Depleted Uranium

GAO Will Study Depleted Uranium
Depleted Uranium

"The health impacts of depleted uranium (DU) munitions on soldiers who served in the Iraq and the Persian Gulf Wars will be studied by Congress' General Accounting Office... 'We are requesting further investigation by the GAO of the study of veterans exposed to DU during the 1991 Gulf War, and an assessment of current DoD [Department of Defense] and DVA [Department of Veterans Affairs] policies to identify and provide medical care for veterans exposed to DU during Operation Iraqi Freedom,' wrote Reps. Bob Filner, D-Calif., and Ciro Rodriguez, D-Texas, in a Dec. 3 letter requesting the congressional inquiry. 'There are many uncertainties about depleted uranium, but one thing is clear: the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs have refused to conduct an adequate study of veterans exposed to DU on the battlefield,' said Dan Fahey, a former board member of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans organization, who helped the congressmen frame the GAO inquiry."

Ex-Military Doctor Decries Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons
Depleted Uranium

"The depleted uranium rounds the U.S. and British forces were believed to have used in the war on Iraq may have subjected parts of the country to heavy radioactive contamination, a visiting U.S.-based doctor of nuclear medicine has warned. Asaf Durakovic, director of the Uranium Medical Research Center, an independent organization with offices in the U.S. and Canada, said his research team conducted a three-week field trip to Iraq last month. It collected about 100 samples of substances such as soil, civilian urine and the tissue from the corpses of Iraqi soldiers in 10 cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Najaf. Durakovic said preliminary tests show that the air, soil and water samples contained 'hundreds to thousands of times' the normal levels of radiation. But he must wait another three months before getting the final results, he said. Durakovic spent 19 years as a military doctor for the U.S. Defense Department, and studied the health of veterans after the 1991 Gulf War."

Neighborhood Mobilizes After Health Study Links Illnesses to DU Factory
Depleted Uranium

"Lung cancer doesn't run in Tom LaRosa's family, but nine years after he stopped servicing vehicles for the National Lead Industries plant, LaRosa underwent chemotherapy for a growth on his lungs. 'Didn't they realize back then what they were doing?' LaRosa said of the chemicals National Lead Industries spewed from factory smokestacks, which he suspects gave him cancer while he worked at nearby Dott's Garage. A few blocks from Dott's, Joyce Koren, a breast cancer survivor, rattled off the names and cancers of a half-dozen immediate neighbors.... After a federal agency announced on Aug. 22 that emissions from the former munitions factory caused a health hazard and may have contributed to kidney failure and lung cancers, area residents are tallying up their health problems and wondering whether the plant was the cause. Theā€¦ plant released uranium and lead as workers used a radioactive isotope, uranium-238, to make aircraft parts and armor-piercing bullets from the 1950s to the 1970s."

Was Pvt. Neusche's Death Caused By Depleted Uranium From 'Bunker-Busters'?
Depleted Uranium

"Pvt. Josh Neusche, 20, collapsed in Iraq with respiratory problems on July 2 and died on July 12 as a result of a subsequent breakdown of his kidneys and other organs.... His parents believe the last operation their son was involved in was clearing rubble from one of Hussein's bombed-out palaces in Baghdad. Sen. Ike Skelton told the press: 'The Army has confirmed that three or four of the soldiers in Josh's unit are among those who got sick.' ... Among the ordinance that is likely to have been used on such targets are the so-called 'bunker-buster' bombs.... Dai Williams, an independent DU researcher, wrote in the introduction to a January 2002 report: 'A 2-ton DU warhead, suspected in the GBU-28 & 37 Bunker Buster bombs, would deliver 50-100 times more DU oxide contamination per target than the antitank shells fired in the Balkans War. This risk could totally alter previous evaluations of the health and environmental hazards of DU to civilians and troops, past present and future...'"

Are American Soldiers in Iraq Dying Due to Depleted Uranium?
Depleted Uranium

WSWS reports: "At least 100 soldiers have been hospitalized with severe respiratory problems since 3/1. Fifteen have been so ill they have required ventilator support to stay alive. Two have died... for anyone familiar with the research into effects of exposure to depleted uranium the details would have to ring alarm bells. The 2001 WHO report into the issue notes: 'Brief accidental exposure to high concentrations of uranium hexafluoride has caused acute respiratory illness, which may be fatal.' - http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/ir_pub/en/ Scenarios that could cause a 'brief, accidental exposure to high concentrations of uranium hexafluoride' definitely would include being in the vicinity of a vehicle or building struck by depleted uranium munitions; traveling in or being in the vicinity of a vehicle that is armored with depleted uranium and sustains damage; or involved in the cleanup... The organs most affected by exposure are the lungs and kidneys."

America's Shameful Legacy of Radioactive Weaponry
Depleted Uranium

Heather Wokusch writes: "Disturbing new evidence puts the US military's use of radioactive weaponry in the spotlight... A study by the Washington, D.C. based Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) suggests coalition forces used Afghanistan as a testing ground for radioactive weaponry, thereby placing generations of civilians - not to mention US service members - at unspeakable future risk. The UMRC study found 'astonishing' levels of uranium in the urine of Afghan civilians living in Nangarhar province, one of many places coalition forces bombarded with a new generation of 'cave-busting' and seismic shock warheads. Interestingly, none of the civilians tested at Nangarhar showed traces of depleted uranium (DU) ... The implications are ominous. Independent studies show coalition forces used toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads in Afghanistan, but if the 'mystery' uranium in Nangahar isn't DU, what is it?"

US Government Refuses to Address Its Contamination of Iraq with 'Depleted' Uranium
Depleted Uranium

"Department of Defense officials have confirmed in a telephone conversation at approximately 9:40 a.m. on April 15, 2003 that they will not clean up the uranium munitions contamination as required by Army Regulations throughout Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia that has been and will be left by ongoing combat actions during Gulf War II and by previous combat actions during Gulf War I. I asked about compliance with 6/93, 8/93, 10/93, 7/99 and 4/00 medical care directives and that also will not be done. This refusal to clean up uranium contamination caused by deliberate use of uranium munitions and to provide medical care to all 'depleted' uranium casualties is a crime against God and humanity."

Jim McDermott (D-WA) Introduces Depleted Uranium Bill
Depleted Uranium

"Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced legislation requiring studies on the health and environmental impact of depleted uranium (DU) munitions, as well as cleanup and mitigation of depleted uranium contamination at sites within the United States where DU has been used or produced. McDermott, a medical doctor, has been concerned about this issue since veterans of the Gulf War started experiencing unexplained illnesses. His concern deepened, he said, after visiting Iraq, where Iraqi pediatricians told him that the incidence of severely deformed infants and childhood cancers has skyrocketed. 'Depleted uranium is toxic and carcinogenic and it may well be associated with elevated rates of birth defects in babies born to those exposed to it,' said McDermott. 'We had troops coming home sick after the Gulf War, and depleted uranium may be one of the factors responsible for that.' "

Depleted Uranium Will Kill Our Troops
Depleted Uranium

According to Doug Rokke, the Pentagon's former expert on Depleted Uranium, who is himself sick from it, its use will kill or sicken hundreds of thousand of American troops, as has already happened from Gulf War I. It will also cause genetic defects in their children. Of course, you won't see this on the evening news.