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A great deal of work has been done reconstructing doses from Nevada Test Site fallout, yet the unique exposures of Native American communities continue to be neglected. It is possible to estimate the exposures of these communities through a process of collaborative information gathering and analysis. This paper builds on a previous exercise that demonstrated the substantial doses received through the consumption of contaminated game. The updated model includes new information on the deposition of iodine-131, an assessment of the neonatal thyroid doses received through breast milk, an exploration of the effect of population mobility on dose estimates, and estimates of thyroid cancer risk. All thyroid dose estimates from the rabbit exposure pathway are comparable in magnitude to National Cancer Institute comprehensive dose estimates that assume exposure to contaminated milk from backyard cows and goats. Dose estimates from the rabbit exposure pathway are larger than estimated doses from store-bought milk by an average factor of 6. Taking historical population mobility patterns into account may result in slightly lower estimates of dose. The quantification of this exposure pathway is considered be an advance toward a more appropriate dose reconstruction for communities with diets high in wild game.

This research was completed money allocated during Round 5 of the Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund (MTA Fund). Clark University was named conservator of these works.

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Clark University




Native American, radiation, nuclear weapons testing, thyroid cancer, dose reconstruction


Copyright belongs to the authors. Clark University was chosen by the non-profit peace and environmental groups as the conservator of these reports; our right to distribute these works ensures they remain available to the public in perpetuity as intended. Reuse at your own discretion with with due deference to copyright holders.


Worcester, MA

Native American Exposure to Iodine-131 from Nuclear Weapons Testing in Nevada



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