Medicine: Uranium Miners' Cancer

The U.S. uranium industry was only a fledgling operation in 1949 when the U.S. Public Health Service, aware that lung cancer was striking down European uranium miners, decided to launch a quiet, long-term study of workers in the ore-rich Colorado Plateau mines. Last week the PHS's Dr. Harold J. Magnuson, results in hand, dashed to Denver for an emergency meeting with four Western Governors. The news he carried was alarming: the death rate from lung cancer among uranium miners is five times as great as that of U.S. men in general.

The cause seemed clear: radon, a dense gas that emanates from...

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