Archive for the ‘Depleted uranium’ Category

American Navy’s Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons in Coastal Waters – threat to humans and other species

November 21, 2016
The Navy’s Use of Depleted Uranium in Our Coastal Waters Threatens Humans, Wildlife Monday, 31 October 2016 By Dahr JamailTruthout | Report
 Earlier this month, Truthout reported that the US Navy is knowingly introducingtoxic metals and chemicals into the environment during its war game exercises.

Sheila Murray with the Navy Region Northwest’s public affairs office, when asked what the Navy was doing to mitigate environmental contamination from the large numbers of Depleted Uranium (DU) rounds it left on the seabed off the Pacific Northwest Coast claimed current research “does not suggest short- or long-term effects” from the release of DU to the environment that could result in its uptake by marine organisms.”

She also said that DU rounds “are extremely stable in sea water and pose no greater threat than any other metal.”

In response to this, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist and winner of the 2015 Rachel Carson Prize environmental award for her work on DU and heavy metal contamination, told Truthout, “The US Navy representative’s views exhibit an alarming level of amnesia.”

She said this because Murray’s statement has been one that has been recycled by the Navy for years. Reuters reported in January 2003 that the Navy confirmed its use of DU shells in arms tests off the Washington State coast, at which time the Navy claimed, “The DU rounds dissolve so slowly that they would not contribute to naturally occurring (radiation) levels … and do not pose a significant risk.”

Meanwhile, ample scientific reports — including Savabieasfahani’s own research — demonstrate the deleterious health impacts caused by DU.

“When those bullets and bombs explode, dangerous nanoparticles of metals, including uranium nanoparticles, are released into the environment,” she explained to Truthout. “Laboratory research has already established that exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of uranium has negative impacts on fish embryogenesis, and on the reproductive success of fish.”

Naval documents show that as much as 34 tons of DU could be present on the seabed just 12 miles from the outer coast of Washington State.

Even more distressing, the Navy’s own documents reveal that the extent of its use of DU off the coast of the US is far more pervasive than it admits to the public.

And results of a Freedom of Information Act filing provided to Truthout show that the Navy, which claims in its environmental impact statements it has not used DU since 2008, has actually shipped it from a Puget Sound munitions area as recently as 2011.

A Bogus Study

The Navy’s public affairs officer, Murray, also told Truthout that a “recent study” of an area off the south coast of England that was used for test firing DU rounds “did not show presence of DU in sample of intertidal and ocean bottom sediments, seaweed, mussels, and locally caught lobster and scallops. (Toque, 2006).”

However, the study Murray cites — and which the Navy consistently cites when arguing that DU is not harmful — is heavily disputed.

Carol Van Strum, an Oregon-based environmental advocate who has researched DU for years, told Truthout that Murray’s statement is “an out-and-out lie.”

Van Strum, who has read the Toque study closely and knows it well, pointed out that, for starters, the study’s author works for a British military contractor. She went on to point out two very serious flaws in the study.

“While the study relied on ‘locally caught’ lobster and scallops as samples for testing for depleted uranium, the samples were never ‘caught’ but rather bought in a local market, and thus could have come from anywhere,” Van Strum explained. “Second, and most worrisome … the actual study reports depleted uranium contamination in nearly all of the samples.”

The Navy’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the matter claims “the survey results show no evidence of DU being present in any marine environmental sample collected in the year 2004.”

But Van Strum called their claim “incontrovertibly false” because the study itself stated it had found DU contamination in the soil in many areas where the military was operating cannons, in the soil where ordnance had been fired, and in the soil, sea water and marine life where the ordnance they had fired had landed.

“The study’s methodology would not pass muster for even a high school science project,” Van Strum said. Karen Sullivan, a retired endangered species biologist who co-founded the website West Coast Action Alliance that acts as a watchdog of Naval activities in the Pacific Northwest, questioned why the Navy would open itself up to accusations of bias by relying on only a single study done by someone who works for a group affiliated with the British military.

“Why would the Navy rely on such a flawed and obviously biased study to ‘prove’ that DU in seawater poses no threat greater than any other metal?” Sullivan, who worked at the US Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 15 years and who is an expert in the bureaucratic procedures the Navy is supposed to be following, asked in an interview with Truthout. “Probably because the enormous body of properly conducted and unbiased science completely refutes it.”

Van Strum went on to point out additional significant problems with the study, including the almost laughable procurement and use of the samples……..

Human Health Impacts of DU “Quite Relevant” to Naval Exercises

“Navy exercises in the waters of the Pacific Northwest will release contaminants into the marine environment, with an undeniable potential to harm human health,” Savabieasfahani said, noting that this would apply even to low-level amounts of DU being introduced into the oceans. “It is long established that explosives can contaminate soil, sediment and water and thereby impact environmental and human health.”

She explained that the human and environmental impacts of the Navy’s use of DU in past exercises is “quite relevant,” and cited a report that showed how DU exposure has been linked to lower cognitive ability in adults.

“This leads us to expect much worse impacts on growing children, newborns and infants — to say nothing of unborn babies,” Savabieasfahani added. “Furthermore, epidemiological evidence is also consistent with an increased risk of birth defects in the children of people exposed to DU.”

