The Cancer Herald

Exposing The Truth To Save Lives

The Story Of Kodak And Trinity: How Nuclear Tests Spread Cancer Causing Radiation For Thousands Of Miles

On July 16 1945 the first atomic bomb, codenamed Trinity, was successfully detonated in New Mexico. This event marked the beginning of the nuclear age, drastically altering the course of world history to this day. This event also marked the first large-scale injection of cancer causing radioactive isotopes into the environment and atmosphere, a problem which has continued into the modern era due to excessive nuclear bomb testing and several major accidents at nuclear power plants.

The first person to discover that something was amiss after the Trinity test was Julian H. Webb, a physicist working in Kodak’s research department. Kodak had run into problems in the past with its highly sensitive X-ray film. Customers were reporting spots all over the film. Kodak discovered that the cause of these spots was radium contamination from the packaging, since the cardboard and paper used for the packaging was salvaged from wartime manufacturing plants that also produced radium-based instruments. In response to this Kodak moved its packaging manufacturing facilities to mills that were free of any radium contamination.

However, soon after the Trinity atomic bomb test customers were once again reporting spots on their X-ray film. Kodak was puzzled since they had taken solid precautions to ensure that their packaging mills were free of radiation, and Webb investigated. It was found that two Kodak packaging mills located in both Iowa and Indiana were contaminated with radiation. The only similarity between the two mills is that they were located on rivers, the Iowa River and the Wabash River respectively.

Essentially, radiation from the Trinity atomic bomb test in New Mexico had traveled 2,000 miles, and probably much further, and the radioactive fallout was concentrated in rivers due to streams and tributaries collecting the radiation that fell on large expanses of countryside.

Even worse, the radiation was found to be emitting beta-particles, which are able to penetrate through skin. Imagine a radioactively emitted particle as a rapidly moving but very tiny bullet. When the particle encounters a human cell it can cause cell damage, and even damage the DNA and RNA within a cell, leading to mutations that can cause cancer.

Additionally, Webb found that the radioactive contamination was worse after heavy precipitation, which makes sense since precipitation soaks up radioactive fallout particles in the air and brings them to the ground.

Thus, the researchers at Kodak were the first people to realize that an atomic bomb test had happened, even though the test was a complete secret. There was no hiding the radioactive contamination that had spread across the country.

Trinity was only the first atomic bomb test, and in the decades that followed thousands of nuclear bombs were detonated. The United States detonated 1,054 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union detonated 715 nuclear weapons, the United Kingdom detonated 45 nuclear weapons, France detonated 210 nuclear weapons, China detonated 45 nuclear weapons, and India and Pakistan detonated 6 nuclear weapons each. Further, North Korea detonates nuclear weapons from time to time to this day.

Essentially, the first atomic bomb test, which was relatively small, spread significant amounts of radiation across the United States. Since then over 2,080 nuclear bombs have been detonated worldwide, in the air, under the ocean, underground, and even in the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere. Most of these tests war far more powerful and released far more radiation than Trinity. The most extreme example is perhaps the Tsar Bomba, which released thousands of times more energy than Trinity. 

Considering that Trinity spread radiation for thousands of miles, it is obvious that these nuclear tests have spread radiation throughout the entire biosphere, likely causing cancer in numerous organisms and people.

Indeed, even after the first atomic bomb tests at the Nevada Proving Ground in 1951, Kodak measured radiation that was 25 times more than normal during a snowstorm in New York. After that Kodak was told to be quiet about their radiation measurements, in exchange for the government telling Kodak when and where nuclear tests would be conducted so that Kodak could protect their film.

Although the radioactive isotopes released by nuclear bombs eventually decay, and nuclear tests have been mostly prohibited, the bulk of the testing happened between the 1940s and 1990s, which means every person alive today has either been exposed to radiation from these tests or their parents have been exposed to the radiation.

This is especially true due to the way the food chain works, which concentrates the radiation as you move up through the food chain. That is, the food that people ate was contaminated with cancer causing radiation during these decades of nuclear testing, and some of the isotopes with longer half lives may be in food to this day. Aside from radiation in food, bodies of water tend to have concentrated radiation as well, meaning that during the decades of nuclear testing it is possible that people were drinking and bathing in slightly radioactive water. 

Also, more recent nuclear disasters like Fukushima guarantee that radiation is still a current problem in the biosphere, not to mention the large dead zone in Eurasia due to the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, as well as an unknown amount of smaller nuclear leaks that may not even be covered by the mainstream media.

The Cancer Herald believes that nuclear testing and nuclear disasters may have alot to do with the disturbing upswing in cancer in recent decades, and that this issue is not discussed enough. This is just the first article out of many that will discuss radiation released by nuclear tests and meltdowns, as well as manmade sources of radiation and their connection to cancer in general.