World Health Organisation Blocked Depleted Uranium Study
Depleted but nevertheless radioactive and potentially deadly uranium has been used in genocidal weapons by the US led coalition of "freedom loving" nations in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. A scientific report warning of the dangers to health of the fine uranium dust which remains after explosion has been blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation, according to Keith Baverstock, a senior radiation adviser of the international organisation. The story broke in the Sunday Herald and has found echo on the Axis of Logic site, but not in the US press.
According to the study, the tiny particles of DU which remain after the explosion of shells and warheads fashioned out of the heavy metal, are likely to be blown around in the arid climate of Iraq and could be inhaled by civilians for years to come. Once inside the body, their radioactivity and toxicity could trigger the growth of malignant tumors.
The World Health Organization's Dr. Repacholi, also known as a staunch supporter of the innocuity of cell phones' microwave radiation, dismissed allegations of a cover-up as "totally unfounded". Read the article by Bob Edwards, Environment Editor of the Sunday Herald:
WHO ‘suppressed’ scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq
Sunday Herald - 22 February 2004
Radiation experts warn in unpublished report that DU weapons used by Allies in Gulf war pose long-term health risk
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor
An expert report warning that the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium (DU) weapons has been kept secret.
The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO.
Baverstock also believes that if the study had been published when it was completed in 2001, there would have been more pressure on the US and UK to limit their use of DU weapons in last year’s war, and to clean up afterwards.
Hundreds of thousands of DU shells were fired by coalition tanks and planes during the conflict, and there has been no comprehensive decontamination. Experts from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have so far not been allowed into Iraq to assess the pollution.
“Our study suggests that the widespread use of depleted uranium weapons in Iraq could pose a unique health hazard to the civilian population,” Baverstock told the Sunday Herald.
“There is increasing scientific evidence the radio activity and the chemical toxicity of DU could cause more damage to human cells than is assumed.”
Baverstock was the WHO’s top expert on radiation and health for 11 years until he retired in May last year. He now works with the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Kuopio in Finland, and was recently appointed to the UK government’s newly formed Committee on Radio active Waste Management.
While he was a member of staff, WHO refused to give him permission to publish the study, which was co-authored by Professor Carmel Mothersill from McMaster University in Canada and Dr Mike Thorne, a radiation consultant . Baverstock suspects that WHO was leaned on by a more powerful pro-nuclear UN body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“I believe our study was censored and suppressed by the WHO because they didn’t like its conclusions. Previous experience suggests that WHO officials were bowing to pressure from the IAEA, whose remit is to promote nuclear power,” he said. “That is more than unfortunate, as publishing the study would have helped forewarn the authorities of the risks of using DU weapons in Iraq.”
These allegations, however, are dismissed as “totally unfounded” by WHO. “The IAEA role was very minor,” said Dr Mike Repacholi, the WHO coordinator of radiation and environmental health in Geneva. “The article was not approved for publication because parts of it did not reflect accurately what a WHO-convened group of inter national experts considered the best science in the area of depleted uranium,” he added.
Baverstock’s study, which has now been passed to the Sunday Herald, pointed out that Iraq’s arid climate meant that tiny particles of DU were likely to be blown around and inhaled by civilians for years to come. It warned that, when inside the body, their radiation and toxicity could trigger the growth of malignant tumours.
The study suggested that the low-level radiation from DU could harm cells adjacent to those that are directly irradiated, a phenomenon known as “the bystander effect”. This undermines the stability of the body’s genetic system, and is thought by many scientists to be linked to cancers and possibly other illnesses.
In addition, the DU in Iraq, like that used in the Balkan conflict, could turn out to be contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive waste . That would make it more radioactive and hence more dangerous, Baverstock argued.
“The radiation and the chemical toxicity of DU could also act together to create a ‘cocktail effect’ that further increases the risk of cancer. These are all worrying possibilities that urgently require more investigation,” he said.
Baverstock’s anxiety about the health effects of DU in Iraq is shared by Pekka Haavisto, the chairman of the UN Environment Programme’s Post-Conflict Assessment Unit in Geneva. “It is certainly a concern in Iraq, there is no doubt about that,” he said.
