Abstract The purpose of this study was to gain insights into the variations seen in the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy of the native signals of teeth and bones used for retrospective dosimetry measurements. We determined that changes occur in the long-lived free radicals responsible for the native signal of cortical bone in aging or diseased human females and aged ovariectomized rats. This was done by measuring the magnitude of the broad (BC) and narrow (NC) components of the native EPR signal of bone following chemical extraction, aging, crushing and thermal annealing. Bone from the upper midshaft of femora of young (17–34 years old, n=5) and elderly (70–92 years old, n=18) females was examined. The results showed that the elderly women had significantly higher BC than the younger women ( P<0.01). A similar interpretation was made of the data from an aging female rat osteoporosis model. The results for the NC signals were similar. Finally, dramatic decreases in both NC and BC signals were seen in HIV positive and uncontrolled diabetic (one each) patients indicating the need for studying this signal for a broad spectrum of metabolic disorders. Experiments were performed which strongly indicate that iron liganded with organic molecules is the source of the BC signal. Finally, the accuracy achieved in this study indicates that resolving the dosimetric signal ( g=2.0018) should be improved by subtraction of the deconvoluted NC and BC signals from the original spectrum.