Categories: Health AdvanceScience & Space

Cancer study of New Mexico nuclear test site expected to finish in 2019

The National Cancer Institute has announced that in 2019, a long awaited research will be published and it will provide insight into the risk factors of developing cancer amongst the residents of New Mexico, residing near the site of the world’s first atomic bomb test.

Michael Levin, a spokesperson for the National Cancer Institute revealed to the press that the researchers are currently analysing the data obtained from the dietary patterns and radiation exposure suffered by the residents who reside near the Trinity Test site, an atomic bomb that was tested back in the World War II period. The researchers are expected to finish and publish this research by early 2019.

Once complete, this research will be published in a scientific journal reviewed by multiple eminent researcher, and it will be made available by early next spring. This announcement came in the wake of the protests and pressure stage by the descendants of the families who resided in surrounding communities, who have been cajoling the Congress to add them to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

The descendants report that the Trinity Test has caused countless families and their generations to bear grave economic disturbances, financial crunches and a rare kind of cancer. Presently, this law is only applicable areas in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, which are located downwind from a different site of an atomic bomb test.

The researchers who are working in Los Alamos, New Mexico, created the atomic bomb under the Manhattan Project, which provided enriched uranium reserves to develop the weapon. This secretive program also undertook projects at facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington.

The atomic bomb was test in a short stretch of desert land, surrounded by the towns that are home to several Native American and Hispanic communities. The residents have no knowledge that the test was done to observe the results of an atomic weapon, and this secret came out in the open when the US dropped those devastating bombs on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and WWII came to an end.

Recently, the 73rd anniversary of the devastating bombing in Hiroshima passed. The co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, Tina Cordova, reported to the press that the descendants of those who have suffered from rare cancerous disease have been restlessly awaiting the findings of this study that is being conducted by the National Cancer Institute.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Tina Cordova expressed apprehension and worry that the researchers were using some “culturally insensitive” questions and for various months, the National Cancer Institute refused to reveal any details or undertake any kind of communication regarding the progress of this research. She said,

We had been kept in the dark.

The main investigator of the research, Steve Simon, a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute’s epidemiology and bio-statistics program, revealed that the researchers who are working on the research have been diligent about including the expertise from the residents and descendants of New Mexico into the designing process of the research.

Simon is reported to have said,

To keep the communities well informed about the status of the study, the NCI team has sent regular email updates.

The National Cancer Institute has announced that it might provide the results of the study to the descendants before the publication of the research, but this decision depends entirely on the policies of the scientific journal that it is publishing the research.

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