UNEP, which surveyed DU contamination in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2002, is keen to get into Iraq to monitor the situation as soon as possible. It has been told by the British government that about 1.9 tonnes of DU was fired from tanks around Basra, but has no information from US forces, which are bound to have used a lot more.
Haavisto’s greatest worry is when buildings hit by DU shells have been repaired and reoccupied without having been properly cleaned up. Photographic evidence suggests that this is exactly what has happened to the ministry of planning building in Baghdad.
He also highlighted evidence that DU from weapons had been collected and recycled as scrap in Iraq. “It could end up in a fork or a knife,” he warned.
“It is ridiculous to leave the material lying around and not to clear it up where adults are working and children are playing. If DU is not taken care of, instead of decreasing the risk you are increasing it. It is absolutely wrong.”
22 February 2004
Here is a copy of the suppressed report:
Radiological toxicity of DU - K. BAVERSTOCK, C. MOTHERSILL & M. THORNE (Repressed WHO Document) 5nov01
Update February 2005: Be sure to read this article by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner.
US Military, President Out of Control -- What Does "Mildly Radioactive" Mean, Anyway?
CBC Canada - Silver Bullet: Depleted Uranium
Depleted uranium is the super weapon of the '90s; used in the Gulf War and the conflict in Kosovo. But now Canadian troops, soldiers and peacekeepers alike, may be exposed to depleted uranium with its potential danger. Now this threat wasn't one raised by a hostile enemy, but by the arms used by the United States and other NATO allies. They defeated the toughest armoured vehicles with the use of depleted uranium. It packed a knockout punch, but what soldiers often didn't know was that depleted uranium poses a threat to victor as well as vanquished.
Depleted Uranium: Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets
Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation.
Depleted Uranium (DU) Silent Genocide
by ROBERT C. KOEHLER / Tribune Media Services
Depleted Uranium: The Toxic Killer - The Bush Administration knows about the health and the environmental consequences of using depleted uranium but it doesn't care. By Mick Youther
U.S. Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons Causes Dangerous Rise in Radiation Level in Iraq - Tehran Times April 27, 2004
Soaring birth deformities and child cancer rates in Iraq
By James Cogan - 10 May 2005
Iraqi doctors are making renewed efforts to bring to the world's attention the growth in birth deformities and cancer rates among the country's children. The medical crisis is being directly blamed on the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the US and British forces in southern Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and the even greater use of DU during the 2003 invasion.
Also see this recent article on Rachel's Environment and Health News
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RACHEL'S ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH NEWS #788
April 1, 2004
DEPLETED URANIUM WEAPONS OF WAR
Uranium is a naturally-occurring element that is both weakly radioactive and a toxic heavy metal. Naturally-occurring uranium contains two main radioactive isotopes: U-238 (99.3%), and U-235 (0.7%). When uranium is "enriched" to make an A-bomb (which requires lots of U-235), the leftover "depleted uranium" (DU) is 99.8% U-238 and retains about 60% of the radioactivity that was present in the original natural uranium.[1, pg. 3]
Depleted uranium is created by "uranium enrichment" plants that process natural uranium to extract the U-235, but those same plants also may process spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power reactors. For this reason, some DU is known to be contaminated with very low levels of some of the most dangerous radioactive substances known to science: Plutonium-238, Plutonium-239, Plutonium-240, Americium-241, Neptunium-237 and Technicium-99.[1, pg. 6]
Radioactive decay is a natural process. Radioactive elements spontaneously emit energetic particles or rays, and in the process they change from one element into another. When U-238 spontaneously undergoes radioactive decay, it emits alpha particles (and turns into Thorium-234). You can think of an alpha particle as something like a tiny cannon ball -- it does not travel very far (a few centimeters in air), but if it hits a living cell, the damage can be enormous. Sometimes cells damaged by alpha particles die immediately, but sometimes they start to multiply uncontrollably, causing cancer. (The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has identified "internally deposited radionuclides that emit alpha particles" as Group I carcinogens, meaning substances known to cause cancer in humans.[1, pg. 85])
So, DU's alpha particles won't penetrate the outermost (dead) layer of your skin, but if you get DU inside you -- say, in your lungs -- it can have deadly consequences. Several studies of workers in uranium enrichment plants show that they get lung cancer at higher-than-normal rates.[1, pg. 86]
The half-life of U-238 is 4.5 billion years, which tells us that it does not decay rapidly and therefore that it does not emit many alpha particles per second. However, "many" is a relative term. In absolute numbers, a microgram of DU (a millionth of a gram, and there are 28 grams in an ounce) will emit slightly more than 12 alpha particles per second or 390 million alpha particles each year.[1, pg. 6] So one microgram of DU lodged in your lungs will have more than a million opportunities EACH DAY to start a cancer growing in your cells. Obviously, the hazard is greater for children because they have a longer lifetime ahead of them during which alpha particles will have an opportunity to start a cancer, plus they are very likely more sensitive to harm than adults (because they are growing, so more of their cells are dividing).
