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June 23, 1962

FALLOUT AND THE PHYSICIAN

JAMA. 1962;180(12):1054-1055. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050250060017

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Abstract

The renewed concern over radioactive fallout from atmospheric nuclear tests emphasizes the need for physicians to be informed of the biological assumptions underlying the standards currently used in assessing the health effects of radiation exposure. Equally important is their need to understand the standards themselves and the official programs for radiation surveillance and protection operated by federal and state health agencies.

Among the many reasons why such information and understanding is important to physicians are these which are related to his professional responsibilities: (1) If radioactivity levels in the environment increase considerably and are sustained, such knowledge may be needed in the management of certain classes of patients. (2) Whether levels increase or not, full knowledge of the situation is needed to enable the physician to provide authoritative advice and opinion to patients, families, and associates. (3) When based on sound technical data and principles, the advice of physicians expressed

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