Amchitka Island Nuclear Test Workers
ACAT assists workers and unions to prevent and address harmful chemical and radiation exposures in the workplace. Workers are disproportionally exposed to harmful chemicals across almost all workplace sectors, including healthcare, firefighting, janitorial, military service, oil and chemicals production, and mining. Chemical injuries from acute exposures and explosions can be immediately fatal. Chemical injuries may also remain invisible and latent for many years, resulting in disability, debilitating chronic diseases, and death.1
Occupational exposures to chemicals have been linked to cancers, neurological damage, and reproductive harm, as well as lung, kidney, skin, heart, stomach, and brain diseases. Occupational injuries, illnesses, and deaths are preventable with effective policies, elimination of chemical hazards, replacement with safe substitutes and processes, protective workplace practices, and employer accountability.
If you would like to request ACAT's assistance with an occupational exposure or to explore ways to make your workplace safer, please contact our office at (907) 222-7714 or [email protected]. You may also complete a short request form here.
1 International Labor Organization. 2021. Exposure to hazardous chemicals at work and resulting health impacts: A global review.
Here are some examples of our work on occupational health and safety:
- Working with UNITE HERE Local 878, ACAT achieved passage of an ordinance in Anchorage to prevent harmful exposures to toxic mold.
- With firefighters, ACAT worked to enact policies at the local and state levels to prevent harmful exposures to PFAS chemicals and flame retardants.
- With Amchitka nuclear workers and the Alaska Laborers Union, ACAT documented exposures to radiation and chemical hazards at the former nuclear test site on Amchitka and helped establish a federal medical screening and compensation program.
- Our investigative report about the nuclear reactor at Fort Greely documented radiation hazards to workers and the community.
- ACAT collaborated with Physicians for Social Responsibility on a report about hazardous chemicals in healthcare.
- To address oil spill worker exposures following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, we conducted an investigation and worked to enact protective policies at the national level. Read about our investigation here and here.
Alaska Workers Association (AWA): A non-profit, 100% volunteer organization that aims to end poverty in Alaska. AWA offers help in finding jobs, paying bills, accessing resources, and advocacy. Call: (907) 272-6292.
The Workers' Guide to Health and Safety book is an excellent resource for workers and unions in developing occupational health and safety measures.
Read about work cancer hazards here.
ACAT is a member of Coming Clean, a nonprofit collaborative of environmental health and justice organizations working to reform the chemical and energy industries so they are no longer a source of harm. ACAT helped develop and fully endorses the Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals that addresses the need to protect workers and fenceline communities.
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute provides excellent information for worker protections and safer substitutes and processes.
The University of California at San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment provides a guide for workers and protection of reproductive health.
The International Labor Organization’s report addresses exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace and resulting health effects.
Exxon Oil Spill Cleanup Worker
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a union representing members in healthcare, the public sector and property services.
Alaska IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 1547 represents linemen, electricians, telecom workers, and tree trimmers throughout the state.
UNITE Here Local 878 represents about 1,100 workers in the hospitality industries of Alaska. Local 878 members work in hotels, restaurants, food service, and laundries.
The Alaska AFL-CIO, established in 1943, is the state's largest labor organization, representing 50,000 union members belonging to more than fifty affiliated unions statewide. Alaska AFL-CIO also strives to represent the interests of workers not represented by unions.
Alaska Professional Firefighters Association and International Association of Firefighters Local 1264
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment.
Alaska Nurses Association represents more than 7,000 nurses throughout Alaska.