In recent decades, as we have manufactured more atomic bombs and therefore more depleted uranium, there has been growing pressure to find new uses for our huge stockpile of depleted uranium.[1, pg. 26] In my opinion, the psychology behind this is pretty simple: as it becomes crystal clear that subsidizing nuclear technologies was one of the dumbest mistakes humans have ever made, there is enormous pressure to show that something good can come from it. It is the psychology of the optimist, whom Ronald Reagan defined as the man who enters a room full of horse manure and says, "There must be a pony in here somewhere."
Because it is almost twice as dense as lead and not very radioactive, DU has been used as shielding for medical devices and in casks for transporting spent fuel from nuclear power plants. Because it is so dense (and therefore heavy), DU has also been used as ballast -- weights or counterwights -- on ships, satellites and aircraft. For example, each Boeing 747 jumbo-jet requires about 1500 pounds of ballast (or counterweights), and as many as 15,000 DU weights were manufactured for this purpose. In recent years, DU has been replaced by tungsten in aircraft ballast, perhaps to avoid questions about the wisdom of flying radioactive materials around in planes. A plane that crashed into a row of apartments in Amsterdam in 1992 was carrying 282 kg (620 pounds) of DU as ballast, and a Boeing-747 that crashed in England in 2000 was carrying 1500 kg (3,300 pounds) of DU. [1, pg. 26]
In the Amsterdam crash, some 152 kilograms (334 pounds) of DU were never found, and the Dutch commission of inquiry concluded that the fiery crash may have released some of the DU in the form of a radioactive fume or dust, just as you would expect it might. DU is pyrophoric, meaning that it catches fire under some circumstances and turns into a very fine radioactive fume or dust, which can blow around.[1, pg. 44]
In the past 20 years, DU has found its way into weapons of war -- both for heavy tank armor and for armor-piercing projectiles -- again, because it is plentiful and cheap (thanks to government subsidies) and almost twice as dense as lead. As noted above, it is also pyrophoric, meaning that under some circumstances it catches on fire.
When a DU projectile strikes an armored target, such as a tank, it does not flatten on contact but instead penetrates and "self sharpens" as it passes through the armor. This occurs because as the DU projectile is penetrating its target, its outer layer catches fire, creating a very fine radioactive dust, essentially lubricating the remaining projectile, helping it penetrate further. The result is a very clean hole in the target -- which looks as if it had been drilled -- and a great deal of radioactive dust. Somewhere between 10% and 70% of a DU projectile is transformed into radioactive dust when it strikes a sufficiently hard target.[1, pg. 46]
This dust creates special problems. As noted above, if DU dust gets into your lungs, it can cause lung cancer.
DU dust is heavy and so it settles to earth within a few hundred yards of where it was created -- unless it is picked up again and moved by the wind.
To help get the health threat into perspective, in discussing DU, I prefer to express the amount of DU in micrograms, on the assumption that a few hundred micrograms (perhaps less) is a dangerous amount of DU dust. It is important to remember that not all (or even most) DU munitions strike hard targets that would cause them to catch fire and emit radioactive fumes (dust).