She also heavily emphasized the fact that the internalization of uranium in any form will result in both chemical and radiation exposure. “Once inside a living body, DU and uranium’s effects are virtually the same,” Savabieasfahani explained. “This is a point worth repeating.”

Moreover, Savabieasfahani emphasized that it’s dangerous to guesstimate “safe” levels of DU, whether or not it reaches levels determined to be “toxic.”

“Our knowledge of the human health impacts of DU is consistent with laboratory studies of other mammals,” she said. “DU exposure affects neurogenesis during prenatal and postnatal brain development by disrupting patterns of cell proliferation and cell death. Even sub-toxic levels of DU have been shown to alter brain function.”

She also took issue with Murray’s argument, which Savabieasfahani described as, essentially, “the solution to pollution is dilution.” This is the nuclear industry’s default argument about radiation and other forms of pollution, and has been for decades, despite the fact that this logic was “decisively rejected” more than 40 years ago. Savabieasfahani pointed out that even Richard Nixon’s EPA administrator, William Ruckelshaus, rejected the dilution argument in a 1972 Congressional testimony regarding the Clean Water Act.

Savabieasfahani noted that any upcoming Naval exercises that introduce heavy metals and other pollutants, regardless of whether they use DU, will increase the environmental “background burden” of DU and other pollutants.

“Increasing that burden is simply irresponsible,” Savabieasfahani said. “Seabed pollutants have already found their way into our bodies. Those pollutants will continue to impact the most vulnerable populations — infants, newborns and growing children — most profoundly, and their imprint will be found in the baby teeth of our children.”

Other Instances of DU

Problems with DU in the Pacific Northwest are not limited to the Navy……. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38185-the-navy-s-use-of-depleted-uranium-in-our-coastal-waters-threatens-humans-wildlife

United Nations will again study the effects of depleted uranium contamination

November 21, 2016

United Nations highlights cost and difficulty of tackling depleted uranium contamination http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/united-nations-highlights-cost-and-difficulty

Depleted uranium once again on the UN’s agenda as a new resolution is tabled that serves to remind the international community of the absence of rules governing its post-conflict management.
19 October 2016 – ICBUW A resolution submitted to the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee draws attention to the technical and financial barriers that countries affected by the use of depleted uranium face following conflicts when they seek to clear contamination. The resolution also reminds governments that states, communities, health experts and civil society organisations remain profoundly concerned about the health and environmental risks that the weapons can pose.

The resolution is the sixth on the topic to be tabled at the General Assembly since 2007. Shortly before the last resolution was debated in 2014, Iraq called for assistance from the international community in addressing the legacy of DU use in the country in 1991 and 2003. The 2014 resolution, which was supported by 150 states, called on member states to provide such assistance. Disappointingly, assistance has not been forthcoming in the interim and the appalling security situation in Iraq has hampered efforts to assess and clear sites.

“Managing DU contamination to internationally accepted standards is complex, time-consuming and costly,” said ICBUW Coordinator Doug Weir. “Research has repeatedly shown that most countries recovering from conflict are poorly placed to implement these vital risk reduction measures, which are recommended by UN agencies, and it is civilians who all too often pay the cost of inaction.” Part of the problem lies in the fact that unlike land mines and cluster munitions, there are no formal obligations, on either those countries that use the weapons, or are affected by them, to clear them after conflicts.

Previous resolutions have passed by huge majorities, with just four states consistently voting against and, while it is unlikely that the UK, US, France and Israel will vote in favour this year, overall the number of governments abstaining has been on a downward trend since 2007. As a result, there is increasing focus on the likes of Canada, Denmark and a number of EU governments who refuse to vote yes, often on extremely dubious grounds.

However, it is Germany that many will be watching. In 2014, the German government abstained on the DU resolution for the first time, triggering a backlash from German parliamentarians and civil society. A parliamentary question urging the government to vote yes was tabled in September by the Green Party. “Germany has got to accept that the potential hazards from DU contamination are widely accepted by the UN agencies that recommend remedial measures, and by their own military, who take a precautionary approach to DU in their own guidelines,” said PAX’s Wim Zwijnenburg. “Doubtless the German authorities would take steps to prevent civilian harm if DU were dispersed in Germany, why should it be different for other countries following conflicts?”

What will the resolution achieve?

The resolutions do not seek to ban DU weapons, however they do underscore the fact that the overwhelming majority of governments object to their use. Each resolution is also helping to define soft norms around some of the most problematic issues surrounding DU. One of these, the need for DU users to share data on where they fire the weapons, has featured since 2010, and its importance was highlighted by a recent report from PAX and ICBUW over DU use in the 2003 Iraq War. The report showed that more than half the DU fired by the US is still unaccounted for, and that the refusal of the US to release data to UN agencies hampered their post-conflict assessments.

Voting on the resolution will take place in early November. A second vote will take place in early December. You can follow the debate on social media using #FirstCommittee and by following @ICBUW

USA ignored its own guidelines in depleted uranium weapons use in Iraq. Syria too?

