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Downwinders receive compensation if they can show that they were present downwind of the Nevada Test Site in a certain geographic area in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona and for a specific minimum duration. This area includes specific counties within those states. The time period is 2 years during the period of January 21st, 1951 through October 31st, 1958, or for the entire period from June 30th, 1962 until July 31st, 1962.

Downwinders must also be able to show that they were diagnosed with the same illnesses or conditions under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act for On-site Participants. Those illnesses are leukemia, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, lymphomas, and primary cancer of the of the thyroid, male or female breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary, and liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated). And also, with respect to lymphoma, hodgkin’s disease is not covered under the program.

So there is an exposure piece to a Downwinder claim as well as a medical piece to a Downwinder claim. Of course, survivors can also receive compensation: surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, and parents can also receive compensation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

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