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Pac Health Dialog. 2007 Mar;14(1):170-8.

Health consequences and health systems response to the Pacific U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Program.

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Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, John A Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Mililani, Hawai'i 96789-1192, USA.


Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 thermonuclear devices in the Pacific as part of their U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Program (USNWTP). The aggregate explosive power was equal to 7,200 Hiroshima atomic bombs. Recent documents released by the U.S. government suggest that the deleterious effects of the nuclear testing were greater and extended farther than previously known. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) government and affected communities have sought refress through diplomatic routes with the U.S. government, however, existing medical programs and financial reparations have not adequately addressed many of the health consequences of the USNWTP. Since radiation-induced cancers may have a long latency, a healthcare infrastructure is needed to address both cancer and related health issues. This article reviews the health consequences of the Pacific USNWTP and the current health systems ability to respond.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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