Samoa RPCV Michael L. Driscoll writes: "In the Summers of 1973-1974, the French did 12 Atomic Tests in French Polynesian atolls, in the atmosphere, at elevations of around 800 to 1200 feet in the air. I served in Western Samoa, from February 19, 1973 until November 14, 1974, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I went through the 3 months of Peace Corps Training in country, Western Samoa, and upon graduation, was assigned the the Department of Education, and the Teachers Training College, in Apia, Western Samoa, as a Math Instructor. I was in Group 11. As I am writing this today, I am not able to say with certainty, that we were aware of the French doing their Atomic Testing in the French Polynesian Islands, to our West and South. I do know that I had some unexplained skin issues that came to my attention in the Fall, 1974, and when I went to the Peace Corps Nurse, she could not tell me what it was on my stomach, arms, and legs. The appearance was concentric, and just red circles, and while I was in the hot and humid climate of Western Samoa, the condition was that if one were to put a finger on my stomach, which had a redness and exposed blood vessels, about 2" in diameter, the finger would show blood on the end of it."
"For 30 years I thought that I had psoriasis; but, in May, 2004, I went to a dermatologist in Spokane, Washington, and he said I had EAC, Erthyma Annulare Centrifugum, and also said that the doctor in 1974 probably didn't know about EAC, as it has some characteristics like psoriasis. I also developed a thyroid condition in 1999, and have been taking a morning thryoid pill since, and will for the rest of my life, take this 75 mg Synthroid pill."
"I personally believe it was the French Atomic Tests that were putting me and all of the other Pacific Islanders at risk, as these tests were in the atmosphere. When I was in Western Samoa, the population was about 150,000 Samoans, of which about 3500 caucasions and other nationalities were present on the Islands. I am unaware of anyone serving in the Peace Corps at the time, nor am I aware of any Samoans, who were experiencing skin issues while I was, when I was there in 1973-1974. There are many thousands of Islanders, in a radius of 1000 or more miles from the French Polynesian atolls, that may be having health issues."