Advertisement

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 2456–2459 | Cite as

Comment on The human sex odds at birth after the atmospheric atomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities, Hagen Scherb & Kristina Voigt Environ, Sci Pollut Res (2011) 18:697–707

  • François Bochud
  • Thomas Jung
Letter to the Editor

Scherb and Voigt (2011a) examine the sex ratio, also called sex odds, defined as the ratio of live births of boys and girls in the period 1950 to 2007. They observe its annual values for different regions and countries and examine their year-to-year variation with regard to two major radiological events: the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (PNTBT) and the Chernobyl accident. It also presents results of a non-peer-reviewed study (Kusmierz et al. 2010) on the sex ratio at different distances from Swiss and German nuclear power plants (NPPs). The main conclusion Scherb and Voigt draw from their results is that the international consensus on the health effects of ionizing radiations is underestimated by several orders of magnitude. The authors also wrote the editorial in the same issue of the journal (Scherb and Voigt 2011b) and took this point further by announcing that there are “one million missing children across Europe and parts of Asia after Chernobyl till to date.”

These...

Keywords

Chernobyl Accident Average Effective Dose Embryonic Loss Extraordinary Claim Prenatal Ultrasound Examination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Boklage CE (2005) The epigenetic environment: secondary sex ratio depends on differential survival in embryogenesis. Hum Reprod 20(3):583–587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Catalano RA, Saxton K, Bruckner T, Goldman S, Anderson E (2009) A sex-specific test of selection in utero. J Theor Biol 257(3):475–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Davis DL, Webster P, Stainthorpe H, Chilton J, Jones L, Doi R (2007) Declines in sex ratio at birth and fetal deaths in Japan, and in U.S. whites but not African Americans. Environ Health Perspect 115(6):941–946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Grant VJ, Chamley LW (2010) Can mammalian mothers influence the sex of their offspring peri-conceptionally? Reproduction 140:425–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hassold T, Quillen SD, Yamane JA (1983) Sex ratio in spontaneous abortions. Ann Hum Genet 47(Pt 1):39–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hesketh T, Zhu WX (2006) Abnormal sex ratios in human populations: causes and consequences. PNAS 103(36):13271–13275. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0602203103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. James WH (2011) The categories of evidence relating to the hypothesis that mammalian sex ratios at birth are causally related to the hormone concentrations of both parents around the time of conception. J Biosoc Sci 43:167–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jongbloet PH (2004) Over-ripeness ovopathy: a challenging hypothesis for sex ratio modulation. Hum Reprod 19(4):769–774. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deh136 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kukharenko VI (1970) The primary sex ratio in man (analysis of 1014 embryos). Genetika 6(5):142–149Google Scholar
  10. Kusmierz R., Voigt K., Scherb H (2010) Is the human sex-odds at birth distorted in the vicinity of nuclear facilities (NF)? A preliminary geo-spatial–temporal approach. In: Greve K, Cremers AB (eds) 24th EnviroInfo 2010. Bonn and Cologne, Germany, October 6th–8th 2010. Shaker, pp 616–626Google Scholar
  11. Pergament E, Toydemir PB, Fiddler M (2002) Sex ratio: a biological perspective of ‘Sex and the City’. Reprod Biomed Online 5(1):43–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reulen RC, Zeegers MP, Lancashire ER, Winter DL and Hawkins MM, on behalf of the British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (2007) Offspring sex ratio and gonadal irradiation in the British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Brit J Cancer 96:1439–1441Google Scholar
  13. Scherb H, Voigt K (2011a) The human sex-odds at birth after the atmospheric atomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities. Environ Sci Pollut Res 18:697–707. doi: 10.1007/s11356-011-0462-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Scherb H, Voigt K (2011b) Adverse genetic effects induced by chemical or physical environmental pollution. Environ Sci Pollut Res 18:695–696. doi: 10.1007/s11356-010-0332-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schull WJ, Neel JV (1958) Radiation and the sex ratio in man. Science 128(3320):343–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schull WJ, Neel JV, Hashizume A (1966) Some further observations on the sex ratio among infants born to survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Am J Hum Genet 18(4):328–338Google Scholar
  17. Trivers RL, Willard DE (1973) Natural selection of parental ability to vary the sex ratio of offspring. Science 179(68):90–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. UNSCEAR (2011) Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. UNSEAR 2008 report to the General Assembly with scientific annexes, Volume II, Annexes C, D and E. United Nations, New-York.Google Scholar
  19. Zhu WX, Lu L, Hesketh T (2009) China's excess males, sex selective abortion, and one child policy: analysis of data from 2005 national intercensus survey. Br Med J 338:b1211. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b1211 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wells JCK (2000) Natural selection and sex differences in morbidity and mortality in early life. J Theor Biol 202:65–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Winther JF, Boice JD Jr, Thomsen BL, Schull WJ, Stovall M, Olsen JH (2003) Sex ratio among offspring of childhood cancer survivors treated with radiotherapy. Br J Cancer 88:382–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Radiation PhysicsLausanne University HospitalLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Div. Effects and Risks of Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation, Dept. Radiation Protection and HealthFederal Office for Radiation ProtectionOberschleissheimGermany

Personalised recommendations