1945 Atom Bomb Test That Caused Cancer in Many Residents

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Recent surveys have been released that detail southern New Mexico residents’ stories about how they’ve had cancer and economic hardship due to the 1945 atom bomb Trinity Test. This test was part of the top-secret Manhattan Project that was run from Los Alamos, New Mexico. An advocacy group is now looking to seek compensation for the traumas these people have had to endure through no fault of their own.

Members of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium are arguing that in 1945 those living near the site of the atomic bomb test weren’t told about it. It wasn’t until after the war had ended and bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that residents learned an atomic test was ever carried out near them. As a result, multiple families have endured years of suffering from cancer and other illnesses they say directly related to the test, and now they want to compensate. Several generations have been affected, and up until now, the government has ignored their claims. But, no one can ignore statistics, and cancer is one of the leading causes of death in New Mexico. Could this be because of the 1945 atom bomb testing?

The survey focused on around 800 residents living in the village of Tularosa and four New Mexico counties, primarily those who had complained about cancer but had little or no health insurance. These residents are now looking for lawmakers to create a federal law that will compensate residents that happen to live or have lived near atomic testing sites. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, wholly backs the idea of compensating New Mexico residents and pressed the Senate to do this back in 2015. He recently wrote in a letter to the group, “The consortium’s Health Impact Assessment Report is important to work. It adds to the body of evidence that people in this area were injured as a result of radioactive fallout and should be compensated by the federal government.”

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