Dr. Linus Pauling's warnings of the increased incidence of cancer due to the fallout from atmospheric atomic weapons testing & the emissions of fission reactors were largely ignored by the mainstream media during his lifetime.  Finally, in 1997, 40 years after his petition to the United Nations was denounced as "pro-communist,"  the US National Cancer Institute announced that large numbers of people, especially children, were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation from fallout.  The damage done by the US, British, & USSR testing until 1963, of testing by France & China and, more recently, by Pakistan, India, et al, dispersed vast amounts of long-lived radioactive materials into the atmosphere.  Since much of this consists of elements such as Iodine, Cesium, Strontium, etc. which falling into the oceans, are ingested by oceanic organisms such as algae, plankton, etc. &, falling onto the ground, are taken up by grazing animals such as sheep & cattle, it becomes increasingly concentrated the higher it goes up the food chain.  While we have until now managed to avoid the catastrophe of nuclear war, it appears that those responsible for protecting the security of our respective nations have, in fact, poisoned life on Earth for thousands of years to come.

New York Times, February 28, 2002
Almost All in U.S. Have Been Exposed to Fallout, Study Finds

In a preliminary study that takes into account not only nuclear tests in Nevada
but also nearly all American and Soviet nuclear tests conducted overseas until
they were banned in 1963, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has
found that virtually every person who has lived in the United States since
1951 has been exposed to radioactive fallout.

These new findings expand on those from five years ago by the National Cancer
Institute that showed that people living in a long, plume-shaped region
stretching from Idaho and Montana to the Mississippi River and beyond had a
slightly higher risk of developing thyroid cancer because of the Nevada

The new study, which was completed in August 2001 and was first revealed
yesterday in USA Today, suggests that for all Americans born after 1951 "all
organs and tissues of the body have received some radiation exposure." The
study says in highly guarded terms that the global fallout could eventually be
responsible for more than 11,000 cancer deaths in the United States.

But the study said any medical implications were uncertain because the average
American had received almost 20 times as much radiation from medical
procedures like chest X-rays as from fallout of all kinds over the same

Dr. Charles Miller, chief of the radiation studies branch at the agency's
National Center for Environmental Health, said the report was merely a
"feasibility study" that showed it was possible - should Congress request it -
to carry out a full analysis of the health risks of above- ground nuclear

"We were trying to illustrate what could be done," Dr. Miller said, adding
that "it would be irresponsible for me to speculate" on how accurate the
estimate of 11,000 deaths might be.

Still, given the widespread exposures indicated by the study, its tentative
conclusions show that the government has inadequately explained the cancer
risks from nuclear tests, said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, who says
the follow-up research must be carried out.

"If the threat of exposure had been related to Americans sooner, early
diagnosis and treatment may have saved many of these lives," said Mr. Harkin,
who has seen four siblings die of cancer. "The release of this report is long

The United States conducted more than 200 above-ground, or atmospheric, tests
of nuclear weapons from 1951 to 1963, about half of those at the Nevada Test
Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and the others in the Marshall Islands
and elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Over the same period, the Soviet Union
exploded some 200 nuclear weapons in tests on its own territory.

Such tests release radioactive iodine, which decays away in a matter of days,
as well as longer-lived isotopes like radioactive cesium and strontium, which
take many decades to disappear. The previous study, by the National Cancer
Institute, examined fallout patterns and cancer risks caused by the release of
iodine from the Nevada tests.

"Their report, as far as determining the fallout levels, was probably as good
as could be done," said David Wheeler, a health physicist at the Nevada Test

But he said that deriving cancer rates was a highly uncertain process at best.
Accordingly, the cancer institute estimated that from 11,300 to 212,000
thyroid cancers would result from this exposure. Most thyroid cancers are
treatable, but a small percentage result in death.

The Centers for Disease Control study also looks at exposures to the long-
lived radioactive elements, which can be carried thousands of miles,
potentially causing leukemia, breast cancer, liver cancer and other types of
cancer. The study estimated the exposure patterns by taking into account the
winds after tests, the amount of fallout created in each type of explosion and
the rates at which different kinds of radioactive particles fall from the

While the average exposure of an American because of the fallout is low, it
increases each person's chance of developing cancer by a tiny amount,
potentially leading to a larger number of deaths by cancer.

The study finds that nearly all cancers caused by tests at the Nevada site are
likely to be related to the iodine that was the focus of the earlier work. The
overseas tests could cause cancer only through the long- lived elements. The
United States is not special in this regard; all nations will have received
the long-lived radioactivity, but the Centers for Disease Control did not
estimate cancer rates elsewhere.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental
Research, an organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament, said that while
the average exposures indicated by the C.D.C. study were low, concentrations
in specific areas - which still have not been determined - are likely to have
been far above those values.

"There are people in these high fallout areas who are seriously affected," Dr.
Makhijani said. "There is no cause for alarm, but there is a public health
issue, and the government is not facing up to it."