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Understanding Cancer Series

  • Posted: 04/07/2006
  • Reviewed: 11/04/2010

Slide 25

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Nuclear Fallout

Atomic bombs and above-ground atomic bomb testing releases ionizing radiation that can increase cancer risk. People affected by the atomic bombs in Japan at the end of World War II, those living near nuclear testing sites in Nevada in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and those near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in the former Soviet Union in 1986 were all exposed to ionizing radiation.

Japanese atomic bomb survivors had increased rates of cancers of the breast, thyroid, lung, stomach, and other organs. People, especially children, exposed to iodine-131 (one form of radioactive iodine) both from the above-ground nuclear testing that has occurred in the United States and from the Chernobyl accident, have an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

Nuclear Fallout