Article ID: CBB755110939

Disproportionate Impacts of Radiation Exposure on Women, Children, and Pregnancy: Taking Back our Narrative (2021)


Narratives surrounding ionizing radiation have often minimized radioactivity’s impact on the health of human and non-human animals and the natural environment. Many Cold War research policies, practices, and interpretations drove nuclear technology forward by institutionally obscuring empirical evidence of radiation’s disproportionate and low-dose harm—a legacy we still confront. Women, children, and pregnancy development are particularly sensitive to exposure from radioactivity, suffering more damage per dose than adult males, even down to small doses, making low doses a cornerstone of concern. Evidence of compounding generational damage could indicate increased sensitivity through heritable impact. This essay examines the existing empirical evidence demonstrating these sensitivities, and how research institutions and regulatory authorities have devalued them, willingly sacrificing health in the service of maintaining and expanding nuclear technology (Nadesan 2019). Radiation’s disproportionate impacts should now be the research and policy focus, as society is poised to make crucial and long-lasting decisions regarding climate change mitigation and future energy sources (Brown 2019b).

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Article Jacob Hamblin; Linda M. Richards (2021) Connecting to the Living History of Radiation Exposure. Journal of the History of Biology (pp. 1-6). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Johnston, Barbara Rose
Epstein, Steven
Lampland, Martha
Shah, Nayan
Gere, Cathy
Plant, Rebecca
Journal of Asian Studies
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Science, Technology and Human Values
Social History of Medicine
Journal of the History of Biology
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
School for Advanced Research Press
Duke University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pennsylvania
University of California, San Diego
Public health
Nuclear and radioactive waste
Obstetrics and pregnancy
Mothers and children
Medicine and gender
Behn, Aphra
United States
Southern states (U.S.)
Great Britain
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
19th century
18th century
17th century
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

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