[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 12, 1984

Radioactive Fallout and Cancer

Author Affiliations

University of Utah School of Medicine Salt Lake City

JAMA. 1984;252(14):1854-1855. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350140014011

To the Editor.—  The study by Dr Carl Johnson1 quoted our work out of context2 to support the accuracy of his method of identifying cancer cases among those exposed to radioactive fallout. Johnson used community volunteers to interview self-selected heads of families to ascertain each cancer in family members over the preceding 30 years. The interview was conducted after the families had viewed an antinuclear television documentary entitled "Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang," which strongly suggested that fallout had caused cancers in persons living downwind (Salt Lake Tribune, Aug 30, 1981, p A17). Johnson cited us to support the accuracy of his case-finding method to the effect that "diagnosis in life correlated with death certificate cause and with unpublished data from the Utah Cancer Registry more than 90% of the time." This is taken out of context. The full quote reads, "The cases of leukemia included in this