Title: Huge scale of A-bomb gene study revealed
Date: April 23, 2012
Organ samples and medical records on more than 1,200 babies who were stillborn or died shortly after birth after being carried by mothers who survived the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sent to the United States for radiation research, a researcher in Hiroshima says.
[...] this is believed to be the first time that the scale of the study has been revealed because it was classified as military information and thus had been secret.
Hiroko Takahashi, an assistant professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, has said internal documents from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology show that some 77,000 newborns were studied between 1948 and 1954. She estimates that tissue samples and records from more than 1,200 newborns were sent to the United States.
“Newborns were treated in the same way as guinea pigs for the study of nuclear weapons and radiation,” Takahashi said, adding that the “current radiation standard” is based upon that. [...]
Current standards based on study which concluded no genetic influence from radiation
[Takashi said] the “current radiation standard” is based upon [this study]
[...] The ABCC concluded after the research that there was no genetic influence stemming from radiation at that stage. [...]
“Almost 100 percent of the newborns in the city of Hiroshima were studied and if they died, an autopsy was performed on all of them,” a former Japanese researcher said.
Locating women who had a baby that was stillborn or died shortly after birth
The [Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission] took advantage of the food rationing system in place in Japan at the time, which gave priority to pregnant women, to obtain information on their whereabouts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most of the doctors and nurses there told the ABCC when newborns died because they were asked to cooperate.
Read the report here
Published: April 24th, 2012 at 5:05 pm ET