Department of Energy:

Information on DOE's Human Tissue Analysis Work

RCED-95-109FS: Published: May 24, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1995.

Additional Materials:


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the studies that the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies have conducted analyzing human tissues exposed to radiation.

GAO found that: (1) 59 tissue analysis studies have been performed by DOE and its predecessor agencies; (2) the majority of the studies were conducted and terminated in the 1950s and 1960s and involved more than 15,000 subjects; (3) DOE had no information on the informed consent practices it followed for the studies, since DOE and the predecessor agencies used different policies at different times; and (4) there was little verifiable evidence that the subjects participated with knowledge of the experiment or its risk.

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