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Frequently Asked Questions

6
What health effects have been found among persons who were exposed before birth?
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Many health effects are associated with radiation exposure before birth. Effects noted among A-bomb survivors exposed in utero include a reduction in IQ with increased radiation dose, a higher incidence of mental disability in those heavily exposed, and impairment in physical growth and development. Many of these effects seem particularly pronounced in persons exposed between weeks 8 and 15 of gestation. Death rates and cancer incidence are being monitored for this group. Previous data suggested a dose-related increase in cancer risk similar to that seen in A-bomb survivors exposed as children, but more recent data indicate that the risk is lower in the survivors exposed in utero (see "Effects on the in utero exposed" in "Radiation Health Effects").