America’s Human Plutonium Injection Experiments
- Year(s) Conducted: 1945 to 1947
- Nation Involved: The United States of America
The United States was forced to create the first atomic bomb in an effort to beat other nations to nuclear weapons. The idea was that this specific weapon would be essential to helping America remain a superpower in the world. Yet many scientists realized problems could occur when they are dropped, beyond the obvious destruction. Specifically, they wanted to find out at this point what the hazards of plutonium were. Government scientists began their research into this on April 10, 1945.
They decided to inject a car accident victim with plutonium in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They wanted to see how long it took the human body to rid itself of the radioactive material. Yet this was only the first of 400 human radiation experiments conducted on American citizens. They’d eventually find the effects of radiation based on dosage. They were even the first to test radiation as an experimental treatment for cancer, something Marie Curie had already proven to be possible years prior.