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RERF's Research

Radiation Health Effects

If you are interested in the research activities of a specific department, please see the individual department page and its current research highlights. For further information, go to Frequently Asked Questions about atomic-bomb survivor research, Basics about Radiation, or the RERF Glossary.
Early effects on survivors
From several months to several years after the atomic bombings
Acute radiation syndrome : epilation, reduction in the number of blood cells, purpura, nausea and vomiting
Radiation cataract (lens opacity)

Late effects on survivors
From several years after the atomic bombings to the present day
Cancer risks among the atomic-bomb survivors
Site-specific cancer deaths
Leukemia risks among atomic-bomb survivors
Benign tumors: uterus, parathyroid, thyroid
Deaths due to noncancer disease
Effect on cholesterol levels, fertility, growth
Chromosome aberrations in white blood cells
Mutation in blood cells
Effects upon the immune system
Psychological effects
Effects upon the aging process

Effects on the in utero exposed
3,000 persons exposed before birth have been studied.
Growth impairment and mental retardation
Mortality among survivors with in utero exposure

Genetic effects
Many hereditary endpoints have been studied.
Are birth defects increased among the children of atomic-bomb survivors?
Were more boys or girls born to survivors?
Chromosome mutations
Changes in blood proteins
Studies of DNA
No increase in risk of cancer or death has been observed to date among children of atomic-bomb survivors

Cancer mechanisms
Why does radiation cause excess cancers among the atomic-bomb survivors?
Why do some tissues appear to be more radiosensitive?
Genes that promote tumors. What turns them on?
Genes that suppress tumors. What turns them off?