New research suggests that the public perception about long term healh effects of atomic bomb explosions is highly exaggerated.
In 1945, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and those bombings led to utter devastation. At least 70,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and around 40,000 in Nagasaki in the immediate aftermath while thousands of more died from burns, radiation exposure and other injuries in the following months.
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There is no question that detonation of atomic bombs had devastating consequences, but their long term health effects were not as severe as propagated. A new research suggests that the rate of cancer, tumors and birth defects among survivors and their children was highly exaggerated and statistically no significant increase was noticed after twin bombs explosion.
“Most people, including many scientists, are under the impression that the survivors faced debilitating health effects and very high rates of cancer, and that their children had high rates of genetic disease. There's an enormous gap between that belief and what has actually been found by researchers.” Bertrand Jordan, a molecular biologist in France and lead researcher of the study said.
To arrive at the conclusion, researchers examined more than 60 years of medical research on the Hiroshima/Nagasaki survivors and their children and found that the risk of cancer increased to a great extent, but the average lifespan of survivors was only reduced by a few months.
Cancer rate was 10 to 44 percent higher among survivors compared to those who were not directly exposed to the radiations and the relative risk increased according to how close the person was to the detonation site, their age and their sex. For instance, young people and women were at high risk of developing cancer at any point of their life.
The large-scale study followed approximately 100,000 survivors and 77,000 of their children, as well as, 20,000 people who survived the radiation exposure over the years and is unable to detect higher incidence of abnormalities and deaths than the rate which is observed in Japan on average. But the research does not discount the possibility that nuclear bomb explosions cause extreme devastation.
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