The danger of depleted uranium

Dangers and Health Effects of Depleted Uranium, Disabled World Thomas C. Weiss, 4 Sept 13  ”…………Health concerns and DU center around the effect on the human body of nano-sized ceramic particles of uranium oxide (U238) that are released into the air when DU munitions are used in battle. Dr. Rosalie Bertell presented a concise explanation of the potential dangers of exposure to depleted uranium (DU). Dr. Bertell stated, “Uranium oxide and its aerosol form are insoluble in water. The aerosol resists gravity, and is able to travel tens of kilometres in air. Once on the ground, it can be resuspended when the sand is disturbed by motion or wind. Once breathed in, the very small particles of uranium oxide, those which are 2.5 microns (one micron = one millionth of a meter) or less in diameter, could reside in the lungs for years, slowly passing through the lung tissue into the blood.”

Another doctor, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, who founded the Uranium Medical Research Center, stated that over the course of a year 1 milligram of DU emits 390 million alpha particles, 780 million beta particles, as well as associated gamma rays for a total of more than one billion high energy, ionizing, radioactive particles and rays that may produce extensive biological damage to a person’s ovaries, kidneys, lungs, lymph nodes, blood, bones, breasts, stomach, and to fetuses. The health concerns, especially for people who live in Iraq, are particularly acute because of the young ages of the people being exposed.

The Department of Defense continues to deny health risks associated with the use of DU’s, yet it’s own actions belie their claims. May 15th of 2003 found Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor reporting that in Iraq, “Six American vehicles struck with DU “friendly fire” in 1991 were deemed to be too contaminated to take home, and were buried in Saudi Arabia. Of 16 more brought back to a purpose-built facility in South Carolina, six had to be buried in a low-level radioactive waste dump.”

Studies performed by The Uranium Medical Research Center in Afghanistan show very high levels of, ‘non-depleted,’ uranium in not only bomb craters, but people. Of the 700,000 United States Veterans from the first Gulf War, greater than 240,000 are on permanent medical disability and 11,000 have died. An investigation by Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News found 4 of 9 soldiers of the 442nd Military Police Company of the New York Army National Guard returning from Iraq tested positive for depleted uranium (DU) contamination; they are the first confirmed cases of inhaled depleted uranium exposure from the Iraq war.

A study performed in April of 2007 by researchers at the University of Southern Maine concluded that, “exposure to particulate DU may pose a significant genotoxic risk (risk of genetic mutation) and could possibly result in lung cancer.” A paper published in the same year in the scientific journal, ‘Science of the Total Environment,’ found high concentrations of DU particles in soil, stream sediments, as well as household dust in the vicinity of a DU weapons factory in Colonie, New York 23 years after the plant had closed and despite massive efforts at clean up by the U.S. Army Corp of engineers. It also presented the fact that traces of DU contamination still remain in the urine of former workers and neighbors of the plant…………


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