Two more Hanford workers report possible exposure to vapors

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Radioactive Waste Cleanup Continues At Hanford Nuclear Reservation

A sign is seen as you enter the world's largest environmental cleanup project at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation June 30, 2005 near Richland, Washington.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Even while workers on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are engaged in a job action to protest getting sick from chemical vapors, two more employees reported possible exposure to the vapors.

The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council issued a stop work order on Monday to demand greater protections for workers at underground nuclear waste storage tanks.

The order required a halt to work at Hanford tank farms if employees were not using mandatory supplied air respirators.

The tank farm contractor complied with the order by giving employees the bottled air on Tuesday, allowing work to continue.

However, two workers who were outside the tank farm boundaries reported smelling chemical vapors and developing symptoms of illness on Tuesday.

The two workers were given medical evaluations and cleared to return to work.