Gender + Radiation Impact Project

Point of Contact:

  • Mary Olson; Founder + Acting Director
  • Contact Information:, 828-667-5956  / 828-242-5621 (cell)

Location: Asheville, NC


In 2011, Mary Olson of Nuclear Information and Resource Service published an independent analysis of a National Academy of Sciences report which found women suffer greater harm from radiation exposure than men. The same year, the World Health Organization published a major report on the impact of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, which also found that girls will be disproportionately harmed by radiation. Foundational work had been done by Dr Arjun Makhijani and team at Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Olson’s analysis was independent and confirms the IEER findings. Both organizations have identified the use of “Reference Man” by US regulators as the basis for all radiation safety limits to be inadequate and rooted in ignorance of our species life-cycle. 

These critical yet under-reported findings led to the creation of the Gender and Radiation Impact Project, a 501(c)3 educational and funding nonprofit that works at the intersection of public health, medicine, and public policy. We are an educational and funding group that brings together top thinkers to understand the role biological sex plays in harm from radiation, as well as moving ahead towards protection for the entire human life-cycle. 

For more resources on this issue, see their website.

Opportunities for Collaboration

  • Providing resources, networking and analysis of these issues; applying our existing body of research and knowledge to issues frontline communities are working on. Helping to raise awareness of these issues more broadly. Support of community education.
  • Gender and Radiation Impact Project (GRIP) is a catalyst for new research on questions about the disproportionate harm of ionizing radiation on women and children, but does not itself conduct lab or field research.  GRIP works to help cross-pollinate scientific work and share findings with people who need information, as well as connect researchers.
  • Founder, Mary Olson is an experienced speaker and educator. 
  • GRIP website has a blog, and guest writers are invited to submit posts for consideration. Stories from frontline communities dealing with atomic impacts are welcome. In addition, the quarterly Get-A-GRIP on-line newsletter covers publications, events, challenges and opportunities that are timely. Send news releases and other materials to: and subscribe to the quarterly (free) here:
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