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Radiation and Gender: The Effect of Radiation on Women

--- Humanity Rising Day 221 - Wednesday April 7, 2021     (GoTo Bottom)
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Today, we deepen our investigation into deleterious health impacts we see from 79 years of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, focusing on the fact that radiation has a far stronger effect on women than on men both in terms of cancers and in terms of leadership. The goals of this session are to empower individuals and families to make better radiation choices for their daughters, to speak to governments of their obligation to protect all of the public better, and as cautionary voices speaking to investors attempting a revival of nuclear energy and weapons. The panel includes leaders who themselves have been directly harmed, from communities which have suffered, and NGO leaders who have sustained long-term commitments to building security and energy without splitting more atoms. Many thanks to Mary Olson for convening this panel. She spoke on radiation issues on Humanity Rising Day 80 and Day 160.


  • Chuck Johnson (moderator) serves as Nuclear Program Director for International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a global federation of medical professionals in over 60 affiliates worldwide and winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in bridging the Cold War gap between US and Soviet doctors and their colleagues around the world.  IPPNW’s clear message, which was adopted by US and Soviet leaders, is “nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.” Chuck is responsible for coordinating the federation’s advocacy work on the medical and humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. He is currently serving as administrative co-chair of the International Steering Group, the governing body of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and lead NGO in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force on 22 January 2021. Prior to joining IPPNW in 2017, Chuck was a long-time leader in national, state, and regional coalitions in the US, and an advocate at the UN in New York, opposing the development of nuclear energy and supporting nuclear weapons abolition.  
  • Tina Cordova is Co-Founder of Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium; Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a seventh generation native New Mexican born and raised in the small town of Tularosa in south central New Mexico.  In 2005 Tina co-founded the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) with the late Fred Tyler. The mission of the TBDC is to bring attention to the negative health effects suffered by the unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent victims of the first nuclear blast on earth that took place at the Trinity site in South Central New Mexico.  Ultimately, the goal is the passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments to bring much needed health care coverage and compensation to the People of New Mexico who have suffered with the health effects of overexposure to radiation since 1945.  Tina is a cancer survivor having been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer when she was 39 years old.      In her role as an advocate on behalf of the TBDC she has testified before the US Senate judiciary Committee and the Committee on Indian Affairs.  Tina has also been a guest lecturer at the University of New Mexico and at events all over the State of New Mexico communicating the history of the New Mexico Downwinders.  Throughout 2020, Tina was invited to participate in webinars all over the world as people reflected on the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test. Tina has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree from New Mexico Highlands University where she majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry.
  • Mary Olson is the founder, and acting Director of Gender and Radiation Impact Project (GRIP) a non-government, educational organization based in North Carolina, USA. Originally a student of Biology and Life Science, Olson’s work on radiation is rooted in a three-decade career as an educator and advocate for better radioactive waste policy in the United States. During that work, a novel question was posed to Olson, on whether biological sex is a factor in radiation harm. In 2011 Olson undertook an independent gender analysis of the data reported in the US National Academy of Science (NAS) report on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation, which is primarily from the A-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her findings were striking and resulted in a series of presentations in United Nations proceedings, including the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons in 2014, the 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and in 2017 during the negotiation phase of the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Olson was also hosted to present the findings that radiation is more harmful to females compared to males, by the International Committee of the Red Cross both in 2016 and 2020. She has also presented at Gender Summits (EU) in 2016 and 2018.  
  • Cindy Folkers is the Radiation and Health Hazards Specialist at Beyond Nuclear. She advocates for science-based radiation regulations that are more protective of public health. Her focus is on the disproportionate impacts radiation exposure causes to women, children and pregnancy. She has written numerous articles and essays, and given presentations, on how this impact from nuclear weapons and power technology is minimized or ignored altogether, even as society is making world-altering decisions about what energy sources should be used to confront a changing climate. Cindy hold a degree in  Environmental Science from The Johns Hopkins University.
  • Victoria Moore is an artist, author and activist whose entire life has been influenced by atomic and thermonuclear testing in the Pacific Proving Grounds. She is the daughter of US Naval Chief Petty Officer Moore on the Command ship USS ESTES, designed specifically for the Joint Task Forces, where he served from her departure to the Marshall Islands in 1951 until his forced early retirement in 1962 due to medical complications of repeated ionizing radiation exposures. Victoria was conceived in 1955 when she was considered quite “hot” from protracted and repeated exposures both Op IVY & CASTLE. She was deemed an ‘at risk’ pregnancy and birth. She was somewhat monitored as a child and often in the company of her father on bases surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Born under the veil of silence in a “Q Cleared” officer’s home required strict protocols and mostly operated on a ‘need to know’ basis. At 23, Victoria required a full hysterectomy  due to ill-defined organ failures.


  • Jim Garrison, President, Ubiquity University


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