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Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC)

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Toxic Substances

Below are the head notes for the FAB decisions and orders relating to the topic heading, Toxic Substances. The head notes are grouped under the following subheadings: Acceptance under former Part D, Claim for cancer under Part E, Definition of, Exposure to, and Presumption of causation. To view a particular decision or order in its entirety, click on the hyperlink for that decision or order at the end of the head note.

Acceptance under former Part D

  • Survivor found entitled to lump-sum payment under Part E based on Secretary of Energy’s acceptance of former Part D Physicians Panel determination that employee’s pulmonary fibrosis was due to exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility and medical evidence in the case record that this exposure contributed to the employee’s death. While the causes of death listed on the employee’s death certificate were carcinogenic shock and pneumonia, record included medical report finding that pulmonary fibrosis contributed to the employee’s death. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 2029-2002 (Dep’t of Labor, January 10, 2005).


Claim for cancer under Part E

  • Where DEEOIC referred a Part E claim for lymphoma to NIOSH for a dose reconstruction and thereafter determined that there was a less than 50% probability that the claimant’s cancer was caused by exposure to radiation at a DOE facility or a RECA section 5 facility, and in the absence of further evidence to support that it was at least as likely as not that exposure to any other toxic substance at a DOE facility or a RECA section 5 facility was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing the employee’s lymphoma, FAB concluded that the employee had failed to establish that he contracted the “covered illness” of lymphoma, and his claim under Part E was denied. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10009704-2007 (Dep’t of Labor, February 22, 2010).


Definition of


Exposure to

  • As part of its adjudication process, OWCP may perform a search through the Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) to ascertain whether a particular labor category could potentially have been exposed to toxic substances. The SEM contains a list of processes performed by different labor categories including uranium recovery, purification and recycle operations. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 20858-2006 (Dep’t of Labor, June 30, 2006).
  • Based on the totality of the evidence, FAB concluded that it was at least as likely as not that hazard reduction technician’s work-related exposure to ionizing radiation at the Rocky Flats Plant was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing his meningioma (non-malignant brain tumor). EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10016501-2007 (Dep’t of Labor, May 7, 2007).
  • Based on the totality of the evidence, FAB concluded that it was at least as likely as not that physicist’s occupational exposure to carbon disulfides at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing his coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction and death. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10036412-2006 (Dep’t of Labor, June 13, 2007).
  • Evidence was sufficient to establish that it was at least as likely as not that employee’s exposure to toxic substances (organic solvent mixtures) at a DOE facility was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing his sensorineural hearing loss (as opposed to conductive hearing loss, which is not linked to exposure to toxic substances). EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10059726-2007 (Dep’t of Labor, December 12, 2007).
  • EEOICPA does not require a dose reconstruction in order to determine whether it is at least as likely as not that exposure to non-ionizing radiation at a DOE facility was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing an employee’s cancer under Part E. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10086042-2010 (Dep’t of Labor, June 22, 2010).
  • The SEM contains toxic substance exposure profiles for worksites that are either DOE facilities or uranium mines and mills covered under Part E. Thus, it contains no information on toxic substance exposures at AWE facilities, which are only covered under Part B. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 20121127-84623-1 (Dep’t of Labor, April 30, 2013).


Presumption of Causation

  • DEEOIC has established criteria to allow for a presumption of causation in claims filed under Part E for asbestosis. If the evidence in the claim file is sufficient to establish that the employee was diagnosed with asbestosis, that he or she worked at least 250 aggregate days at a facility where the presence of asbestos has been confirmed, and that there was a latency period of at least 10 years between the employee’s first exposure and the first diagnosis of asbestosis, DEEOIC can accept that it was at least as likely as not that the employee’s exposure to asbestos at a DOE facility was a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to or causing his or her asbestosis. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10039710-2007 (Dep’t of Labor, November 30, 2007); EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 10068242-2008 (Dep’t of Labor, July 25, 2008).