Can nuclear testing cause cancer?

All people born since 1951 have received some exposure to radiation due to consequences related to weapons testing. Some people who received higher doses of radiation may have a higher risk of cancer from this exposure, although scientists at CDC and NCI believe that this risk is small for most people. Gradual increase in knowledge about the dangers of radiation exposureOver the past century, there has been a gradual accumulation of knowledge about the dangers of radioactivity. From the outset, it was recognized that exposure to a sufficient dose of radiation could cause damage to internal organs, as well as to the skin and eyes.

According to the 2000 Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation to the United Nations General Assembly, exposure to radiation can damage living cells, kill some and modify others. Destruction of a sufficient number of cells will inflict noticeable damage to organs, which can result in death. If the altered cells are not repaired, the resulting modification will be transmitted to other cells and, ultimately, can cause cancer. Modified cells that transmit hereditary information to the offspring of the exposed individual can cause hereditary disorders.

Vegetation can also become contaminated when rain settles directly on the outer surfaces of plants and is absorbed through the roots. In addition, people may be exposed when eating meat and milk from animals that graze on contaminated vegetation. After years of study, the National Cancer Institute says some people probably contracted cancer from the fallout that spread across New Mexico after the U.S. UU.

The government detonated the first atomic bomb in 1945 The institute disclosed its findings in a series of scientific articles on radiation doses and cancer risks resulting from the Trinity test, which marked a key point in the once secret Manhattan Project. The findings were published in the journal Health Physics. Researchers say it's impossible to know for sure if New Mexico's cancer rates changed in the first few decades after the test, given the lack of complete data. They concluded that any excess of cancer cases that emerged would have been limited to those who were alive at the time of the explosion and that the effects on those born in the following years would be too small to expect additional cases.

The researchers suggested in their work that exposure levels would have been substantially higher than natural background radiation only in areas immediately downwind of the detonation site. They listed five counties in Guadalupe, Lincoln, San Miguel, Socorro and Torrance based on a map of the catastrophic rainfall pattern developed decades earlier using radiation measurements collected by government scientists in the days immediately following the test. People exposed to rain are known as “downwinders”. The most recent research also points out that most of New Mexico's exposure to Trinity was small compared to subsequent radiation exposure from the Nevada test site and the consequences of atmospheric nuclear testing elsewhere.

Government scientists never discounted the potential of the consequences before going ahead with the Trinity test. The detonation changed the course of history, ensuring the end of World War II and marking the dawn of the atomic age. In the 75 years since then, some residents have been fighting for government recognition, saying that generations of people have been dealing with the effects of the explosion. The institute's research comes as Congress considers legislation that would include downwinders in New Mexico in a federal compensation program for individuals exposed to radiation released during atmospheric tests or employees in the uranium industry.

Ben Ray Luján, one of the sponsors of the legislation, organized a meeting in August with legislators, former miners, survivor groups from New Mexico, Idaho and Guam, among others. Depressers have said their communities have been plagued by cancer, birth defects and stillbirths. Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium and a cancer survivor, has said the government did nothing at the time or in the decades after to monitor what was happening due to the consequences. She is disappointed with the latest studies, saying that the researchers did not do any new soil or water sampling, but instead made “rough estimates” of risks based on a review of the scientific literature and used an old consequence map when modern computer modeling may have helped provide a more accurate picture of how radioactive particles were disbursed due to New Mexico's often turbulent summer weather patterns.

Small focus groups were formed and interviews were conducted with 11 older adults who were in the same communities in which they lived during the 1940s or 1950s. Simon acknowledged the limitations of the studies and said that researchers had to rely on the few data they had, the physics of radioactivity and modeling to estimate what could not be known. Researchers described the process of estimating radiation doses as lengthy, and said the work involved more than 120 million calculations to approximate doses to organs or tissues most at risk of exposure to the consequences. At the top of the list is the thyroid.

They estimated that the largest doses would have occurred in Torrance and Guadalupe counties based on the rainfall pattern. All counties in the state were included in the analysis. While the total impact on New Mexico residents is difficult to measure, institute officials say that the models used and the review of possible routes of exposure from inhaling dust contaminated by rains to the consumption of water or milk and the consumption of vegetables from the garden make the study of Trinity is one of the most detailed assessments of exposure to the consequences of nuclear tests ever conducted. Some studies and evaluations, including an evaluation by Arjun Makhijani of the health effects of nuclear weapons complexes, estimate that cancer deaths due to global radiation doses from nuclear test programs in the atmosphere of the five nuclear-weapon States amount to hundreds of thousands.

The nuclear explosions that occurred at the end of World War II and the explosions of hundreds of nuclear tests in the following years still have demonstrable effects on human health. The united states and the Soviet Union detonated hundreds of nuclear weapons before signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963, which banned nuclear testing on the surface. . .

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