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Published January 1959 | Published
Journal Article Open

The effects of strontium-90 on mice


On Sept. 19, 1958 there was published in Science a paper by Dr. Miriam P. Finkel of Argonne National Laboratory in which she communicated her observations on the effects of strontium-90 injected into mice on life expectancy and on incidence of tumors of bone and blood-forming tissues.(1) She discussed the question of whether or not the effects are proportional to the amount of injected strontium-90 at low doses, and reached the conclusion that it is likely that there is a threshold with value for man between 5 and 15 μc. (as compared with the present average value from fallout, about 0.0002 μc., and the predicted steady-state value from fallout for testing of nuclear weapons at the average rate for the past five years, about 0.02 μc.). Her paper ends with the sentence "In any case, the present contamination with strontium-90 from fallout is so very much lower than any of these levels that it is extremely unlikely to induce even one bone tumor or one case of leukemia."

Additional Information

Copyright © 1959 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated November 17, 1958. This paper is a contribution from the Division of the Geological Sciences (No. 908) and the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (No. 2421) of the Institute. A brief account of the work has been published by us (Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, Nov. 16, 1958), and a reply has been made by Dr. Finkel (ibid., Nov., 30 1958).

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