Skip to main content
Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Study to Estimate Radiation Doses and Cancer Risks Resulting from Radioactive Fallout from the Trinity Nuclear Test


In July of 1945, the U.S. government tested the first atomic weapon in south-central New Mexico. The test was code-named Trinity. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is carrying out a study to quantitatively estimate the range of possible radiation-related cancer cases in New Mexico that may be related to the nuclear test. To accomplish this task, the research team will use published data on radioactive fallout from the test and descriptions of the typical diet and lifestyle of people living in New Mexico in 1945, which will be drawn from the published literature and collected through targeted interviews to be carried out in New Mexico.

Information for Journalists

To request an interview with a DCEG investigator, contact the NCI Office of Media Relations:


Phone: 240-760-6600

The NCI plans to carry out in-depth interviews to ascertain the typical diet of Native American, Hispanic, and white populations living in New Mexico in the mid-1940s. These interviews are an important step in developing estimates of low, intermediate, radiation doses resulting from Trinity.

To determine how best to collect these data, NCI investigators have engaged in discussions with academics with expertise in Native American and Hispanic lifestyles in the 1940s, as well as advocates and local community leaders. NCI has entered into partnership with a key community group to facilitate the identification of elders who can be interviewed about their historical knowledge regarding lifestyle and diet at the time of the Trinity test.

The investigators plan to publish their work—the dose reconstruction methods and findings, and cancer risk estimates, as well as the dietary and lifestyle findings resulting from this formative research—in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and in community newsletters in English and Spanish so it is available to other researchers and the broader community.

For more information about the study contact Steven L. Simon, Ph.D., Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program.

View a Spanish translation of this page: Estudio para calcular la dosis de radiación y los riesgos de cáncer que resultaron de la lluvia radiactiva de la prueba nuclear “Trinity”