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Scherb, H. ; Grech, V.*

Trends in births and the birth sex ratio in the vicinity of the Mainz research reactor in Germany.

Early Hum. Dev. 141:104869 (2020)
Postprint DOI
Open Access Green
Introduction: The human sex ratio or sex odds at birth (M/F) are influenced by many factors. Radiation is the only stressor known to elevate the ratio while dropping total births. The Mainz research nuclear reactor (FRMZ) underwent extensive refurbishment commencing in 1992 and with further upgrading in 2011. This study was carried out in order to investigate any possible effects of these events on M/F.Methods: Annual municipality-specific births by sex were obtained from official government sources. Statistical methods used included ordinary linear logistic regression and Poisson regression.Results: M/F rose significantly in 1993 only close to the FRMZ (< 10 km) with sex odds ratio (SOR) 1.023 (p = 0.0074) and this rise was associated with numerically equivalent drops in male births of 4.01% (p = 0.0251) and female births of 6.17% (p = 0.0005). No such effects were seen beyond 10 km.Discussion: These findings add to the corpus of evidence that man-made radiation may have significant effects on total births and on M/F with a skew toward male births. While the authors are certain that suitable precautions were taken when the reactor in Mainz was handled, the findings imply that these may not have been sufficient. Perhaps even greater care and even more stringent precautions need to be employed when dealing with radioactive elements. It clearly behoves humanity to exercise extreme caution when handling, processing, and storing radioactive materials and waste.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Radiation ; Birth Rate/*trends ; Sex Ratio ; Infant ; Newborn; Nuclear-facilities; Triga; Radiation
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0378-3782
e-ISSN 1872-6232
Quellenangaben Volume: 141, Issue: , Pages: , Article Number: 104869 Supplement: ,
Publisher Elsevier
Publishing Place Amsterdam
Reviewing status Peer reviewed