First Atomic Bomb Test Exposed U.S. Civilians to Radiation

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The world’s first atomic bomb test might have exposed unaware civilians in New Mexico to thousands of times the recommended level of public radiation exposure, according to reconstructed data in a new study.

The research, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that ingestion of radioactive materials—primarily from irradiated rainwater and goat’s milk—might have been a substantial contributor to public radiation exposure that was largely not accounted for.

The findings come on the 62nd anniversary of the world’s first atomic explosion and were presented at the recent annual meeting of the Health Physics Society.

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