Newsreel Voice-Over: Three hours after the H-bomb had been detonated, a downpour of radioactive descended
upon the Fortunate Dragon and its crew of twenty-three. None of them...
Narrator: After one of the fishermen died from high-level radiation sickness, there was an
international outcry. But Pauling was also worried about low-level radiation and its
long-term effects on life. A voracious reader, he had come across a Russian scientific
paper that reported Carbon-14 caused genetic damage as well as cancer. And Carbon-14
was a by-product of H-bombs. Pauling started to put facts together. Because of his
unique background, he came to chilling conclusions that he felt the public had to
Linus Pauling: My estimate was that the six-hundred megatons of testing that had been done up to
1963 would, in the course of time, cause fifteen million children to be born with
gross physical or mental defects, who would otherwise have been normal. And would
cause about fifteen million cases of cancer that would not have occurred otherwise.
Pretty big. And so, if you test one twenty-megaton bomb, that would be at the sacrifice
of one-thirtieth of those numbers. That would be five-hundred thousand. Five-hundred
thousand unborn children, five-hundred thousand cases of cancer per twenty-megaton