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April 20, 1984

Cancer Among Nuclear Test Participants-Reply

Author Affiliations

Chronic Diseases Division Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1984;251(15):1952. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340390015010

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In Reply.—  We agree with Dr Gross that experimental evidence in animals and data from human populations exposed to 150 to 200 rad of ionizing radiation suggest that they experienced an increased incidence of leukemia and solid tumors, but we have no data indicating that the nuclear test participants at Smoky were exposed to that level of radiation. Furthermore, the data from studies on populations exposed to ionizing radiation in the 150- to 200-rad range have shown some solid tumors after 15 to 20 years. We do not doubt that susceptibility differs by host and organ system, since that too has been found in irradiated human populations.We have no quarrel with the theory that some synergistic response may have occurred with an unknown virus, a genetically susceptible host, or with prior or subsequent chemical or radiation exposure. We simply lack the data to ascertain if these responses could account

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