CDC should also

  • Continue its search for documents not held by governmental agencies and take steps necessary to ensure their preservation.

  • Enroll other government agencies, especially the Department of Defense, in the effort to identify, preserve, and publish information.

  • Make copies of key documents, the data derived from them, and relevant computer codes or other calculation tools and make them all publicly available, including archiving and providing public access to all the databases and spreadsheets generated by the feasibility study and mentioned in it and its appendixes, together with inputs and calculation tools used for other studies performed for NCI and CDC.

The committee also recommends that CDC urge Congress to declare a government-wide moratorium on the destruction of documents that are potentially pertinent to measuring fallout in the United States and to mandate declassification of historical fallout-related records.

Estimates of cancer and non-cancer risks

The committee recommends that more emphasis be placed on levels of individual risk and the associated uncertainty and less on population risk from collective dose. Although collective dose and population risk may have some public health utility if the doses are significant in the context of doses and risks from other sources, they fail to show the size of the risk that individuals are likely to experience, which is the key consideration for concerned citizens and for most public-health implications. It is also important that the executive summary and text compare putative lifetime risks posed by fallout with risks posed by natural background irradiation and with natural lifetime risks. Such comparisons will help to provide a perspective for the general public to better understand the risks related to fallout.

The potential that the dose-response association might have a substantial upward quadratic component or a threshold should be considered in modeling the risk of leukemia posed by fallout radiation.

There is no evidence that radiation doses of the magnitude sustained from NTS or global fallout cause any of the major non-cancer diseases (cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive or genitourinary). A conclusion to this effect would therefore be appropriate.

Communication with the public about exposure and cancer risk

The committee recommends that CDC follow these steps related to communication issues

  1. Develop a detailed public summary and a communication plan for its distribution. The public summary should provide information that can be readily understood by the lay public, including comparison of background radiation with the radiation doses



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement