What are Downwinders?

From the 1940s to the 1960s, the United States Government conducted numerous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the Southwestern United States and on islands in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

In response to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who contracted various illnesses because of these tests, the U.S. Government introduced the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). This legislation is designed to provide compensation to individuals who have developed specific types of cancer or leukemia due to their exposure to radiation resulting from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests or employment in the uranium mining industry. Moreover, surviving family members of individuals who have tragically passed away under these circumstances may also be eligible for compensation, including those who lived downwind of the test sites. The compensation for those living downwind of the test sites and subsequently contracting a radiation-related illness may amount to $50,000, and the same applies to the surviving family members of deceased individuals who lived downwind and suffered radiation-related illnesses.


An individual must have resided for at least 24 months between January 1951 and October 1958 or for the entire period between June 30, 1962, and July 31, 1962, in one or more of the following areas:

    • Nevada: Lander, Eureka, White Pine, Nye, portions of Clark County
    • Utah: Millard, Beaver, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Iron, Lincoln, Garfield, Washington, Kane, San Juan
    • Arizona: Coconino, Apache, Gila, Yavapai, Navajo, and the Arizona Strip (northern portion of Mohave County)

To be eligible for compensation, an individual must have been diagnosed with one of the following cancers or leukemia:

    • Primary cancer of the: Pharynx, Thyroid, Female Breast, Male Breast, Small intestine, Pancreas, Ovary, Salivary Gland, Lung, Esophagus, Stomach, Brain, Urinary Bladder, Bile ducts, Liver, Colon, Gall Bladder
    • Leukemia, other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia
    • Multiple Myeloma
    • Lymphomas, other than Hodgkin’s disease

Accepted documents to prove residency (which can include documents from relatives who lived in the same household) include:

    • Tribal enrollment cards
    • School records for: 24 months from 1951 to 1958 OR 1961 to 1962, and 1962 to 1963
    • Employment Records
    • Birth and Marriage Records
    • Personal Letters or Envelopes
    • Tax Records (Property Tax rolls)
    • Newspaper Articles
    • Social Security Records
    • Voting records
    • Personal Diaries
    • Church/Religious Records
    • Medical Records

If you believe that you or a deceased relative may be eligible for compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Laura J. Taylor at (877) 570-0500 for a free consultation.



Laura J. Taylor Turner
Law Offices of Laura J. Taylor, P.L.L.C.
Prescott, Arizona

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