History Museum to host discussion on region's 'baby tooth survey'
Tonight at the Missouri History Museum, a panel will discuss the current fallout from the St. Louis-based “baby teeth’’ study decades ago. The study played a role in the international negotiations that led to the U.S.-Soviet treaty in 1963 to ban above-ground atomic bomb tests.
Organizers say the session, entitled “Baby Teeth and the Bomb,” will focus on current radiation issues while also commemorating “the landmark 1958-1970 study of Strontium-90 in baby teeth by the Greater St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information.”
The baby tooth survey ultimately involved about 300,000 baby teeth collected from young St. Louis residents. Scientists at Washington University found elevated levels of the radioactive strontium-90 levels in the baby teeth of children born from 1945 to 1965, as well as a link between the radioactive level and above-ground atomic bomb tests.
The scientists also detected higher levels of cancer and more low birth-weight babies among those with the higher radiation levels in their teeth.
The findings influenced then-President John F. Kennedy to negotiate the treaty with the Soviet Union.
The discussion will begin at 7 p.m. in the museum’s Lee Auditorium. The panelists include:
- Joseph Mangano MPH MBA, Executive Director, Radiation and Public Health Project
- Michael Friedlander, PhD, Professor of Physics, Washington University
- Denise Brock, United Nuclear Weapons Workers of St. Louis