Editorial Editor’s note: This spring, Alaskans read news of how Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactors were still leaking radioactivity a year after being destroyed by a tsunami. Fifty years ago, Alaskans were worrying about a different source of radioactivity, as explained in this Daily News-Miner editorial from April 12, 1962.
Spring is upon us, but we will have to face more than the return of the birds and the happy loss of the snow, for in this nuclear age the spring fallout from last year’s Russian nuclear tests is beginning to show up. [...]
Fallout, the radioactive debris of nuclear explosions, settles on all parts of the earth’s surface [...]
This we can apparently do little about, and for that matter, little is known about the effects of fallout radiation on the human body. [...]
As we said before, the heaviest concentrations of fallout are found between 30 and 50 degrees North latitude, a zone that includes virtually all of the continental United States.
But before we become unduly alarmed it should be pointed out that the Public Health Service feels there will be no need for special protective measures to reduce human intake of radioactive strontium 90, which may cause bone cancer or leukemia, and cesium 137, which is believed to cause malevolent genetic mutations. [...]