Atomic Bomb Survivor Studies and their Current Significance: Comparison between the Practices of the ABCC-RERF and the RIRBM
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Atomic Bomb Survivor Surveys
ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission)
RIRBM (Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine)
RERF (Radiation Effects Research Foundation)
Medical research spurred by radiation exposure is a critically important theme for modern society. Accordingly, studies of this contemporary problem should be based on a perspective that is focused on that origin, medical investigations into the effects of radiation exposure on survivors of the atomic bombs. Therefore, we organized and evaluated survey programs and research of atomic bomb survivors that have been conducted by ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) –RERF (Radiation Effects Research Foundation) and RIRBM (Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine) between 1949 and 1975.
ABCC established a set of carefully defined cohorts and launched an integrated research program based on three phases of pure research. That work has formed the foundation for the research that the RERF is engaged in today. And among surveys and studies worldwide that have generated fundamental data on radiation protection standards, the findings of ABCC-RERF surveys and studies have provided important information. It has thus provided various international research organizations (WHO (World Health Organization), ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection), UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation), etc.) with important information and indicators.
RIRBM has pursued studies and surveys that are distinct from the undertakings led by ABCC-RERF. RIRBM was able to do something that ABCC-RERF would have found difficult to implement: namely, flexibly launching projects on themes that directly met the needs of the local society at the time.
Atomic bomb survivors’ medical data continue to grow, from the bombing to the present, and to the future. Data sharing, joint research, and collaboration by research institutions in this field will be effective ways to foster rationally coordinated surveys and studies.
Hiroshima Journal of Medical Sciences
Hiroshima University Medical Press
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