Published: May 1969
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Before the summer of 1945 it could be fairly stated that the problem of radioactive contamination of water did not exist. True, some radioactive springs were known, but these aroused little interest, except for possible use of the supposed healing properties of the water. The successful testing of an atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed this situation. Fogging of some packages of photographic film was traced to radioactive débris from this bomb. The radionuclides had got into the process water and then into the wrapping paper. This is the first known damage to a commercial product from radioactively contaminated water.