November 21, 2016

US broke its own rules firing depleted uranium in Iraq http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/us-broke-own-rules-firing-depleted-uranium-in-iraq

An analysis of recently declassified military data shows that the United States military ignored its own guidelines for the use of depleted uranium ammunition in the 2003 Iraq War, firing the controversial weapons at unarmoured targets, buildings in populated areas and troops. It has also tripled the number of sites known to be contaminated in Iraq to more than 1,000; even as fears grow that the US has used depleted uranium in Syria.
5 October 2016 – ICBUW

The targeting data, which details the use of 30mm DU ammunition by USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft – or “Warthogs”, was released under FOIA and accounts for 54,000kg of the 118,000kg of DU ammunition that the US and UK have acknowledged firing in the conflict. Analysis by PAX and ICBUW of the 1,116 strikes, which took place during the first month of the 2003 invasion, and published in a new report Targets of Opportunity shows that DU use was widespread across Iraq.

For the first time, the data also reveal that the majority of targets attacked with the radioactive and chemically toxic weapons were not armoured. This runs counter to claims by the US that the A10’s ammunition is specifically for destroying tanks and other armoured vehicles. A significant number of the 182,000 30mm PGU-14/B rounds fired by the aircraft – each of which contains 298g of DU – were also fired in or near populated areas, increasing the likelihood that civilians would be exposed.

The need to destroy armour is central to the US’s ongoing military justification for the use of the weapons, which place civilians at risk of exposure and leave a complex and costly legacy for years after the end of conflicts. The US’s own legal guidelines, which were placed on the use of the armour-piercing incendiary weapons in 1975, restricts their use to armoured vehicles, a restriction that appears to have been ignored in the 2003 conflict.

Little transparency, even less assistance

While the UK released information to the UN on where it fired 1,900kg of DU, the US is still withholding data on where it fired 62,000kg of the weapons. This is hampering clearance work. PAX has reported that Iraq continues to struggle with the identification and remediation of DU contaminated sites, and the country has called for assistance in doing so from the international community.

“With the current burden of fighting the Islamic State, the Iraqi government’s capacity is already stretched. But people are worried about DU contamination, especially in southern Iraq,” says one of the report’s authors, PAX’s Wim Zwijnenburg. “The US did too little, too late, and now Iraq’s people are facing layer upon layer of toxic health risks as a result of the conflicts.”

“At present countries that use DU weapons, or are affected by them, are under no formal obligations to clear contamination after conflicts in order to minimise the risks it poses to civilians,” said co-author Doug Weir from ICBUW. “This is in stark contrast to land mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Governments must take steps to meaningfully address the legacy from DU and other toxic remnants of war that can harm civilians and their environment for years after the end of conflicts.” 

New information suggests that A-10s have used DU in Syria n early 2015, the US stated – contrary to previous claims – that its A-10 aircraft had not and would not use DU in Iraq or Syria in operations against Islamic State. However information obtained by ICBUW suggests that US A-10s have used DU on at least two occasions in Syria.

ICBUW and PAX are calling for urgent clarification from the US authorities on both the incidents and its DU policy for the conflict, and for them to swiftly release the targeting data to ensure that the relevant authorities can conduct clearance and risk awareness efforts and to isolate and recover contaminated material.

A new resolution on DU weapons will be voted on by governments at the UN General Assembly this month.         : https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2016/10/06/exclusive-iraq-war-records-reignite-debate-over-us-use-depleted-uranium

Utah’s problem: depleted uranium gradually becomes more radioactive

July 31, 2015

Federal regulators hear Utah testimony on depleted uranium By , Deseret News, June 25 2015 “…………The NRC is proposing to adopt a rule that for the first time specifically addresses the disposal of the material, which is a waste stream generated from the enrichment process of uranium in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Depleted uranium poses unique disposal challenges because it does not hit its peak radioactivity until 2.1 million years, and actually grows more radioactive over time. In its disposal stage, however, depleted uranium contains radioactivity that falls under the lowest level classified by the federal government — that of class A — and is legally within limits on what can be buried in Utah at EnergySolutions’ Clive facility.

Matt Pacenza, executive director of the radioactive waste watchdog organization called HEAL Utah, believes that the NRC is making a huge mistake by classifying depleted uranium as class A.

“Right now, a regulatory loophole could allow waste that does not reach a peak hazard for 2.1 million years to be treated just like waste which loses 90 percent of its hazard in less than 200,” his presentation asserted.

Pacenza, who spoke at the briefing Thursday, said the safety of the public and the environment cannot be assured given the complex nature of depleted uranium and its long-lived radioactivity.

HEAL Utah has lobbied hard against any depleted uranium being disposed of at EnergySolutions’ commercial facility in Tooele County ever since the Salt Lake-based company inked a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 to begin accepting stockpiles of the waste — with the initial shipments reaching 10,500 tons.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert intervened, successfully getting some of those shipments turned around after he launched objections with the federal agency over the uncertainties associated with the material’s disposal.

State regulators then convened multiple hearings and crafted their own rules governing the disposal of any significant amounts of depleted uranium, including the requirement that EnergySolutions develop a site-specific performance assessment designed to specifically contemplate depleted uranium’s unique character……….

The NRC’s proposed rule on depleted uranium would affect commercial facilities in Utah and Texas, as well as Washington and South Carolina.

