KANSAS CITY, Missouri - A CDC investigation at the Bannister Federal Complex identified 'no cancer cluster' in General Services Administration controlled space according to a report obtained by NBC Action News .
The report was prepared by the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
"NIOSH’s findings are based on a nine month study that involved a review of documents, monitoring and exposure records, assessment of work areas, and interviews with multiple employees, managers, and supervisors," a General Services Administrations statement said.
The GSA's Regional Administrator, Jason Klumb, said in a news conference Thursday that the report doesn't mean the agency is stopping the search for answers.
"It does address lots of questions, lots of serious questions, that have been raised and personally it provides me comfort as I come to work everyday and as I take my son to the daycare center everyday," Klumb said.
Klumb's son attends the Bannister daycare facility where earlier tests identified toxin concerns, but later tests identified no problems.
Workers at the complex applauded Klumb's announcement that the results are promising, but that more works need to be done.
GSA officials said the report did not take into account recent preliminary testing results that could show a presence of uranium and/or beryllium contamination in office space at the complex.
Officials said they are awaiting a quality analysis to determine whether the results were accurate or false positives.
Many former workers and family members were disturbed by the report's release without more detailed testing and medical evaluations.
"Makes me very angry. Very angry that they can cover all this up and get away with this, because it was nothing he brought on himself," said Rae Deane Lancaster referring to the death of her husband Robert.
Robert Lancaster worked on the GSA side of the Bannister Federal Complex for the Internal Revenue Service.
She held back tears describing how he died from a combination of a fungal infection in his lungs and leukemia.
"They don't know, they kept asking us where he'd been to pick up this fungal infection and that's the only place we could think of is where he picked it up at work," Lancaster said.
The NIOSH report identified beryllium, uranium, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, chlorinated hydrocarbons, PCBS's and radiation as concerns they reviewed.
Although many experts believe there is no known safe level of beryllium, the NIOSH report cited the beryllium identified on the GSA side of the complex as being below acceptable Department of Energy guidelines.
In ruling out a cancer cluster, the report specifically addressed the pancreatic cancer cases identified in an earlier NBC Action News Investigation.
At the time, we had identified 13 pancreatic cancer cases at the facility.
As of this publicationm, we've documented at least 25 cases of pancreatic cancer among workers at the Bannister Federal Complex (which includes GSA side workers and bomb plant workers).
The report said no occupational causes of pancreatic cancer are proven.
The report also ruled out clusters in the reported cases of breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and lung cancer.
The report notes there are no exposure guidelines for beryllium in an office environment like the GSA facility.
Many sick workers expressed concern that the government did not take medical information from all current and former workers to determine whether the percentages of cancers at Bannister are unusual compared to rates in the general population.
"Unless they do a complete health history and screening of everyone whoever worked there, then they have nothing to stand on," said Guy Beebe, a retired Marine who was stationed at Bannister.
"My feeling is actually rage and outrage primarily because NIOSH is doing another whitewash," said Beebe, who suffers chronic bronchitis.
CDC officials say they only had jurisdiction on the GSA side of the complex and weren't allowed full access to the Department of Energy controlled plant where the non-nuclear parts are made for nuclear weapons.
That's where outspoken former employee Maurice Copeland worked.
"I'm numb. I'm a Vietnam Veteran. They did the same thing with Agent Orange. Took 30 years to admit it. Let history tell what's going on today," said Copeland.
Copeland has watched many friends and co-workers die and has pre-cancerous polyps himself.
The CDC report identified five potential pathways for toxins to escape the bomb making part of the plant and enter the GSA controlled side of the complex.
Copeland noted that on the Honeywell side of the complex, the government has paid out nearly $30 million to workers for similar illnesses believed linked to toxins there
"If no clusters or anything are there, why are they paying this compensation