An Iowa official has been appointed to a federal panel which will settle claims from people who have developed health troubles after working in munitions plants during World War Two. Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Iris Post the goal of the federal Worker Advocacy Advisory Committee is to find better ways to get benefits to those involved.Post is among 15 members on the new federal panel and is the only one from Iowa. She says many people have developed life-threatening conditions from working for the Department of Energy decades ago in plants run by private contractors, making bombs and munitions.The D-O-E lists three sites in Iowa — the Ames Laboratory in Ames, the Iowa Ordinance Plant in Burlington and Titus Metals in Waterloo. Post says it’s not clear how many Iowans may have worked in the facilities so long ago — and many of them may not be in the state, or even alive. She says one of the things they’ve discussed is trying to find out just how many people are involved.Meanwhile, the University of Iowa is researching health problems of former employees of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, where nuclear and conventional weapons were made between 1947 and ’75. While 40-thousand people worked at the plant near Burlington in its nearly three decades of operation, it’s believed only two-to-four-thousand people worked with nuclear weapons.
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