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Report Says Trinity Test Caused Generations Of Health Fallout In N.M.

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The first time an atomic bomb was ever detonated, it happened in New Mexico. The Trinity test spread radiation far and wide here in 1945. People fighting for the health effects of the blast to be acknowledged by the federal government released the first extensive report on Friday, Feb. 10.

There’s never been a governmental study of New Mexicans coping with cancers and thyroid diseases, whose relatives were exposed to the nuclear blast decades ago. Tina Cordova of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium said people in the affected areas don't ask "if" they're going to get cancer, they ask "when." 

"What more does the government want from us?" she asked. "We’ve given everything we have. We’ve put our loved ones in the ground. I think that if the government came here and we received an apology, it would allow people to move on and start to heal."

Cordova says she hopes this new report will spur additional studies. One of the goals is for New Mexico downwinders to be compensated for the tragic side effects of radiation exposure from federal nuclear experiments as they are in other states.

The National Cancer Institute began trying to estimate radiation doses after the blast and cancer risks in New Mexico a few years ago.  

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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