Human sex ratio at birth and residential proximity to nuclear facilities in France

Hagen Scherb, , Ralf Kusmierz , Kristina Voigt

•Increased human birth sex ratios near nuclear facilities have been found.
•The present study supports previous findings with new data from France.
•The vicinity to nuclear facilities may pose a genetic risk to animate beings.
•Research in the neglected field of radiation induced genetic effects is essential.

The possible detrimental genetic impact on humans living in the vicinity of nuclear facilities has been previously studied. We found evidence for an increase in the human secondary sex ratio (sex odds) within distances of up to 35 km from nuclear facilities in Germany and Switzerland. Here, we extend our pilot investigations using new comprehensive data from France. The French data (1968–2011) account for 36,565 municipalities with 16,968,701 male and 16,145,925 female births. The overall sex ratio was 1.0510. Using linear and nonlinear logistic regression models with dummy variables coding for appropriately grouped municipalities, operation time periods, and corresponding spatiotemporal interactions, we consider the association between annual municipality-level birth sex ratios and minimum distances of municipalities from nuclear facilities. Within 35 km from 28 nuclear sites in France, the sex ratio is increased relative to the rest of France with a sex odds ratio (SOR) of 1.0028, (95% CI: 1.0007, 1.0049). The detected association between municipalities’ minimum distances from nuclear facilities and the sex ratio in France corroborates our findings for Germany and Switzerland.