Atomic weapons and nuclear power plants: they promised to ensure world peace and provide efficient energy to Americans during the 1940s and 1950s. Meanwhile, the post war prosperity led to the most dramatic population explosion ever witnessed in the United States: the "baby boomer" generation.Times and politics may change, but many baby boomers-as well as their descendants-now live with an unforeseen result of the nuclear age. Rates of immune-related diseases have risen steadily throughout the past few decades, from allergies to cancer. While advances in medical care have kept death rates relatively low, the increased prevalence of certain diseases cannot be ignored.Low Level Radiation and Immune System Damage: An Atomic Era Legacy establishes an undeniable connection between the nuclear build up of the past and the widespread health problems seen today. While baby boomers were growing up in the 40s and 50s, above-ground atomic bomb tests and start ups of civilian nuclear power plants were carried out without fear of public exposure to radioactive emissions.Although the consequences of low-level radiation are still hotly debated, Mangano's research findings emphasize a direct link between nuclear exposure and immune system deficiency. In addition to substantial data on immune disease trends among Americans born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, Mangano also examines similar issues concerning baby boomer children and grandchildren. Health professionals, environmentalists, historians and students alike will find much to learn from these pages.As America and the world come to terms with the post-Cold War era, there are still many lessons to recognize, consider, and learn from the still-recent past. Low Level Radiation and Immune System Damage: An Atomic Era Legacy explores a relentless trend that will not soon be over-with potential repercussions into the 21st century.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Political Decisions Usher in Man-Made Radiations 1. Introduction 2. The 40s and 50s: Hot War and Cold War 3. The 60s and 70s: Nuclear Progress Amidst Fear and Doubt 4. The 80s and 90s: Disasters, Reflection, and Revisionism Part 2: Health Effects and the Baby Boomers 4. Infancy 6. Childhood 7. Adolescence/Early Adulthood 8. Middle Age 9. Health Effects and the Post-1983 Generation Part 3: The Great Challenge for Present and Future America 10. Demonstrating Low-Level Radiation's Health Effects: Convincing Scientists and the Public 11. Radiation Exposure and the Future: Great Fear and Great Hope