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October 31, 1959


Author Affiliations

Ithaca, N. Y.

Director of the Laboratory of Radiation Biology, Department of Physiology, New York State Veterinary College, Cornell University.

JAMA. 1959;171(9):1221-1223. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73010270019012

There is little doubt that atomic energy will assume an important role in our civilization, and it is appropriate that future possible hazards should be evaluated. At the present time, it can be concluded that there is no reason for any change in our nutritional habits or food technology as a result of fall-out contamination. Research must continue, however, so that recommendations can be made to minimize the intake of radioactive contamination should this ever become necessary.

Although environmental contamination now existing is due almost entirely to fall-out from nuclear weapons, peacetime operations may become increasingly important as sources of radioactive contamination. In addition to fall-out, small quantities of radioactive materials may be released into the environment as a result of such operations as mining of uranium and thorium ore and fuel processing; reactor installations in power plants, submarines, ships, and aircraft (normal operations and accidents); and radioisotope applications in