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Lindsay KolasaHIS 200; Applied HistoryProject2; Historical Analysis EssayHealth Effect of the Atomic BombWhen you think of the atomic bomb what comes to mind…United States ended World War II and we won, or the first nuclear weapon was used and it created a giant mushroom cloud, or if Japan did not bomb Pearl Harbor, World War II would not have started? How has the effects of radium affectedindividualhealth from the first discovery of radium to the production of the atomic bomband after,and how has our environment been affected?Because of the manufacturing of the atomic bomb and how 70 years later individuals who hadnothing to do with the atomic bomb are still suffering from major health effects. Radium was discovered back in 1789 and was considered “the long-awaiting cure for cancer and even a cure-all for virtually every other imaginable ailment” (Voynick, 2009 p 27), the decision was made to put radium into a lot of our consumer products and old mining caves were reopened as “health caves.” Eventual it was realized that radium was not safe and individuals should notbe consuming this dangerous chemical. Shortly after it was understood that radium could be used as one of the chemicals in creating the atomic bomb. Radium played a major role in the heath affects amongst the scientist that worked with radium to the individuals exposed to it. Inorder to build the atomic bomb, a top-secret project was created called the “Manhattan Project.” The Manhattan Project was a group of brilliant scientists and physicists in three different locations working towards one main goal, creating a nuclear weapon called the atomic bomb. As radium was being researched during World War II physicists “conducted the first continuous fission reaction that proved feasibility of atomic weapons” (Voynick, 2009, p. 29). A small town in Tennessee was being transformed into the “secret city” for the
manufacturing of the atomic bomb. During the manufacturing of the atomic bomb there was left over toxic chemicals that needed to be disposed of and they “were routinely dumped into ponds and shot full of holes to sink them or buried in poorly designed pits that have since sunk and potentially contaminated aquifers” (Harper, 2007, p 52.) in Oak Ridge, TN. In another town in Missouri there was a processing center for the atomic bomb, in order to dispose of their unwanted chemicals, they “trucked them from down town St. Louis to West Lake Landfill” (Cammisa, 2017). Due to the illegal disposal and dumping of the chemicals it has cause health issues amongst individuals from drinking the well water, to growing home grown vegetable to raising farm animals and even from something as simple as breathing in the air. Since the discovery of radium is has affected the health of all individuals that have come in contact with it from sores on their fingers to many different types of cancer, radium has also affected the environment because as the atomic bomb was being developed chemicals