic materials potentially present at DOE sites.

    SEM Quotes from 2012 Recommended Decisions

    2012 COPD Denial Recommended Decision

    “In an effort to assist with your Part E claim for COPD, emphysema, and bronchitis, we consulted the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether there is any potential for a causal connection between your claimed conditions and the substances with which you were likely to have come in contact during your employment at the IAAP. Source documents used to compile the SEM database establish that you could have been exposed to asbestos, cement, endotoxin, silicon dioxide (crystalline), vehicle maintenance engine exhaust, and welding fumes, which are toxic substances with a known link to COPD.”

    2012 Leukemia Denial Recommended Decision

    “To assist in the development of your claim under Part E, the district office consulted the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) database to determine the toxic substances that you were potentially exposed to at the IAAP that could be causally linked to your leukemia. The SEM acts as a repository of information related to toxic substances potentially present at covered DOE sites and has information regarding site investigations and HazMap (Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents) to assist in evaluation causation. The SEM did not identify a link to any toxic substances known to contribute to the condition of leukemia for administrative work at the Portsmouth GDP.”

    “Based on the SEM search and review of all available evidence, the district office was unable to find a causal link between occupational toxic exposure and leukemia.”

    EECAP Comments:  This Recommended Decision implies that the SEM is all encompassing enough to list all toxic materials potentially present at DOE sites.  It also sounds as if a mistake was made as to what plant the worker worked at.

    SEM Quotes from 2013 Recommended Decisions

    2013 Pancreatic Cancer Denial Recommended Decision

    “On Blank 2011 and Blank 2012 we searched the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) regarding the claimed condition of pancreatic cancer, and could not find a link between the employee’s labor category and toxic substances at DOE facilities that cause that condition.”

    “A review of SEM on Blank 2013 again found that there are still no known toxic substances that cause pancreatic cancer in any DOE facility.”

    EECAP Comment: This Recommended Decision states flat out that there are no known toxic substances causing pancreatic cancer at any DOE facility.  The SEM is a living document.  Not all the data has been collected into the SEM.  There is no way for that statement to be considered valid.

    SEM Usage in Final Decisions

    SEM Quotes from 2006 Final Decisions

    2006 Throat Cancer Denial Final Decision

    "The Final Adjudication Branch performed a search of the U.S. Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM). Source documents used to compile the SEM establish that the labor category of “millwright” at Y-12 could potentially be exposed to the toxic substance of uranium tetrafluoride. The SEM contains a list of processes performed by this labor category, which includes uranium recovery, purification, and recycle operations."

    SEM Quotes from 2007 Final Decisions

    2007 Pulmonary Fibrosis Acceptance Final Decision

    “The Cleveland district office consulted the US Department of Labor’s EEOICPA Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether there was any potential causal connection between the claimed conditions and the labor category of Research Chemist, and toxic substances to which your husband may have been exposed during his employment at the Mound Plant. The SEM also includes information from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) HazMap disease list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. The SEM lists plutonium as a known toxic substance in the labor category of Research Chemist. The HazMap list indicates that plutonium as having the adverse effect of being fibrogenic.”

    EECAP Comments: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed.  This Final Decision also implies strongly that HazMap documents all known potential health effects.

    2007 Meningioma Acceptance Final Decision

    “To assist employees in meeting this standard, the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) undertakes a variety of steps to collect necessary information to show that a claimed illness is linked to a toxic exposure. Principally, DEEOIC has undertaken extensive data collection efforts with regard to the various types of toxic substances present at particular DOE facilities and the health effects these substances have on workers. This data has been organized into the Site Exposure Matrices (SEM). SEM allows DEEOIC claims staff to identify illnesses linked to particular toxic substances, site locations where toxic materials were used, exposures based on different job processes or job titles, and other pertinent facility data.”

    EECAP Comment These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible. This is untrue.

      2007 Myocardial Infarction Acceptance Final Decision

    “Source documents in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) show that carbon disulfide and lead were present at LLNL. The SEM is a database of occupational categories, the locations where those occupational categories would have performed their duties, a list of process activities at the facility and the locations where those processes occurred, a list of toxic substances and the locations where those toxic substances were located, and a list of medical conditions and the toxic substances associated with those conditions. SEM did not show a connection between the toxic substances of carbon disulfide and lead and the employee’s heart conditions.”

    EECAP Comment These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible. This is untrue.

    2007 Asbestos-related Lung Disease Acceptance Final Decision

    “The district office also reviewed the U S. Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) database and the National Institute of Health (NIH) HazMap Disease List. The SEM lists possible health effects of exposure to toxins that were present at certain buildings during specified timeframes at certain DOE facilities. The district office concluded that SEM identified asbestos as being present at Y-12 and that you could have been exposed to the toxic substance asbestos during your employment as a machinist at that facility.” 

    EECAP Comment: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed.  This also sounds like the claim was denied because information linking the illness and toxic exposure was not in the SEM.

