Study of Baby Teeth Sees Radiation Effects from A-Bomb Testing

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Men who grew up in the St. Louis area in the early 1960s and died of cancer by middle age had more than twice as much radioactive strontium in their baby teeth as men born in the same area at the same time who are still living, according to a study based on teeth collected years ago by Washington University in St. Louis.

The study, published on Dec. 1 in The International Journal of Health Services, analyzed baby teeth collected during the era when the United States and the Soviet Union were conducting nuclear bomb tests in the atmosphere. The study seeks to help scientists determine the health effects of small radiation doses, and to say how many people died from bomb fallout. There is very little reliable data on the relationship of radiation to cancer at low doses, so scientists instead use extrapolations from higher doses, which introduces large uncertainties into their calculations....

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