Prolonged health effects of exposure to atomic bomb are not as severe as perceived

Prolonged health effects of exposure to atomic bomb are not as severe as perceiv

Today is unforgettable day from history when in August 1945 the United States threw atom bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The attack instantly killed 200,000 people and left around 177,000 people exposed to harmful radiation. A new report claims that prolonged health effects of this bombing are not as dangerous as perceived earlier.

The report was created by Bertrand Jordan, a molecular biologist in France, after examining over 60 years of medical research on affected survivors and their children, as well as on 20,000 people who were not exposed to the radiation. It was found that among survivors there was 10% to 44% of cancer risk associated with exposure to radiation from bombs. However, they died only a few months before the death of those not exposed to the radiation. In other words, there was not a significant effect on the mortality of those exposed.

Moreover, the children of the survivors did not have any condition associated to exposure to radiation inherited from their parents. The report was published in the August issue of the journal Genetics. This might become possible in future, when more tests will be conducted, to bring out difference in exposed and non-exposed group. Jordan said that the health risk among those exposed is not as much as thought. There are many factors that have caused these results; one of them is historical context.

"Most people, including many scientists, are under the impression that the survivors faced debilitating health effects and very high rates of cancer, and that their children had high rates of genetic disease. There's an enormous gap between that belief and what has actually been found by researchers," said Jordan said in a journal news release.


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