Mike Garner, executive director of the Northwest Interstate Compact — a regional alliance with oversight of low-level radioactive waste management — argued before the commission that the proposed rule should not be hoisted on states that aren’t planning to take depleted uranium, a concern echoed by the Nuclear Energy Institute that argued the proposal would be unnecessarily costly and burdensome.

Pacenza, too, added that the proposal is undergoing significant modifications that show how much industry — particularly EnergySolutions — is influencing the potential regulation of depleted uranium……

Comments on the rule can be submitted atwww.regulations.gov

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865631459/Federal-regulators-hear-Utah-testimony-on-depleted-uranium.html?pg=all

Utah at risk of getting ever more dangerous depleted uranium burial

April 26, 2015
Will Utah bury nation’s leftover depleted uranium? 
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624185/Will-Utah-bury-nations-leftover-depleted-uranium.html By , Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — Yet another delay is being encountered on the long and winding regulatory path that will determine if Utah becomes a key repository of the nation’s supply of depleted uranium — low-level radioactive waste that becomes increasingly potent over millions of years.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality just received this week additional information from EnergySolutions related to potential erosion and other “deep time” problems suspected to impact its Tooele County disposal site, pushing back the start of a public review to April 13.

Helge Gabert, project manager for the state on the depleted uranium issue, said the requested information was about a month late. It was submitted Wednesday for review. It will be incorporated into a subsequent analysis or safety evaluation that the agency will release for public comment about a week beyond its earlier time frame.

In addition, a pair of public meetings will be held the week of May 4, with a decision on disposal due July 1 from Rusty Lundberg, director of the Utah Division of Radiation Control.

To take the nation’s leftovers of 750,000 metric tons of depleted uranium, EnergySolutions has to first convince Utah regulators that its site will be safe for 10,000 years. Beyond that, it has to prove that the threat to public health will be minimal in the advent of a return of a Lake Bonneville or other “deep time geologic events” over 2.1 million years.

It is a mind boggling scenario, planning for all manner of circumstances that could play out, modeling time and performance over such an extended period that it is difficult to grasp.

EnergySolutions must account for the farmer who wanders onto the disposal site, unaware of the radiological hazard underneath his feet. Or the burrowing rodent that could cause vulnerabilities to the at-grade disposal site.

The company must try to figure out how the wind will deposit the sand, how dunes will form and when the lake returns — as some say it inevitably will — how the water might disperse the radiological hazard from an anticipated breach of the disposal barrier.

Such planning is something Utah is requiring because of the unique nature of depleted uranium, which is the byproduct of the uranium enrichment process for nuclear fuel. While depleted uranium has commercial applications, such as antitank armaments, demand for it is far outpaced by the amount that is generated. The U.S. Department of Energy has responsibility for its disposal.

Depleted uranium gets more radioactive as its isotopes try to get back to their natural state, and as these “daughter products” break down, they not only multiply, but increase in intensity.

The instability that occurs in the decay process occurs over 2.1 million years, with what was once classified as “low-level” radioactive waste breaching Utah-imposed limits on what is allowed to be buried in the state.

Gabert said there is no question that by 40,000 years, depleted uranium will violate the state’s prohibition on anything “hotter” than Class A waste, so it becomes a policy issue for current regulators to decide if its disposal is acceptable in the here and now.

“You could argue why does not the state just make the decision based on the science, but we have not made that. We are willing to hear out what the facility has to say,” Gabert said.

The deep time analysis looks in particular if the threat will be mitigated enough — if the doses of radioactivity would be diluted to the degree that even exposure to a higher “category” of waste would not cause harm.

Critics of the EnergySolutions’ proposal to dispose of the depleted uranium say no amount of assurances or analysis can safeguard human health given the sheer amount of unknowns.

How the World Health Organisation is prevented from doing real research into depleted uranium

February 3, 2015

It is quite unlikely that the WHO, as a professional organisation, has ever tried to block or downplay research. However, it is clear that the imbalances that exist in its funding, particularly for those public health projects that go beyond its regular country budgets, are open to state influence. In a system in which the financing is so disparate among member states, it is obvious that those who influence the purse influence the spend.

Iraq: Politics and Science in Post-Conflict Health Research HUFFINGTON POST,30 Dec 13   Director of the World Health Organisation’s Iraq programme between 2001-2003 15/10/2013  During my time as the director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) programme in Iraq between 2001 and 2003, the WHO, together with other agencies, were aware of the reports of abnormal rates of health problems, such as cancers and birth defects, in southern Iraq. In the 1991 Gulf War, the fighting had been concentrated in the south and it was notable that reports of illnesses were far more prevalent in this region. A decade on, and a long overdue study by the Iraqi Ministry of Health into the prevalence of congenital birth defects has been undertaken in collaboration with the WHO; however its interim results have puzzled observers.

The institutional capacity that has finally allowed the study to take place should have been developed with funds from the Oil For Food Programme (OFP) in 2001. OFP money was required as the cost of the proposed work far exceeded the WHO’s regular budget for Iraq at the time. Unfortunately, all projects funded through the OFP were subject to a complex process that required the final approval of the United Nations Security Council. Frustratingly, any project that proposed to investigate abnormal rates of birth defects in southern Iraq and their relation, if any, to environmental contamination, never got through the Security Council’s approval process.

