Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "beryllium" ...

  • Shipyard workers face hidden toxin

    Coal slag, a recycled coal waste byproduct, is used by the ton at the nation’s shipyards, where its blasted against steel hulls to prepare them for paint. The product contains a toxin called beryllium that has been linked to a chronic and sometimes fatal lung disease. Though safety officials at the nation’s biggest shipyard were aware of the toxin, called beryllium, workers say they were not clued in, and union officials say dust from the product, called coal slag, commonly gets in the eyes and throats of workers despite efforts to keep it out of the air.
  • CDC Buries Toxic Warnings

    "The Centers for Disease Control suppressed repeated warnings from one of its top scientists, raising questions about whether the CDC bowed to pressure from FEMA to conceal the long-term health risks of formaldehyde in the trailers it distributed to hurricane victims."
  • (Untitled)

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists investigates the building nuclear weapons without any protection for the workers. The story describes how the nuclear industry made thousands of workers sick. The author exemplifies the problem with the case of Joe Harding, a worker at the uranium enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky, who died of stomach cancer, after his pension and health insurance were rejected. After six decades of denial, the government confesses and Congress votes for compensation, reports the magazine.
  • The Deadly Dust

    "'The Deadly Dust' is a story about a government and industry conspiracy to cover-up the dangers of beryllium, a unique metal, critical to our nation's production of nuclear weapons. The segment ... was based on tens of thousands of pages of primary documents consisting of de-classified government reports, internal company memoranda and medical journal articles. It was based on discussions with hundreds of sources and the support of an award-winning team at 'The Toledo Blade.'"
  • Rocky Flats: From Cold War to Hot Property

    Westword examines what has happened to Rocky Flats after the Atomic Energy Commission built a nuclear-weapons plant near the Denver area in the 1950s. The disposal of more than 1,500 kinds of chemicals and radioactive plutonium. Dow Chemical undertook only the slightest precautions in getting rid of the waste. It attempted solar evaporation ponds and mixing the toxic, often radioactive sludge with cement that never hardened. Over the years, materials left unprotected outside in second-hand barrels and other careless containers seeped into the prairies and groundwater. In 1974, Rockwell International took over and continued the pollution. In 1989, the plant was raided by the FBI and Colorado's first ever grand jury convened. Indictments and a $18.5 million fine were levied at Rockwell, the contractor and DOE employees. Today, an ambitious goal of cleaning up the land by 2006 is set but few have faith that the environmental damage sustained at Rocky Flats can be undone.
  • Deadly Silence: The government's betrayal of A-bomb pioneers

    The Daily Southtown reports that "During World War II, hundreds of scientists, tradesmen and secretaries at the Manhattan Project metallurgical lab at the University of Chicago were carelessly exposed to large quantities of toxic metal beryllium, then for 45 years intentionally kept in the dark about the potentially deadly health consequences... For decades the federal government joined with university officials to fight workers' compensation claims filed by those dying of beryllium disease. Then, facing a 1986 expose by a Los Angeles TV station, Energy Department officials promised on-camera to provide testing and treatment for Manhattan Project workers. But testing and treatment was never provided, based on interviews with Manhattan Project survivors located by the Daily Southtown."
  • Deadly Alliance

    This series examines how the U.S. military's demand for beryllium kills the workers who manufacture the metal. Also, looks at the lengths companies and the government will go to avoid warning workers about the dangerous effects.
  • The Russian Connection

    U.S. News & World Report examines the newly installed FBI office in Moscow. The office was opened because of the possibility that Russian organized-crime groups might obtain nucear weapons from the former Soviet Union's vast store of weapons and research materials and sell it to rogue governements and terrorists. The investigation revealed that nuclear weapons smuggling is taking place. (October 23, 1995)
  • The Worst Nightmare

    "A CBS News investigation, conducted jointly with US News and World Report, provided the first irrefutable evidence that Russian organized crime, working with at least one senior official of the government of Boris Yeltsin, had moved into the dangerous but potentially lucrative area of nuclear smuggling. Relying on unique access to senior law enforcement officials in Lithuania and Russia, the reporters unearthed shipping documents, business contracts and other correspondence detailing the illegal movement of 4.4 tons of beryllium from a supposedly secure Russian research facility through a number of middlemen to a Mafia organization in Lithuania and ultimately, to a man identified as a Korean buyer, willing to pay more than ten times the material's market value."
  • Russian Connection

    A five month U.S. News investigation, conducted jointly with CBS's 60 Minutes, provides evidence that Russian organized crime is now smuggling nuclear material to a Korean buyer.