Jan. 22, 2008: Reps. Ryan & Wilson Send Letter to DOJ Regarding Elkton Prison
Washington, D.C. – After learning of the dangerous situation that exists at Elkton Prison Congressmen Charlie Wilson (OH-6) and Tim Ryan (OH-17) wrote the following letter to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General.
January 18, 2007
Mr. Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 4706
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Inspector General Fine: We write to you today concerned about the preliminary report recently issued by your office. This report revealed that workers at the Elkton Prison in Elkrun Township, Ohio were exposed to unsafe levels of cadmium and lead. We were outraged to read this report, and we hope to work with you to rectify the situation.
The report states that the exposures occurred at the UNICOR inmate factory while prison guards were changing the air handling filters in the ventilation system. It further indicates that exposure levels were 450 times the allowable levels as set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It is widely known that lead can damage nervous connections and cause blood and brain disorders; and that cadmium is a known carcinogen that can induce many types of cancer.
It is our understanding that medical teams will conduct an investigation to determine exposure levels to staff before issuing a final report. At this time we ask your assistance on three fronts: first, that the final assessment are completed without delay; second, that our offices be kept informed as soon as information becomes available; and third that we can work together after the final findings are released to prevent future lead and cadmium exposure to prison employees and inmates.
We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you in the future. Please do not hesitate to call us or Joan Gregory of Wilson’s staff with any questions at 202-225-5705.
Charles Wilson Tim Ryan
Member of Congress Member of Congress