Society News Archive

4 March 2002

Certified Health Physicist Robert Gunter responded to recent news reports on fallout from nuclear weapons tests and the estimate of cancer deaths tied to them and was quoted in an MSNBC article. Gunter said, "This sort of numerical reporting should be further quantified by comparing the calculated 15,000 caused deaths to the mortality figures for these diseases over the last 50 years. Once this is done, readers will have a basis upon which to judge the relative risk from fallout, i.e., were they more likely to have been struck by lightening."

Gunter recommended to MSNBC that people with questions about radiation refer to the Health Physics Society Ask the Expert feature. His suggestion was included at the end of the article.

The news reports are based on a report to Congress from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Report to Congress, and the entire report titled "A Feasibility Study of the Health Consequences to the American Population From Nuclear Weapons Tests Conducted by the United States and Other Nations," is available on the CDC Radiation Studies Branch Website. The entire report is a Predecisional Draft - For Peer Review and Public Comment.