Before the 2003 invasion, the cynicism demonstrated by certain member states of the Security Council towards the post-conflict health conditions in southern Iraq was appalling. Following regime change, the attitude of the Coalition Provisional Authority just added arrogance to the cynicism. The funds from the OFP belonged to the Iraqi people, yet the Security Council responded with little alacrity to any attempt to release Iraqi money to finance research into the legacy of conflict on cancer rates in the south. ……..

The interim report by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which was published without fanfare on the WHO website on September 11th, had been widely expected to confirm that rates of congenital birth defects in Iraq were not only high but higher in areas subject to heavy fighting in 1991 and 2003. Instead it reported the opposite – that rates in cities such as Fallujah and Basrah are around half that typical of high income countries.

Puzzlingly, the interim findings in the study run counter to the consistent reports of medical professionals across Iraq. They also stand in stark contrast to the views expressed by Ministry of Health officials interviewed by the BBC earlier this year. In their opinion, there was a clear link between areas subject to heavy fighting and an increased incidence of birth defects. If confirmed, such findings could have significant political ramifications for not only Iraq but for post-conflict civilian health in general. As a result, the study has received considerable attention, with more than 53,000 people signing a Change.org petition calling for release of the study data and for its independent peer-review.

A number of experts have now come forward to question the study’s methodology and the robustness of the peer-review process, most recently in the respected medical journal The Lancet. Critics have questioned the decision to undertake a household survey, instead of collating hospital records and challenged the anonymous authors on the lack of information concerning the selection criteria for areas included in the survey……..

I believe that the only way to resolve such concerns and ensure the best outcome for the Iraqi people is for the Ministry of Health and WHO to be more transparent than they have been thus far. Lessons must be learned from the history of public health research in Iraq.

The politicisation of Iraq’s public health research under the OFP should serve as a reminder that the WHO is nothing more than a reflection of the collective will of its member states. This collective will is often greatly influenced by those nations that exercise global power and, while the structure of the WHO does not necessarily reflect this influence, the decisions it implements certainly do.

It is quite unlikely that the WHO, as a professional organisation, has ever tried to block or downplay research. However, it is clear that the imbalances that exist in its funding, particularly for those public health projects that go beyond its regular country budgets, are open to state influence. In a system in which the financing is so disparate among member states, it is obvious that those who influence the purse influence the spend.

The agency continues to play a crucial role globally, thus it is important for the WHO to be transparent in all cases, as it was constitutionally created to be. The need for transparency is particularly acute in post-conflict public health research and the WHO has an important role to play in ensuring that its research partners pursue open, robust, science…… http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/neel-mani/iraq-politics-and-science_b_4098231.html?just_reloaded=1

Depleted uranium weapons bring birth deformities, cancers to Libya

February 2, 2015

In Libya now being recorded by the WHO (world health organization), the highest deformation in fetuses inside Libya and reached 23% of newborns and also the high incidence of new forms of cancer that were not known among ordinary Libyans and now amounting to 18% of the total of cancers that have been diagnosed by the organization’s branch in Libya .

Despite this serious health disaster countries involved with NATO are now demanding that Libya pay them one billion seven hundred million dollars for their help in toppling the Gaddafi regime.

NATO War Crimes In Libya: Deformities of Newborns Because of Depleted Uranium Bombs http://libyanfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/nato-war-crimes-in-libya-deformities-of-newborns-because-of-depleted-uranium-bombs/ Libyans knew that depleted uranium was being used by NATO in their bombing raids and they were very concerned.

There is no doubt that NATO/US broke every agreement imposed by the Geneva Convention.

War crimes against humanity in Libya by NATO and its member countries is unmatched in the world.

This is a crime beyond the wildest imagination, Libya was a naive country, no drugs, no AIDs, very few birth defects, very small number cancer patients – look at the evil left behind by the psychopaths of the one world order.

A new report from Human Rights Watch (better later than never, after backing the US-NATO propaganda during the entire aggression against Libya) has expressed deep concern with the confirmed information of the use, by both France and Britain, of Internationally prohibited weapons on raids in Libya in 2011 under the UN Resolution 1973. 1973 authorized NATO to bomb sites for military yet there were 60,000 bombing raids against civilian targets, great man made river, hospital, hotels, homes, schools, power plants and on and on.

Those NATO countries used bombing Libya with  cluster bombs with depleted uranium radioactive metal, for its ability to penetrate the concrete. As a result of the saturation of agricultural crops, livestock and water sources that have become seriously polluted with radiation resulting in the appearance of grossly deformed Newborns in Libya as well as the Libyan citizens

In Libya now being recorded by the WHO (world health organization), the highest deformation in fetuses inside Libya and reached 23% of newborns and also the high incidence of new forms of cancer that were not known among ordinary Libyans and now amounting to 18% of the total of cancers that have been diagnosed by the organization’s branch in Libya .

Despite this serious health disaster countries involved with NATO are now demanding that Libya pay them one billion seven hundred million dollars for their help in toppling the Gaddafi regime.