Ground-attack airplanes like the A-10 Warthog fire 30 mm projectiles at the rate of 70 projectiles per second, and each 30-mm projectile contains 0.27 kg (9.5 ounces, or 270 million micrograms) of DU. Heavy tanks fire 120 mm rounds, each containing 4.85 kg (10.6 pounds, or 4.8 billion micrograms) of DU.
It was reported in 1995 that U.S. arms manufacturers had produced more than 55 million 30-mm DU penetrators and 1.6 million DU penetrators for tank ammunition.[1, pg. 27] No doubt more have been manufactured since then.
The U.S. has acknowledged using DU weapons during the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, and NATO has acknowledged using DU weapons during the Kosovo conflict of 1999. DU munitions have extensively contaminated U.S. military proving grounds and firing ranges such as the ones at Yuma, Arizona, Aberdeen, Maryland, Jefferson, Indiana, and Viecques, Puerto Rico.[1, pg. 50]
Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have been fooling around with DU for 60 years, during which time they have dumped an estimated 38.5 tons of DU into a mountain canyon out back, behind the lab.[1, pg. 49]
During wartime, the greatest civilian threat from DU is assumed to involve children, who have been photographed in Kosovo and Iraq playing on burned-out military vehicles including tanks disabled by DU projectiles.[1, pg. 49] Much of this equipment is heavily contaminated, inside and out, with radioactive dust.
Many children also eat dirt (9 to 96 mg/day) as a normal part of growing up, and soil contaminated with DU dust presents a special hazard in such cases, according to the World Health Organization.[1, pg. 38]
However, U.S. military officials deny that children -- or any other civilians -- are at risk from DU. The Pentagon says only soldiers are at risk. It is clear that the Pentagon considers DU plenty hazardous to soldiers -- an Army training manual says that anyone who comes within 25 meters of any DU-contaminated equipment or terrain must wear respiratory and skin protection (because DU might enter the body through a scratch or other open wound).
Once you get DU in your lungs, much of it will stay there for a long time, irradiating lung cells, and the World Health Organization says, "The risk of lung cancer appears to be proportional to the radiation dose received."[1, pg. 85] (In other words, the only way to have zero risk is to have zero exposure.) The British Royal Society studied DU and concluded that its use was not risk-free for anyone involved. The truth is, DU has been studied remarkably little, given that we blast tons of it into areas inhabited by civilian populations for the avowed purpose of helping them. No one has studied the effects of DU on the immune system, the metabolic system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the endocrine system (and other biological signaling mechanisms), and growth, development, and behavior. It's amazing what we don't know about DU and that -- in the face of such ignorance -- anyone could claim to know that it is safe for use near civilians.
Unfortunately, even many crucial details about the lung cancer hazard remain missing. Although they have been making and studying DU since 1940, military scientists still don't know exactly how long inhaled DU is retained in the lung. They say that somewhere between 57% and 76% of inhaled DU stays in the lung with a half-life of "longer than 100 days" but how much longer they seem not to know.[1, pg. 64] The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of a substance to go away. It is also not clear where inhaled DU goes after it leaves the lungs. Is it coughed up and excreted, or does it dissolve, enter the blood stream and then the urine? Or does it lodge elsewhere in the body? In male rats intentionally contaminated, uranium collects in the brain and the testicles.[1, pg. 65]
Military specialists like to point out that DU munitions that miss their target simply bury themselves in the ground. But the World Health Organization is not so sure the story ends there:
"However, in some instances the levels of contamination in food and ground water could rise after some years and should be monitored and appropriate measures taken where there is reasonable possibility of significant quantities of depleted uranium entering the food chain... Areas with very high concentrations of depleted uranium may need to be cordoned off until they are cleaned up."[1, pg. vi] Cleanup of DU-contaminated areas has not occurred in Kosovo or Iraq.
