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January 1, 1955

RETINAL BURNS—NEW HAZARD OF THE ATOMIC BOMB

Author Affiliations

U.S.A.F.

From the School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph Field, Texas.

JAMA. 1955;157(1):21-22. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950180023005
Abstract

The atomic bomb has brought to the medical profession many new military and civil defense problems, all of which stem directly or indirectly from the release of some form of energy at the time of the explosion, such as light—infrared, visible, and ultraviolet. The fireball of the atomic bomb in its early phase is roughly 100 times as bright as the sun. Light energy is capable of producing an intraocular burn and, as discussed by one of us (H. W. R.) and Buettner,1 the distances at which these burns can occur are much greater than those at which any other harmful effect of the atomic bomb occurs. This paper presents the preliminary results of an extensive Air Force research study on the retinal burn problem. A more detailed discussion will be published shortly.2

RETINAL DAMAGE  Retinal damage is caused by infrared and visible light, the latter comprising over

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