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A-bomb effects remain unclear.

A SURPRISING 45% of people who survived being blasted with radiation from the atom bombs dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War are still alive, it was reported last night.

They are now the subject of the largest investigation ever carried out on the long-term effects of radiation exposure.

There are still many unanswered questions about the impact of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, said New Scientist magazine.

A review published by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), in Japan, concluded: 'We still have no clear answers as to how the Abomb radiation has caused biological effects in humans.'

With 150 researchers in the two cities and funding from the US and Japanese governments, RERF has been closely following the health of survivors and their children since the 1950s.

Exposure to the radiation increased the long-term risk of cancer, and, for solid tumours like those affecting the stomach, the risk lasted a lifetime.

More than 150,000 people are thought to have died when the bombs were dropped on August 6, 1945.

But, of the 280,000 or so survivors, 45% are still alive, New Scientist said
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 4, 2005
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