The Hanford Project’s 1966-1967 study of Tri-city School Children in the Influence of Diet on Radioactivity in People

Juli Kearns Hanford Declassified 2 Comments

Only of interest to those who, as children, were tested by the Hanford Project in a study of influence of diet on radioactivity in people

In the opening essay for what became the “Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project” I made mention as to how, as a young school child in Richland, I was one of many who were part of a test in which we recorded, for a few days, what we ate and drank and its source, and at the end were run through full body counters–and it’s likely this post will only interest others who also underwent the testing.

The Hanford Declassified Document archive has a paper on the dietary results of the study titled, “Dietary Levels for Tri-City Elementary School Children”. I have downloaded it and links are below to it on Flickr.

Description of the paper in the Energy Citations Database reads,

Dietary levels for Tri-City elementary school children
Description/Abstract
This program investigates dietary pathways affecting school-age children. Primarily elementary school children are approached with this study, including ages 6 through 12. A much smaller number of children aged 13 and 14 have also been contacted. The research includes measurements of the body burdens of radioactive materials in children and a study of the children’s diets. This report presents a partial compilation of the dietary levels obtained for children of different ages. These data are tabulated here for reference purposes. 3 refs., 13 tabs.
Authors: Soldat, J.K.; Honstead, J.F.
Publication Date: 1968 Feb 26
OSTI Identifier: OSTI ID: 5786140; Legacy ID: DE88002734
Report Number(s): BNWL-CC-1565
DOE Contract Number: AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type: Technical Report
Resource Relation: Paper copy only, copy does not permit microfiche production
Research Org: Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (USA)
Country of Publication: United States
Language: English
Format: Size: Pages: 21
Other Number(s): Other: ON: DE88002734
Subject: 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CHILDREN; DIET; SURVEYS; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; FOOD CHAINS; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; ZINC 65; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; BREAD; COLUMBIA RIVER; DOSE EQUIVALENTS; DRINKING WATER; FISHES; HANFORD RESERVATION; HUMAN FACTORS; LOW DOSE IRRADIATION; MEAT; MILK; WHOLE-BODY COUNTING; AGE GROUPS; ANIMALS; AQUATIC ORGANISMS; BETA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BETA-PLUS DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS; BODY FLUIDS; COUNTING TECHNIQUES; DAYS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; ELECTRON CAPTURE RADIOISOTOPES; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; EVEN-ODD NUCLEI; FOOD; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INTERMEDIATE MASS NUCLEI; IRRADIATION; ISOTOPES; MASS TRANSFER; MATERIALS; NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; NUCLEI; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; RADIOISOTOPES; RIVERS; STREAMS; SURFACE WATERS; US DOE; US ERDA; US ORGANIZATIONS; VERTEBRATES; WATER; ZINC ISOTOPES

The below report which I have gathered from the Hanford Declassified archives is the same report number, BNWL-CC-1565, is also published on the same day, and so I would imagine is the same report.

The description states, “The research includes measurements of the body burdens of radioactive materials in children and a study of the children’s diets.” So, the research included the measurements of the body burdens of radioactive materials, but these measurements are not included in this report. Instead, the paper only presents the dietary data.

The authors were J. K. Soldat and J. F. Honstead and the paper was published Feb 26 1968. I have checked the Hanford archives for papers by Honsted and/or Soldat that would have given the data on radioactive body burdens found in the children but am coming up with nothing.

The Energy Citations Database lists another paper by Honsted but I don’t know if it would be part of the same study:

A PROCEDURE FOR EVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION DOSE TO CHILDREN IN THE VICINITY OF THE HANFORD PROJECT IN WASHINGTON, APRIL 1965-JANUARY 1967.
Description/Abstract
Authors: Honstead, J.F.
Publication Date: 1968 Jan 01
OSTI Identifier: 4821445
Resource Type: Journal Article
Resource Relation: Journal Name: Radiol. Health Data Rep., 9: 402-6(Aug. 1968).; Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-69
Research Org: Battelle-Northwest, Richland, Wash.
Country of Publication: Country unknown/Code not available
Language: English
Subject: N28420* –Life Sciences–Health Physics & Safety–Dosimetry & Monitoring; CESIUM 137; DIET; ENVIRONMENT; HAPO; MAN; NORTH AMERICA; POTASSIUM 40; RADIATION DOSES; RADIOISOTOPES; SODIUM 24; USA; USAEC; WASHINGTON; ZINC 65
Related Subject: DIET/radioisotope content of, in Hanford environment during 1965 to 1967; GAMMA RADIATION/dose to children from cesium-137 in environment of Hanford during 1965 to 1967; SODIUM ISOTOPES Na-24/hazards to children from environment of Hanford during 1965 to 1967; ZINC ISOTOPES Zn-65/ hazards to children from environment of Hanford during 1965 to 1967; MAN/ radiation dose to, from Hanford environment, procedure for evaluating; BETA PARTICLES/dose to children in vicinity of Hanford during 1965 to 1967; GAMMA RADIATION/dose to children in vicinity of Hanford during 1965 to 1967

The above paper also was published in 1968 but I’m not finding where it is available and is not included in the declassified Hanford documents. The description of the paper leaves it unclear to me as to whether results on the radioactive body burdens would be included.

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Comments 2

  1. I was a guinea pig at Jefferson Elementary as a third grader in 1967. They served us refrigerated milk for what seemed like an eternity as it was awful, yucky warm like that so I remember. After they made us drink this without telling us why, they pulled us out of class and ran us through a “whole body counter”, a semi trailer that was a giant Geiger counter with a platform that ran our little bodies through it laying down. 12 or so of us were a little “hot”, and were later re-tested in the WBC in a different location. Of those 12 several did not live to graduate from high school, dying of rare blood and bone cancers. I am fine.

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