February 22, 1958


JAMA. 1958;166(8):930-942. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990080076017

THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF RADIATION FALL-OUT—CURRENT CONCEPTS  Crawford F. Sams, M.D., Berkeley, Calif.The medical problem of radiation from fall-out differs from that of prompt radiation accompanying an atomic explosion. When bombs of the magnitude of the kiloton weapons used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki are considered, thermal and mechanical injuries quantitatively exceed the radiation injury. Prompt radiation resulting in a single exposure has been the major radiologic hazard, particularly when air bursts only are involved. In the studies of these two disasters, an attempt was made to relate prompt radiation dosage to distance from ground zero. The values of lethal and sublethal dosages derived from the studies have been the basis for the appraisal of radiation hazards to masses of people, both in military and civilian planning. However, it is now fairly well recognized that the uncertainties as to the shielding factors have caused a reappraisal of these, data to

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