Her carbonic acid measurement technique, named Saruhashi's Table, was critical to oceanographers around the globe. And, according to Encyclopedia.com, Saruhashi's research on radioactivity in seawater helped persuade the Soviet Union and the United States to halt above-ground nuclear testing.
Her work proved that fallout from the 1950s U.S. atomic tests in the Marshall Islands reached Japan less than two years later.
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In 1980, Saruhashi also became the first woman to get elected to the Science Council of Japan, and the first woman to earn the Miyake Prize for geochemistry five years later.
To inspire women to enter fields of science, the geochemist launched the Society of Japanese Women Scientists and established the Saruhashi Prize, an annual honor awarded to Japanese women researchers in the natural sciences.
“There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists. I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science and technology on an equal footing with men,” she once said.
The great scientist died in Tokyo on Sept. 29, 2007 of pneumonia. She was 87.