Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1335–1340 | Cite as

Response to W. Kramer: The human sex odds at birth after the atmospheric atomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities: comment (doi:10.1007/s11356-011-0644-8)

  • Hagen Scherb
  • Kristina Voigt
Short Research and Discussion



This paper is in response to criticism of our article “The human sex odds at birth after the atmospheric atomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities” published in Environ Sci Pollut Res 18(5):697–707, 2011.


Our findings and methods concerning the disturbed human sex odds at birth have been criticized in this journal for being artifacts of data mining, that the concept of statistical significance was misunderstood, and that confounding factors have not been accounted for. Here, we show that this criticism has no basis. We applied well-established statistical methods to large official data sets, and confounding is less important at the level of secular sex odds trends in aggregated annual figures from countries or continents.

Results and conclusions

Moreover, our results are strengthened by recent findings concerning increased infant death sex odds in Germany and increased Down syndrome prevalence at birth across Europe after Chernobyl. Prompted by our studies, an official investigation in Lower Saxony, Germany, by the “Niedersächsisches Landesgesundheitsamt (NLGA)” confirmed our observation of severely escalated sex odds within 40 km distance from the nuclear storage site in Gorleben, Germany.


Binomial distribution Radiation-induced genetic effects Sex ratio Statistical inference 



Our special thanks go to Dr. Gerhard Welzl, Helmholtz Center Munich, for providing statistical input, and to Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Kusmierz, Dipl.-Math. Karsten Rodenacker, and Dipl.-Math. Johannes Tritschler, Helmholtz Center Munich, for contributing to the content and style of our paper. We are also grateful to an anonymous reviewer for valuable suggestions. We are especially grateful to Prof. Walter Krämer for raising issues, which gave us the opportunity to clarify our previously published results as well as to underlie them by newer findings and considerations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biomathematics and BiometryHelmholtz Zentrum Muenchen–German Research Center for Environmental HealthNeuherbergGermany

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