This is beyond absurd, first they stole 500 billion of Libyan money in the EU and the Fed and used it destroy Libya with bombs laden with radiation.

They destroyed the infrastructure, the government and left Libyans with terrorists in charge of their country, 2 million in exile and Libya should pay for this??

The leaders in these corrupt governments are so arrogant they think they can destroy a country and make that country pay for it – Libya already paid and paid – 500 times over.

Despite the fact that these weapons were originally intended for disposal and the US was supposed to pay for the disposal, they should be compensating for Libya because they used it (illegally) to get rid of dangerous weapons arsenal overflowing in storage with the British and French.

Depleted uranium: contaminated sites in Hawaii

February 2, 2015

The Pentagon’s Dirty Bombers: Depleted Uranium in the USA, Aletho News By David Lindorff – 10/26/2009 The Nuclear Regulator Commission is considering an application by the US Army for a permit to have depleted uranium at its Pohakuloa Training Area, a vast stretch of flat land in what’s called the “saddle” between the sacred mountains of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island, and at the Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu. In fact, what the Army is asking for is a permit to leave in place the DU left over from years of test firing of M101 mortar “spotting rounds,” that each contained close to half a pound of depleted uranium (DU). The Army, which originally denied that any DU weapons had been used at either location, now says that as many as 2000 rounds of M101 DU mortars might have been fired at Pohakuloa alone.

But that’s only a small part of the story.

The Army is actually seeking a master permit from the NRC to cover all the sites where it has fired DU weapons, including penetrator shells that, unlike the M101, are designed to hit targets and burn on impact, turning the DU in the warhead into a fine dust of uranium oxide. Hearings on this proposal were held in Hawaii on Aug. 26 and 27.

Uranium particles, whether pure uranium or in an oxidized form, are alpha emitters, and can be highly carcinogenic and mutagenic if ingested or inhaled, since they can lodge in one part of the body—the kidney or lung or gonad, for example—and then irradiate surrounding cells with large, destructive alpha particles (actually helium atoms), until some gene is compromised and a cell become malignant.

Among the sites identified by the NRC as being contaminated with DU are:

Ft. Hood, TX
Ft. Benning, GA
Ft. Campbell, KY
Ft. Knox, KY
Ft. Lewis, WA
Ft. Riley, KS
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD
Ft. Dix, NJ
Makua Military Reservation, HI

Other locations identified as having DU weapons contamination are:

China Lake Air Warfare Center, CA
Eglin AFB, Florida,
Nellis AFB, NV
Davis-Monthan AFB
Kirtland AFB, NM
White Sands Missile Range, NM
Ethan Allen Firing Range, VT
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

An application for a 99-year permit to test DU weapons at the NM Inst. Of Mining and Technology claimed that that site’s test area was “so contaminated with DU… as to preclude any other use”!

DU weapons have also been used by the Navy at Vieques Island off Puerto Rico (the Navy claimed it was a “mistake.”)………. http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/the-pentagons-dirty-bombers-depleted-uranium-in-the-usa/

In Iraq, internal radiation emitters causing cancers and birth defects

February 2, 2015

Depleted Uranium And The Iraq War’s Legacy Of Cancer, Mint Press News,  Depleted uranium was used in Iraq warzone weaponry, and now kids are playing in contaminated fields and the spent weapons are being sold as scrap metal. By   @FrederickReese | July 2, 2014 As instability in Iraq is forcing the United States to consider a third invasion of the Middle Eastern nation, the consequences of the first two invasions are coming into focus. For large sectors of the Iraqi population, American intervention has led to sharp spikes in the rates of congenital birth defects, premature births, miscarriages and leukemia cases.

According to Iraqi government statistics, the rate of cancer in the country has skyrocketed from 40 per 100,000 people prior to the First Gulf War in 1991, to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, to at least 1,600 per 100,000 in 2005.

The culprit behind all of these health issues is depleted uranium, a byproduct of uranium enrichment. With a mass fraction a third of what fissile uranium would have, depleted uranium emits less alpha radiation — up to 60 percent less than natural uranium, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. This “relative” safety offered a rationale for many nations — particularly, the U.S. — to put the waste material to use.

As depleted uranium is 1.67 times denser than lead, a depleted uranium projectile can be smaller than an equivalent lead projectile but produce similar results. This smaller size means a smaller diameter, less aerodynamic drag and a smaller area of impact, meaning that depleted uranium bullets can travel faster and inflict more pressure on impact, causing deeper penetration. Additionally, depleted uranium is incendiary and self-sharpening, making depleted uranium ideal for anti-tank ammunition. It is also used as armor plating for much of America’s tank fleet.

The problem with using depleted uranium, however, lies in the fact that depleted uranium is mostly de-energized. In practical terms, depleted uranium can have — at a minimum — 40 percent the radioactivity of natural uranium with a half-life that can be measured in millennia (between 703 million to 4.468 billion years). While the depleted uranium presents little to no risk to health via radiation due to its relatively weak radioactivity, direct internal contact with the heavy metal can have chemical toxicity effects on the nervous system, liver, heart and kidneys, with DNA mutations and RNA transcription errors being reported in the case of depleted uranium dust being absorbed in vitro.

