Former Bannister Federal Complex employees meet to discuss health concerns after exposure to toxins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After working at the Bannister Federal Complex for 20 years, Desiree Jones is worried about her future.

"A lot of times I can't catch my breath," Jones said. "I get horse a lot, I am just sick a lot."

Jones, along with many of the people who attended a meeting at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City Saturday are looking for answers.

"My big thing is, all the friends I have lost through the years," Jones said. "I have seen a lot of people die. Young people, they are fine one day, and the next day they are gone."

In a 41 Action News investigation, we identified about 900 toxins at the Bannister Federal Complex. So far, we know of about 450 people who are sick or dying from being exposed to known carcinogens at the plant.

Worker advocate Donna Hand is helping several former employees who are sick file for compensation. She said it has been very difficult.

"The current situation is they are being stopped or have a hurdle, you might say, because of the statute of limitations on the Federal Employees compensation side," Hand said.

The meeting was geared toward people who had offices near the Department of Energy Weapons Manufacturing. They were exposed to the vast majority of the toxins due to their office location.

"Myself, I'm just seeking justice. If there was something actually wrong there, we need to find out. And if so, a least test us and see what is going on within our bodies, because we don't know," said Clarence Taylor, a former employee who worked at the Bannister Federal Complex for about 30 years.

Worker advocates said it may take years for symptoms to surface. Former Bannister Federal Complex employees said Saturday's meeting was in preparation for what may be yet to come.

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