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The United States dropped the atomic bomb, called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Another atomic bomb, called “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki three days later on August 9, 1945. The devastation was beyond anything seen before. The city was immediately flattened. 80,000 people were killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 were injured.

 These two bombs had many short-term effects. About 75,000 people died immediately in Japan. The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki took fewer casualties because it was dropped off target and the blast was stopped by hills. The radiation fallout from the two explosions was even more deadly than the initial atomic bomb. The waste caused genetic mutations and cancers. Many more people died in the coming years due to the diseases from radioactive waste exposure in the two cities. Lack of medical resources made exposure to radiation almost a certain death. Radiation sickness is still causing trouble to this day because of the people passing it on to their children.

 RERF to investigate whether genetic effects can be found on the offspring. For example, a study was conducted on abnormal pregnancy outcomes between 1948 and 1954. A total of 77,000 pregnancies were investigated. However, no statistically significant genetic effects caused by atomic bomb radiation were observed in any category examined, including stillbirths, deformities, and infant mortality.

The sex ratio was investigated in 140 000 offspring of survivors between 1948 and 1966, but no apparent effects were observed. A study on chromosomal aberrations was performed between 1967 and 1985 that examined 16 000 offspring. In that study, sex chromosomal abnormalities, such as XYY, XXY, XXX, and mosaicism or inversion of the Y chromosome, were investigated. Furthermore, autosomal structural rearrangements, such as reciprocal translocations, inversions, and also chromosome trisomy was investigated.

However, there were no signi?cant differences or increases. Between 1975 and 1984, 23 000 offspring were examined for protein variants using two techniques, starch-gel electrophoresis, and enzyme activity measurements, to determine whether variants had been produced as a result of mutations in their parental germ cells. However, no indication of radiation effect was seen in that study. Despite the data already mentioned, because of the primitive state of our knowledge of the genetic risks accruing in humans exposed to ionizing radiation and the fact that the children of atomic bomb survivors are currently entering their most cancer-prone years, an inquiry into the effects of parental exposure on the mortality and cancer incidence of their offspring remains an important and timely undertaking. This report is a summary of previously published results based on the long-term follow-up of the children of the atomic bomb survivors.  If an atomic explosion were to happen today you need to take cover. There are three factors for protecting oneself from radiation and fallout are distance, shielding and time.

 Distance – the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building.  Shielding – the heavier and denser the materials – thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth – between you and the fallout particles, the better Time – fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelters. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level. When we think of radiation we may immediately think of only dangerous and harmful things. In reality, the word radiation refers to any transfer of energy through space from a source.

Some examples of radiation include sunlight, radio waves, x-rays, heat, alpha, beta, gamma ionizing radiation, and infrared, just to name a few. Not all of these types of radiation are harmful, in fact, in moderation, most radiation will not pose a health risk. 

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