While depleted uranium is not as toxic as other heavy metals, such as mercury or lead, pronounced toxicity is still possible through repeated or chronic exposure………http://www.mintpressnews.com/depleted-uranium-iraq-wars-legacy-cancer/193338/

Depleted uranium a carcinogen and genotoxin

February 2, 2015

Malignant Effects: depleted uranium as a carcinogen and genotoxin http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/malignant-effects

The purpose of this report is to introduce the reader to the growing weight of evidence relating to how DU can damage DNA, interfere with cellular processes and contribute to the development of cancer. The report uses peer-reviewed studies, many of which have been published during the last decade and, wherever possible, has sought to simplify the scientific language to make it accessible to the lay reader.
29 August 2014 – ICBUW

A PDF version of Malignant Effects is available to download at the end of this article.

Executive summary
What is depleted uranium?

Depleted uranium (DU) is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process. It is used by a number of states in armour-piercing tank shells and bullets.

The use of DU weapons is controversial because DU is radioactive and chemically toxic. Its use can generate particles that can be inhaled or ingested. DU creates large quantities of contaminated wreckage and hotspots of persistent contamination that present a hazard to civilians long after conflict ends.

What is DNA?

DNA is the chemical molecule which contains the inherited genetic information used by all known cell-based life-forms.

DNA is present in almost every cell in the body. DNA could be described as the instruction manual for the organism in which it is present. DNA has the ability to make copies of itself, this is done when cells divide and replicate.

What is genotoxicity?

Genotoxic substances can cause damage to DNA or change the way DNA functions within an organism.

In some cases, a damaged cell can become cancerous, or a mutation in the DNA can be passed on to daughter cells or even to the offspring of the organism.

How can DU damage DNA?

DU is known to damage DNA in several ways. DU emits ionizing radiation, which consists of subatomic particles travelling at high speed. If these particles hit DNA, the collision can cause damage to the DNA.

Experiments have also shown that DU can damage DNA, by joining to it in a chemical bond, forming what are called uranium-DNA adducts. Exposure to DU has also been shown to cause damage to DNA through a chemical process known as oxidation.

How do we know it can do this?

Scientists have shown that DU is genotoxic in a number of different ways.

As well as adducts, which have been observed in hamster cells, a number of experiments have shown that exposure to DU can cause breaks in the strands of DNA. Several studies have shown that DU exposure can cause mutations in rats and in cells in the laboratory. Exposure to DU has been shown to cause oxidative damage to DNA in rats and several kinds of small fish.

Experiments in human bone cells and in mice have shown that exposure to DU can cause genomic instability in immature human bone cells and in mice. Genomic instability means that cells are more likely to undergo changes. The offspring of the mice exposed to DU were more likely to have mutations in their DNA, meaning that genomic instability was passed from parent to child.

A number of studies show that DU exposure can cause different changes to chromosomes in human cells. Chromosomes are the structures formed by the coiled DNA within cells. The changes DU exposure causes in the chromosomes are often used by scientists to identify whether cells have been exposed to a genotoxic substance or effect. Biological indicators like this which are known to be associated with a given effect are called ‘biomarkers’.

What we don’t know and why?

Many of the experiments scientists use to assess whether a genotoxic effect has taken place look for the after-effects or biomarkers of the damage. These are often easier to locate and identify than the damage itself.

Because of this, it is not always possible to identify exactly how the DU has damaged DNA (this is called the mechanism), even though the biomarkers show that a genotoxic effect has occurred. Some studies suggest that radioactivity is the most significant mechanism in the genotoxicity of DU, others that a chemical reaction may play more of a role; it has not been possible however to reach a definite conclusion from the studies which have been carried out to date.

Most of what we know about whether DU is genotoxic comes from tests on cells and animals but it is important to work out whether DU is also genotoxic in humans. One of the major reasons for this is the lack of subjects for this kind of study. Very few studies have ever been carried out to identify civilians who have been exposed to DU. Identifying civilians at risk is difficult as militaries often do not say where they have fired DU weapons. Some studies have looked at soldiers from NATO countries but these have only found a few who had measurable levels of DU in their bodies. It is important for studies to look at as many people as possible.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs has funded some studies on a small group of veterans from the 1991 Gulf War, studies which have been running since 1994. The studies have some limitations in their design but some have investigated genotoxic effects. Most of these studies did not find any link between DU exposure and genotoxic effects but because of the small number of subjects it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions. However, one experiment did show a significant increase of a type of mutation in the highest DU-exposed veterans.

Can DU cause cancer?

Cancer is usually the result of a number of independent DNA changes, which together promote cancerous cell growth and the development of a tumour.

Many studies have shown that exposure to DU can cause cells to transform to a malignant type, meaning that they have the characteristics of cancer cells. These changes have been shown in human lung and bone cells, as well as in rats and mice.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has developed a framework to assess whether substances can cause cancer. Under the IARC framework DU inside the body is classified as carcinogenic in humans because of the type of radiation it emits. This is confirmed by the many studies on DU’s genotoxic effects.

