By Michael Mariotte

I have been in this job at NIRS for 25 years (03-03-1991—now). I can hear: “Mary, 50 women is not a meaningful sample size!” (I reply: Correct; for a study).

And: “Those women you met at Mama Tea Parties are self-selected activists—so they are a completely biased sample!” (Me: Correct, but this is not a study; these women are not a sample, they are leaders! They are Representatives with a capitol “R”!)

Worst: “Mary, you are simply servicing the ‘official’ government line! All of the symptoms you described could have any cause; these women are ‘just’ suffering anxiety and stress, and therefore they link their problems to radiation. There is no basis. These are ‘just’ women who are afraid of radiation; It is ALL IN THEIR HEADS!”

I hope anyone who shares those thoughts are back with me today. Please consider the points I have brought to Japan on gender and harm from ionizing radiation.

I turn now to statistically significant findings ionizing radiation, cancer and gender.

I first spoke on disproportionate harm to females at the Global Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna (2014), then at the United Nations (May, 2015). I am finally here, speaking in Japan. These findings are rooted here, in the atomic ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Since my work is extremely visual, I encourage you to also visit the slides of my presentation.

Click here for a version of slides with accompanying text. Click here for a version without text but larger slides.

Read my original 2011 paper “Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women” LINK:

Or watch the 5 minute video created for Gender Day at the Climate Talks in Paris (2015).


Gender in the Lifespan data (The National Academies of Science published the data in the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation “BEIR VII” in 2005; here is NIRS’ press release upon its publication.) from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors has been analyzed by three separate authors, each making these findings:

*Those exposed as infants and young children got the most cancer at some point in their lives;
* For every boy who eventually got cancer, two girls eventually got cancer (see slide 1 of my presentation);
* This is cancer across the lifetime, not only in childhood.
*There is a gender difference across the entire lifetime (see slide 2)
*Among those who were adults: for every two men who died of cancer, three women died (see slide 3).

I draw these further points:
• Why is gender a factor in cancer from radiation? Today, we do not know. Dr. Rosalie Bertell suggested that a greater concentration of reproductive tissue in the female body could be the cause (see slide 4). We do not yet know.
• We must not wait! Now we know there is greater harm to the young, particularly females, we must act to protect and prevent exposures now.
• Decision-makers only see information based on the Reference Man (adult male).
• Radiation regulations and standards are all based on …read more

Read more here::