The mid-20th century was a period of intense nuclear testing, with several countries conducting nuclear tests as a part of their nuclear weapons development programs. These tests were mainly conducted in the atmosphere, underground, underwater, and space.
An atmospheric nuclear test (ANAT) is a nuclear test carried out in the atmosphere to test a nuclear weapon. These tests involve releasing radioactive materials into the atmosphere, which can travel over large distances and expose humans to high levels of radiation.
Let’s explore the effects of atmospheric nuclear tests and their long-term implications.
Atmospheric nuclear testing is a major contributor to various types of environmental pollution. When a nuclear bomb explodes, it releases radiation that contaminates the environment, including the air, soil, and water.
Radioactive isotopes such as iodine, cesium, and strontium were released into the atmosphere during atmospheric nuclear testing between 1945 and 1963. These isotopes were carried by the wind all over the world.
Hydrogen bombs also blew up a lot of dust and sand, which then fell to the ground as radioactive ash. This has had a lot of adverse effects on the environment, like damaging plants, animals, food, and water. Plus, the fallout can stay in the environment for years, so it’s still a risk to people and the environment.
Human Health Effects
Atmospheric nuclear tests not only produce environmental pollution but also impact human health. The effects on humans can be immediate or long-term. The Immediate health effects of radiation exposure include acute radiation sickness (a condition that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, and bleeding), burns to the skin and other tissues, and death in high doses.
Radioactive substances such as uranium, plutonium, and cesium-137 can cause severe long-term health problems. For example, radiation exposure can make you more likely to get cancer, especially leukemia and thyroid. Plus, being exposed to radiation while pregnant can put you at risk for birth defects. And since radiation can mess with DNA, it can also cause genetic mutations that could be passed down to future generations.
Effect on Global Ecosystem
The effect of atmospheric nuclear tests is not only visible in contaminated environments and sick people, but it has a larger-scale impact on the global ecosystem.
Nuclear tests can release greenhouse gases that can cause climate change and damage the ozone layer, which helps protect us from UV rays. They can also cause property and infrastructure damage, as well as disrupt economic activity.
Ban on Atmospheric Nuclear Testing
Atmospheric nuclear tests had a devastating impact on the environment and human health. The effects of these tests continue to be felt today.
In 1963, the US, USSR, and UK signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty. The treaty prohibited atmospheric nuclear testing but permitted underground nuclear testing. In 1996, 185 countries signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) that bans all nuclear explosions, regardless of where they are conducted.
Compensation for Atomic Veterans
If you or your loved one have been affected by atmospheric nuclear testing at a recognized location, such as those conducted by the US government in the Marshall Islands, call the National Cancer Benefits Center today. We have a team of highly experienced providers who have been assisting Atomic Veterans claimants in collecting their compensation for cancer caused by atomic radiation for years.
We can help you understand the claim process and guide you through to help you obtain financial compensation.
If you would like to know more about compensation for atomic veterans, call us today at (800) 414-4328 or use our request for more information form. We look forward to helping you receive the compensation you are entitled to!