After the Mother’s Day fire in nineteen sixty-nine, Rocky Hats began offering tours for the public. During the tour, each person receives a respirator and is dressed in laboratory smocks and booties. The tour guide tells the people to put on their respirators if an alarm sounds while walking through the corridors because this means that “a particle of plutonium the size of a grain of pollen, if inhaled or taken into the body, can cause bone or lung cancer, leukemia, or genetic defects”(leveler 157).
Another type of cancer caused by plutonium contamination is of the brain. In nineteen seventy-eight, Dry. Carl Johnny’s research reaches the public. He how’s an evident pattern of large incidences of all cancers in every age group people in areas exposed to the Rocky Flats facility. It is also discovered that the workers at the plant have around eight times more brain tumors than is presumed. He is also discovered that the workers have “triple the number of malignant melanomas”(leveler 168).
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There was a specific case involving Don Gable. He began working at the plant in nineteen seventy and after a year of working at the plant, he was transferred to Building 771. This was the plutonium processing building. Gable then learned to use a furnace that elated plutonium and he spent most of his workday with his head a few inches away from a sign that read: DO NOT LOITER. Just a short while after his transfer to Building 771, he was told to tear off a strip of tape from a tank that had been contaminated.
He was tested and “his hands, face, and hair measured 2,000 counts of alpha radiation per minute”(leveler 184). After six years of working at Rocky Flats, he was tested again and this time his entire body measured more than one million counts per minute. The radiation had caused the chromosomes in his brain and blood to be altered and he plopped a large tumor on the side of his head. A third type of cancer that was common was leukemia. Dry. Johnson finds that the cancers found are mainly the same types that were found in the the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Five years after Rocky Flats was built, there had been a sustainable rise in deaths in children from leukemia. Theses deaths were around double the national average. It was found that exposure to exterior ionizing radiation were related to an increase in leukemia. Effects of low-level radioactive contamination take several years to appear if the effect is leukemia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IIRC) found a relationship between leukemia and external radiation.