Rosalie Bertell

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Rosalie Bertell (third from left) at the International Medical Commission of Bhopal

Rosalie Bertell (April 4, 1929 – June 14, 2012) was an American scientist, author, environmental activist, epidemiologist, and Catholic nun. Bertell was a sister of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, best known for her work in the field of ionizing radiation. A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, she worked in environmental health since 1970.[1][2] In 1986, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "raising public awareness about the destruction of the biosphere and human gene pool, especially by low-level radiation."


Rosalie Bertell was born to Paul G. and Helen (née Twohey) Bertell in Buffalo, New York. Her mother was Canadian, her father a citizen of the USA. In 1966, she received a Ph.D in Biometrics from the Catholic University of America.[citation needed]

From 1969–1978, Bertell was senior cancer research scientist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She was a consultant to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and to Health Canada.[1]

In 1983, she received the "Hans-Adalbert Schweigart"-Medal from the World Union for Protection of Life. She was president of International Institute of Concern for Public Health from 1987 to 2004. She founded the International Medical Commission Chernobyl in 1996.[citation needed]

Bertell was a coordinator for the International Medical Commission on Bhopal, and campaigned for an independent body "to coordinate health care, research and rehabilitation" for victims of the Bhopal disaster.[3]


Bertell appeared in at least five documentary films between 1985 and 2005. They include:[4]

Title Director Production Company Year
Poison Dust Sue Harris Lightyear Entertainment 2005
Fatal Fallout: The Bush Legacy Gary Null 2004
Bhopal: The Search for Justice Peter Raymont, Lindalee Tracey White Pine Pictures 2004
Uranium Magnus Isacsson National Film Board of Canada 1990
Speaking our peace Bonnie Sherr Klein, Terre Nash National Film Board of Canada 1985


Bertell died of cancer at age 83 at Saint Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, Pennsylvania.


She wrote the books No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth (1985) and Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War (2000).


Bertell received many awards, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dr. Rosalie Bertell profile at Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ ""Anti-Nuclear Nun" Rosalie Bertell Dies at 83". Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  3. ^ Letter to the Editor: Bhopal's Victims, New York Times (September 27, 2002).
  4. ^ "Rosalie Bertell". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-06-08.

External links[edit]