United States Observes National Downwinders Day, January 27

In 2011, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to designate January 27 as a "national day of remembrance for Americans who, during the Cold War, worked and lived downwind from nuclear testing sites and were adversely affected by the radiation exposure generated by the above ground nuclear weapons testing."

From Jan. 27, 1951 to June 9, 1963, the United States conducted 100 atmospheric nuclear weapons test explosions at the site, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Nevada Operations Office. These tests released hazardous levels of nuclear fallout, which was concentrated in downwind communities in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. A National Cancer Institute study documented increased incidences of thyroid cancer and thyroid disorders among the communities most affected by the radioactive fallout. The fallout severely affected children who consumed contaminated milk and may have caused 7,500-75,000 additional cases of thyroid cancer.

The CTBTO has an outstanding collection on the health effects of the resulting atmospheric fallout online here.

Please take a moment today to write or call your Senators and ask them to honor the memory of nuclear test and weapons production victims and survivors by improving the federal compensation program for downwinders and by reconsidering and supporting the CTBT.

See the Project for the CTBT Web site for more details: http://www.projectforthectbt.org/involvement.