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May 10, 1965

Medical Findings in Marshallese People Exposed to Fallout Radiation: Results From a Ten-Year Study

Author Affiliations

Arobati Hicking

From the Medical Research Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (Dr. Conard), and the Department of Medical Services, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Saipan, Mariana Islands (Mr. Hicking).

JAMA. 1965;192(6):457-459. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080190023006

Benign thyroid nodules were removed from three teenage Rongelap girls ten years after exposure from fallout. (The thyroid dose received was estimated at about 1,000 rads, largely from radioiodines absorbed.) No thyroid nodules were detected in 75 unexposed children. Other possible residual radiation effects noted in the 86 exposed Rongelapese were as follows: slight retardation of statural growth and bone maturation in boys exposed at less than 5 years of age; greater incidence of miscarriages in exposed women during the first four years; incomplete recovery of some of the peripheral blood elements; and increased nevus-like lesions in areas of previous beta radiation burns of the skin. General health and mortality has been about the same as in the comparison population. No definite radiation effects on birth rate, aging, leukemia, malignancy, or genotype have been noted.