Because not enough studies have been done on civilians who have to live, work or play in or around sites contaminated by DU we cannot be certain about whether DU contamination in the environment is also a carcinogenic risk. As DU can get into people after it is used it seems clear that DU in the environment should be considered a probable, or at least a possible, carcinogen under IARC’s framework.

Are civilians at risk from DU from weapons?

Without more information on how much DU might get into the bodies of civilians after DU weapons are used, it is very difficult to accurately quantify their risk of cancer or other health effects.

Most civilians in a country contaminated by DU weapons will not come into contact with contamination, and will face only minimal risks. However, those living or working near contaminated sites are more at risk of exposure, particularly if they are not aware of the contamination. DU weapons have been used in populated areas and against many different kinds of targets. This has made it more likely that people will come into contact with DU.

It is possible to use modelling to make an estimate of risk but until we have reliable data to assess how much DU can get into the bodies of civilians who have been exposed to DU, or what harm it would cause, there will be considerable uncertainties.

What does all this mean?

Peer-reviewed studies on the genotoxicity of DU show that DU has the potential to damage DNA or change how it works.

While the studies reviewed in this report mostly rely on data from laboratory and animal experiments, the range of studies, and the fact that these results have been observed in several different animal species amount to a strong body of evidence on the potential effects of DU on human health.

There have been several large-scale desk studies on the possible effects of DU weapons which assessed the risks to be relatively small. However, many were produced before most of the studies detailed in this report had been published, and others did not properly take this evidence into account.
There is an immediate and pressing need for more data on the exposure risk to civilians from DU in the environment; studies to quantify this risk should be carried out urgently. All sites where DU has been used must be identified and assessed.

Even without this work being done, it is clear that DU has the potential to cause cancer and other health problems through its genotoxic effects. DU is a dangerous substance, and should never be released into the environment in an uncontrolled fashion. Its use in weapons causes long-lived contamination and is wholly unacceptable. Enough is now known about the risks from their use to justify an immediate moratorium on the use of DU weapons, followed by a global ban.

While the evidence from laboratory studies supports this, many of these studies emerged a decade or more after the first battlefield use of DU weapons. The potential for harm to civilians during that time delay shows that in the future we cannot wait until after all the scientific evidence is assembled before acting.

A new review system is required in order to prevent toxic and environmentally damaging substances being used in weapons in the future. It must be rooted in precaution, open to external scrutiny and it must better balance military needs with the need to protect civilians.

Recommendations

1. Full disclosure of targeting data

Efforts to better understand the behaviour of DU in the environment, the risks residues may pose to civilians on a site-by-site basis and risk awareness and clearance work have all been hampered by the ongoing reluctance of users to release targeting data.

The issue of transparency has been raised by many, most notably the United Nations General Assembly, where a call for the transfer of quantitative and geographic data on DU use has featured in its biennial DU resolution since 2010. The UK Royal Society called for long-term environmental monitoring in 2003, while the WHO and UNEP have repeatedly stated that remedial work is necessary around target sites. Without detailed firing coordinates, this work cannot proceed in a meaningful way.

2. Determine the extent of civilian exposure

The models and projections intended to predict the extent of civilian exposure to DU particulate are imprecise and little real-world data is available to accurately determine the risks DU poses in the wide variety of settings that characterise its use in conflict.

The primary focus of research efforts to date has been on military personnel – and not communities or individuals living with DU contamination. Such data is skewed towards exposure scenarios specific to military settings and is unlikely to reflect the risks from DU exposure faced by vulnerable individuals, such as children or pregnant women. There is therefore a pressing need for the international community to assist with the commission and funding of civilian exposure studies. A desirable long-term outcome would be for all potentially exposed civilians to be offered tests analysing both DU excretion and biomarkers specific to DU-induced damage. The data from these studies would help inform efforts to reduce civilian harm by targeting remediation and management work and improving risk awareness projects.

3. Precaution must guide munitions development

The history of DU’s development and use, which far outpaced the understanding of its risks, underscores the need for more stringent precautionary safeguards during the development of new weapons.

The rush to deploy DU weapons resulted in the dispersal of large quantities of contamination with little understanding of its potential health or environmental impact. Notably, most of the studies in this report post-date DU’s first use by decades. Even today, significant knowledge gaps remain. The choice of toxic materials in munitions must carry with it a responsibility to understand their potential impact prior to deployment. No future weapons development should be undertaken without a risk assessment on their constituents, with a presumption against including those that behave in a similar way to known toxic, genotoxic or carcinogenic materials. Similar assessments on weapons currently in use would be desirable and problematic substances should be phased out.

4. Ban uranium weapons

This report has found that a growing body of research shows that DU is a carcinogen. Set against studies analysing its mode of use in conflict and in light of the lack of obligations to mitigate the risks it poses after conflict, it becomes clear that its use must stop.

The users of DU have shown themselves unwilling to be bound by the consequences of their actions. The failure to disclose targeting data or follow their own targeting guidelines has placed civilians at unacceptable risk. The recommendations of international and expert agencies have been adopted selectively or ignored. At times, users have actively opposed or blocked efforts to evaluate the risks associated with contamination. History suggests it is unlikely that DU use will be stopped voluntarily: an international agreement banning the use of uranium in conventional weapons is therefore required.