General Question

skfinkel's avatar

Could the high number of breast cancers be connected to the required chest x-rays baby-boomers were required to take to graduate high school?

Asked by skfinkel (13478points) April 10th, 2008

We were not allowed to graduate without checking for TB by x-ray. I never then had heard of anyone with TB and don’t have a clue what it was about—but we all had x-rays. You have to wonder about this years later. This and also the frequency of above ground nuclear bomb testing in the 50’s. Could these unnecessary exposures to radiation be contributing to the “epidemic” we have now?

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5 Answers

Mtl_zack's avatar

its possible. medicine in the 50s was not so advanced and people didnt know the all dangers of radiation back then. but i never heard of this requirement to graduate. where was this?

Spargett's avatar

I think it has more too do with people’s modern eating habits (preserved crap), a lack of exercise, and the fact that every generation is living longer than the previous.

But really these things are so hard to pin point, considering the sheer volume of potential triggers.

soundedfury's avatar

You get more radiation from a cross-country trip in an airplane than you do from a single chest X-ray. A couple of days in the woods would also give you the same amount of radiation. We are constantly getting background radiation from everything around us. The sun, the ground, rocks, food – everything gives off radiation.

As for bomb testing, radiation from a nuclear blast above ground has a limited amount of distance it can travel before decay. There were 201 above-ground tests conducted by the United States between 1945 and 1992, the vast majority of which were done either in the deserts of Nevada (away from population centers) or on islands in the Pacific. Only the initial weapon tests in 1945 were done in New Mexico, while Mississippi and Colorado saw peaceful application tests (not true bomb explosions).

Based on the best available data, there is no risk to the general population from atomic weapons testing, simply because they weren’t done near populated regions. Those involved or servicing the base around it, sure, but not the general population.

wildflower's avatar

I doubt there’s a direct link, although one can’t rule out that it may be a contributing factor. There’s not been such a practice in north/western Europe in my time, yet breast cancer is one of the more common types of cancer – and the ad campaigns tell us 1 in 3 will contract cancer…

skfinkel's avatar

Thanks for your responses. I appreciate hearing different ideas on this—and knowledgeable ones as well.
@Mtl zack: This was in Scarsdale High School, New York. 1962 and I don’t know for how many years this practice was in effect.

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