Who ever thought that DU in the ground would always stay put? Between 1970 and 1997, the Starmet Corporation, a military contractor making DU weapons, dumped DU into an unlined pit in the ground in downtown Concord, Mass. Now soil in Concord is contaminated with DU as far as a mile from the dump, and local wells are contaminated because DU has moved into groundwater. Who would have expected any other outcome? Nevertheless, we should acknowledge that the directors of Starmet are not as dumb as they might appear. Shortly before their radioactive dump was added to the national Superfund list, Starmet officials took precautionary action and declared bankruptcy. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accepted Starmet's bankruptcy without a peep, so U.S. taxpayers are now paying for the difficult cleanup.
The U.S. Navy stores DU in San Diego, Calif.; Seal Beach, Calif.; Crane, Indiana; Indian Head, Md.; Colts Neck, N.J.; Hawthorne, Nev.; McAlister, Ok.; Charlestown, S.C.; Tooele, Utah; Dahlgren, Va.; Norfolk, Va.; Sewells Point, Va.; and Yorktown, Va., and large quantities are reportedly stored at ten other locations. When the military ships DU around the country, the containers are not marked "radioactive" even though the cargo is definitely radioactive as well as explosive. (See ACTION ALERT, below.)
In addition to being radioactive, DU is toxic; specifically it is known to be toxic to the genes of humans.[1, pg. 75] Studies of Gulf War vets living with DU shrapnel in their bodies (from "friendly fire" during the Gulf War) show evidence of genetic damage. At least one military scientist -- Alexandra Miller a radiobiolgist with the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md. says DU may be more dangerous than previously believed because its chemical toxicity and its radioactivity may combine in unexpected ways to cause harm.
Miller also points out that genetic damage (from chemical toxicity or radioactivity, or both) can be inherited and passed along to successive generations, so harm may not become apparent until many generations after the event that caused it. This puts DU munitions squarely into the class of weapons known as "weapons of mass destruction or indiscriminate effect."
U.S. planes, under NATO command, fired 10 tons (9 trillion micrograms) of DU projectiles at targets in Kosovo in 1999. During the Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq, the U.S. fired projectiles containing somewhere between 300 and 338 tons of DU (or 272 trillion to 302 trillion micrograms).[1, pg. 45]
The total quantity of DU munitions expended during the Iraq War of 2003 has been estimated to be 100 to 200 tons (90 trillion to 180 trillion micrograms). Much of it was expended in or near urban areas where civilian populations live, work, play, draw water, and sell food.
It seems clear, then, that DU weapons produce special, continuing hazards to civilians, especially children, and that the harm from these weapons may be passed to future generations. No doubt this is why a United Nations subcommission in 1996 named DU munitions as "weapons of mass destruction or indiscrimate effect" and recommended that their use be outlawed.
Tungsten alloy weapons can kill tanks and other hardened targets as effectively as DU, so continued use of DU weapons by the U.S. seems unnecessary and a slap in the face to the principles of public health, international law, world opinion, and common decency. --Peter Montague
By June 30, 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation must renew (or deny) the military's exemption that allows them to ship DU weapons without marking them as radioactive or explosive. In case of accident or fire, first responders need to know this information. Here's what we can all do about it:
Contact the Department of Transportation Exemptions division and ask that the DOT immediately terminate and not renew DOT-E 9649. Depleted uranium munitions should have a "Radioactive" placard and an "Explosives" placard on shipments.
Send correspondence regarding DOT-E 9649 to: Mr. Delmer Billings DHM-31 Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Exemptions and Approvals Department of Transportation 400 7th St. SW Washington, D.C. 20590
Fax: (202) 366-3308 E-mail: email@example.com
Information from: http://www.gzcenter.org/DU.htm
NOTES and REFERENCES
 Department of Protection of the Human Environment, World Health Organization, Depleted Uranium; Sources, Exposure and Health Effects (Geneva, Switzerland, April 2001).
 Matthew D. Sztajnkrycer and Edward J. Otten, "Chemical and Radiological Toxicity of Depleted Uranium," Military Medicine Vol. 169, No. 3 (2004), pgs. 212-216.
 Army manual quoted in Larry Johnson, "Activists want depleted-uranium munitions labeled; military's exemption is challenged," Seattle (Wa.) Post-Intelligencer Dec. 4, 2003.