    SEM Quotes from 2008 Final Decisions

    2008 Skin Cancer Denial Final Decision

    “The U.S. Department of Labor maintains a database called the Site Exposure Matrices (SEM). The district office performed a search of the SEM and found that there was insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to a toxic substance while employed at the SRS and the claimed condition of skin cancer.” 

    “Following the issuance of the recommended decision, FAB performed another search of the SEM, which revealed that carbon has the potential to cause skin cancer and that the labor category of “operator” at the SRS could potentially be exposed to that toxic substance. The search also showed that arsenic benzo(a)pyrene and mineral oil, which can also cause skin cancer, were present in Building 221-F.” 

    2008 Melanoma Denial Final Decision

    “The Cleveland district office also consulted the US Department of Labor’s EEOICPA Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether there was any potential causal connection between the claimed condition of melanoma and the toxic substances to which you may have been exposed during your employment at the Mound Plant. The SEM also includes information from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) HazMap disease list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. Neither the SEM nor the NIH HazMap disease list shows the claimed condition of melanoma as being caused by any know toxic substance to which he may have been exposed.”

    EECAP Comment: It is misleading for HazMap to be identified as being connected with the National Institute of Health.  While HazMap is hosted by the National Library of Medicine it is the property of Dr. Jay Brown and has not been peer-reviewed.  This also sounds like the claim was denied because information linking the illness and toxic exposure was not in the SEM.

    2008 Pneumoconiosis Approval Final Decision

    “Based on your husband’s employment at the Mound Plant, the district office consulted the US Department of Labor’s EEOICPS Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to help determine if there was a causal connection between his exposure to a toxic substance and his lung condition.  The SEM indicates that your husband had possible exposures to silicon dioxide, powdered beryllium, and asbestos.”

    2008 Kidney Cancer Denial Final Decision

    “The evidence of record includes information from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) database. The SEM database provides information regarding occupational categories, process operations, building and area locations, toxic substances, incidents, and the locations at the facility where the occupational categories performed their job duties, the locations of the toxic substances, and the locations of various incidents of exposure. The SEM database includes the occupational category of security guard. The SEM database identifies Buildings AX-1, and AX-2, both on Line 1, as locations where a security guard would work. SEM identifies Line 1, Building 1-62 as a location where a fireman would work, and identifies Line 1 Building 1-70 and Building 1-99 as locations where a Foreman for Explosives Storage would work. This was independently verified by the undersigned on October 20, 2008.”

    SEM Quotes from 2009 Final Decisions

    2009 Actinic Keratosis Final Decision Denial

    “The Cleveland district office consulted the US Department of Labor’s EEOICPA Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether there was any potential causal connection between actinic keratosis and the toxic substances to which you may have been exposed during your employment at the FMPC based upon the labor category of the job title you held during your employment; as a security officer. The SEM also includes information from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) HazMap disease list, which documents the known potential health effects that may result from exposure to a variety of toxic substances. Neither the SEM nor the NIH HazMap disease list shows actinic keratosis as being caused by any known toxic substance to which you may have been exposed.

    By letter dated Blank 2008 the district office advised you that based upon your medical records, the employment records, and the search of the SEM, no evidence of a causal relationship between your exposure to toxic substances and the actinic keratosis lesions was established.”

    "Based upon your medical records, the employment records, and the search of the SEM, no evidence of a causal relationship between your exposure to toxic substances and the actinic keratosis was established."

    “The district office utilized many tools in an effort to determine whether your claimed condition is occupational in origin. An internet search of the Haz-Map database was used, as well as a search of the SEM for a relational toxicology database designed for various health professionals and industrial hygienists to assist in recognizing the diseases that may be related to occupational exposure to toxic substances. Haz-Map links jobs to work processes which are potentially linked to occupational diseases and their symptoms, and is a valuable tool used in evaluating for exposure to a toxic substance, and determining the possible health effects of that exposure. Therefore, although an OHQ interview was not conducted, it has been determined based upon the evidence of record that any information provided related to your potential exposure to a toxic substance would not have any bearing on the outcome of your claim.”

    EECAP Comments: These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible. This is untrue. Also, the amount of jargon and poor editing in this Final Decision must have had the claimant scratching his head trying to figure out what DOL meant.

    2009 Parkinson Denial Final Decision

    “The SEM Website is a repository of information on toxic substances and chemicals present at DOE or Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) facilities covered under Part E of EEOICPA. In addition to exposure data, the SEM Website also contains information regarding scientifically established links between toxic substances and recognized occupational illnesses.

    The displayed occupational illness links identify illnesses associated with particular toxic substance exposures. Documentation of the relationship between toxic substances and occupational illnesses in SEM are derived from records of research from recognized medical authorities maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The Department of Labor (DOL) continually updates these relationships as new evidence is presented.

    Upon receipt of a claim for Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, or any reasonable alias, the CE is to access SEM and performs an appropriate site/area/facility/building/process/labor category/job description/incident/exposure search. At present, the SEM database contains the following substances with a known link between exposure and development of the condition of Parkinsonism.: carbon disulfide,  carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust, manganese, manganese II chloride, potassium permanganate, cold drawn steel, galvanized steel, Kovar, Hastelloy, MPTP.

