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CLAIMS MUST SHOW DOWNWIND DATA

Downwind victims of atomic testing who seek government compensation after contracting cancer must prove they lived in fallout areas by using property, tax, business, education, telephone or church records.

That's according to further details released late Wednesday about how the Justice Department plans to process claims by "downwinders." A law sponsored by Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and passed in 1990 authorizes compensation to victims or their survivors.Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Gerson said claim forms and guidebooks are being mailed to all people who contacted the Justice Department about the program in the past two years. Others wanting them can call the department at 1-800-729-7327.

He added that downwind cancer victims - who are each eligible for $50,000 - must first prove they (or a deceased relative) contracted one of 13 types of cancer.

They are: leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphomas (other than Hodgkin's disease), thyroid cancer, breast cancer or cancer of the esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder and liver.

They must also prove they lived in fallout areas during atomic testing. Gerson said downwinders could use property, tax, business and education records to do that.

He added, "Proof of residency can also be established by the (Justice Department's) Radiation Unit through the use of a comprehensive set of telephone books and directories maintained by the Library of Congress or through other reliable sources, including records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

He noted two other groups of atomic cancer victims are eligible for compensation: workers at the Nevada Test Site (who may receive $75,000) and uranium miners (who may receive $100,000 because the government knew their work was dangerous but did not warn them).

Gerson said employment claims by on-site workers will be verified through records of the Defense Nuclear Agency and the Energy Department Field Office in Nevada.

"If a claimant's on-site participation can be established using these existing data bases, no documentation will be requested from the claimant," he said.

Gerson said the principal means of proof of employment his agency will use for uranium miners is through records of the Public Health Service, state regulatory agencies, mining companies and medical research studies.

He said they must show they developed cancer of the lung, trachea or bronchus; pulmonary fibrosis; corpulmonale; moderate or sever silicosis; or moderate or severe pneumoconiosis.

Gerson said he feels "the claims processing system relies on readily accessible records, including rec-ords held by the federal and state governments, so that claims can be resolved quickly and at little administrative costs to the person filing the claim or the government."