Nuclear Tests and Environmental Impact

How Has Atmospheric Nuclear Testing Impacted Thyroid Health Across the U.S.?

10 mins
What is it about?



The article discusses the impact of atmospheric nuclear tests on the environment and human health, with a specific focus on the radioactive contamination from the isotope Iodine-131 (131I) and its potential link to thyroid cancer.

According to the US National Cancer Institute, during the Cold War in the mid-1940s through early 1960s, the US government conducted about 100 nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere at a test site in Nevada, more than 100 in the Pacific, and one—the first ever—in New Mexico. The radioactive substances released by these tests are known as “fallout.” They were carried thousands of miles away from the test site by winds. As a result, people living in the United States at the time of the testing were exposed to varying levels of radiation.