    “SEM is currently being updated as new information is obtained, and thus it now lists 1018 steel, alumel, aluminum, 3S alloy, bronze, carbon monoxide, carbon steel, engine exhaust, galvanized swteel (sic), hastelloy, hymu alloy, Inconel, kovar, manganese, manganese chloride octaethylporphyrin, manganese, chloride tetra (N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin tetratosylate, manganese chloride tetraphyenylporphine, manganese molybdenum carbon steel, monel, polyvinyl chloride combustion products, tool steel, uranium manganese alloy, vehicle maintenance engine exhaust, and welding fumes. Carbon disulfide is no longer listed in SEM as a toxic substance related to Parkinsonism.”

    “A review of the documents supplied to the Department of Labor by the DOE regarding your claims and an additional review of SEM on Blank 2009, did not result in the identification of any toxic substance that may have caused you Parkinson’s disease.”

    EECAP Comments: There are many problems with the use of SEM in this Final Decision.  It sounds like all links between illnesses and toxic materials are captured within the SEM which is not true.  It states that one chemical, carbon disulfide, is both a causal agent for Parkinson's disease and NOT a causal agent for Parkinson's.  It's also hard to figure how they determined how a worker in Waste Management was not exposed to any of the listed chemicals that cause Parkinson's.

    2009 Skin Cancer, Heart Failure Denial Final Decision

    “The Cleveland district office researched the Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrix (SEM) and the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), Specialized Information Services’ (SIS) HazMap, and was unable to identify a hazardous material/toxin related to the claimed condition of heart failure.”

    SEM Quotes from 2010 Final Decisions

    2010 Lymphoma Denial Final Decision

    “The district office reviewed source documents used to compile the U. S. Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM)[1]to determine whether it was possible that, given the employee’s labor category and the work processes in which he was engaged, he was exposed to a toxic substance in the course of his employment that has a causal link with his claimed lymphoma. The district office determined that SEM did not have such a link and by letters dated August 14, 2009, and September 14, 2009, it advised the employee that there was insufficient evidence to establish that exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility or section 5 mine was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to or causing his lymphoma.

    "[1]  SEM is a database of occupational categories, the locations where those occupational categories would have been performed, a list of process activities at the facility and the locations where those processes occurred, a list of toxic substances and the locations where those toxic substances were located, and a list of medical conditions and the toxic substances associated with those conditions."

    EECAP Comments: These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible.  This is untrue.

    2010 Melanoma Denial Final Decision

    “The district office reviewed source documents used to compile the U. S. Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to determine whether or not it is possible that, given the employee’s labor category and the work processes engaged in, he was exposed to a toxic substance in the course of employment that corresponds to the claimed medical condition. The SEM search failed to establish a known causal link between melanoma and exposure to any toxic substance.”

    EECAP Comments: These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible.  This is untrue.

    SEM 2011 Quotes from Final Decisions

    2011 Breast Cancer Denial Final Decision

    “In regard to your claim for breast cancer under Part E, on Blank 2011, the district office searched source documents used to compile the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM), but it did not identify breast cancer as a potential health effect from occupational exposure to a toxic substance at a covered DOE facility.”

    “On Blank 2011, the Fab searched the source documents used to compile the SEM, but it did not identify breast cancer as a potential health effect from occupational toxic substance exposure at a covered DOE facility. Also, on the same date, the FAB searched the National Institute of Health (NIH) HazMap website…and breast cancer was not identified as a potential disease resulting from toxic substance exposure.  Additionally, according to the HazMap website, breast cancer is not identified as a potential disease resulting from styrene exposure.  Therefore, your authorized representative’s Blank 2011 submission is insufficient to overcome the deficiencies in your claim for breast cancer under Part E of the Act.”

    EECAP Comments: These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible.  Additionally, it sounds like research that the authorized representative submitted was not considered because the link was not in the SEM.

    2011 Pancreatic Cancer, etc. Denial Final Decision

    “The Denver district office reviewed source documents used to compile the US Department of Labor Site Exposure Matrices (SEM), to determine whether or not it is possible that, given your labor category and the work processes engaged in, the employee was exposed to a toxic substance in the course of employment, which corresponds to the claimed conditions. The SEM did not identify a link between toxic substances at the Kansas City Plant and the and (sic) claimed conditions of pancreatic cancer, kidney stones, diabetes, ascites, Peyronie’s disease, thrombocytopenia, portal vein thrombosis or atrial fibrillation.”

    “On Blank, 2011 and on Blank 2011, the FAB analysis of the SEM failed to reveal a link between your claimed conditions and toxic substance exposure at the Kansas City Plant.”

    EECAP Comments: These statements sound like the SEM is so inclusive that if the link between illness and toxic substance did not show up in the SEM search, no link is possible. This is untrue.

     
     
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