 Susan Mayor, "Report suggests small link between depleted uranium and cancer," British Medical Journal Vol. 322 (June 23, 2001), pg. 1508.
 Ed Ericson, "Dumping on History: A Radioactive Nightmare in Concord, Massachusetts," E/The Environmental Magazine Mar. 5, 2004.
 Melissa A. McDiarmid and others, "Health Effects of Depleted Uranium on Exposed Gulf War Veterans: A 10-Year Follow-up," Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, Vol. 67 (2004), pgs. 277-296.
 Duncan Graham-Rowe, "Depleted uranium casts a shadow over peace in Iraq," New Scientist Vol. 178, No. 2391 (April 19, 2003), pg. 4.
 Dan Fahey, "The Use of Depleted Uranium in the 2003 Iraq War: An Initial Assessment of Information and Policies."
Berkeley, Calif., June 24. 2003. Available as a PDF file
 The United Nations Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities passed a resolution condemning the use of depleted uranium weapons during its 48th session in August, 1996, as described in U.N. Press Release HR/CN/755, "Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities Concludes Forty-Eighth Session."
Relevant section available here
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See also related:
Iraq's real WMD crime - By Lawrence Smallman in Baghdad
Uranium Weapons Cover-ups in Our Midst
Responsible authorities are liable under a wide range of international law beyond humanitarian law. They contaminate battlefields with military uranium and endanger health of civilians and combatants. The findings of research into the health effects of DU and other weaponry containing radiation but not causing nuclear fission or fusion explosions (which as a whole are referred to as radiological weaponry in this brief) are indisputable. Even a cursory review of humanitarian law supports the conclusion that uranium weaponry of any type is so patently illegal that the discussion should really focus on bringing to justice those who have used it and redirecting action towards the victims of these weapons.
New research on uranium's effect on DNA
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., April 10 (UPI) -- A Northern Arizona University biochemist and her students report that uranium can damage DNA as a heavy metal independent of its radioactive properties.
Their research has enormous implications for the study of depleted uranium as a component in military munitions.
Phys.org news agency reported on April 7 that Stearns and her students are the first researchers to discover that when cells are exposed to uranium, the uranium binds to DNA and the cells can mutate, the uranium altering the cell's DNA code. The end result can be that the affected DNA can produce a different protein or wrong amounts of protein, affecting cell growth, some of which can metastasize into cancer cells.
While scientists have long known that uranium can damage DNA as a radioactive metal, Stearns and her collaborators discovered that uranium could also damage DNA as a heavy metal, independent of its radioactive properties.
Sterns said, "Essentially, if you get a heavy metal stuck on DNA, you can get a mutation."
While scientists have discovered that other heavy metals are known to bind to DNA, Stearns and her collaborators are the first to link this trait to uranium.
The results of the team's research were published recently in Mutagenesis and Molecular Carcinogenesis journals.
- - - - -
November 2006: Depleted uranium risk 'ignored'
Both British and US troops have used depleted uranium in Iraq
UK and US forces have continued to use depleted uranium weapons despite warnings they pose a cancer risk, a BBC investigation has found. A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2001 said they posed only a small contamination risk. Dr Mike Repacholi, who oversaw work on the report, told Angus Stickler of BBC Radio Four's Today programme that depleted uranium was "basically safe". "You would have to ingest a huge amount of depleted uranium dust to cause any adverse health effect," he said. But Dr Keith Baverstock, who worked on the project, said research conducted by the US Department of Defense suggested otherwise.
Study suggests cancer risk from depleted uranium
Depleted uranium, which is used in armour-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal's effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased.
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday March 5 2004
updated on Sunday November 21 2010
URL of this article:
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Depleted Uranium Coming Home To Roost - Dillon Bill In Conn Legislature
Depleted uranium is the "less rich" uranium that remains as waste in the uranium enrichment process. The metal is radioactive and stays so for billions of years. According to the Sierra Club's Nuclear Waste information, there are massive quantities that need to be either stored or re-cycled. Could it be that the need to re-cycle the dangerous material plays a part in the U.S. military's decision to use thousands of... [read more]
February 13, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger