Recent articles appearing here in the PPJ have elicited comments to the effect that depleted uranium does not pose any danger to land, water or persons.  Apparently there are many countries, scientists and other highly qualified people around the world who have a different view.  But…I suppose they are all just liars and not qualified to make such statements (sarc).

While researching to prove out the claims that DU presents no significant threat either to indigenous populations where it is used, or to military personnel who might be exposed to DU,( something that would make me feel much better) I noted that reports of exposure were not annotated in the health reports of veterans.  Also, that any attempts to set up regimented screening and testing to prove the assertion that DU was not a physical threat, all seemed to just fade into obscurity. 

Even the  [US ARMY TRAINING VIDEO: Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness]   seems to be disregarded in its admonishments that DU contaminates water, soil and personnel and represents a significant threat to the health of those exposed to it.  This training video was made in the early 90’s…but until recently was never shown to military personnel.  Even now, it is on a limited basis.
 
 
ICBUW Science Team

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2007 signed into law by President Bush in October of 2006, contained legislation pertaining to depleted uranium. Section 716 called for a comprehensive study of the health effects of depleted uranium (DU) due to the use of DU weapons, to be completed within a year. The U.S. Department of Defense asked the National Research Council to oversee this project and the result was The Review of Toxicologic and Radiologic Risks to Military Personnel from Exposure to Depleted Uranium

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11979  During and After Combat published by the National Academies of Sciences in 2008.

Although this is a scientific report and concludes the lungs would be the most available point of transfer of DU dust, it is conspicuously absent in actual testing of the lungs of those exposed to DU.

The report leaves out over two dozen recent peer-reviewed articles, mostly indicating potentially harmful effects of DU.

This document is in PDF format and can be read using Acrobat Reader.

A wide range of scientific articles and observations can be read at this same site.

http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/a/190.html    Critique of US NRC Report (57 Kb – Format pdf)

 

I also came across all of these efforts:

 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-177

H.R. 177 Depleted Uraniums Testing and Screening Act

Submitted January 6, 2009  (Serano) 111th congress (sitting in committee)

 

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/109-h5303/show

H.R 5305 Depleted Uranium Munitions Suspension and Study Act of 2006

Submitted May 04, 2006 (MCKinney)

May 04, 2006: Referred to House International Relations  (never addressed)

 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-2410 

H.R. 2410, The Depleted Uranium Munitions Act, 

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) 109th congress & 110th congress (never addressed)

 

There are multiple bills that have been introduced since 2004 to establish testing, screening and protective measures for military personnel.  Each of them is routinely referred to one committee or another where they are allowed to die a quiet death.  These three are given only as example.

 

Twenty states have introduced or passed legislation regarding depleted uranium testing and study.  Connecticut had implemented their own law by the end of 2006 establishing a health registry for military personnel related to exposure to depleted uranium. At lest twenty other states are considering the same things.

 

April 10, 2007: Star Tribune (Minn., Mn.) reports a state Senate committee OK’d a bill providing for testing veteran national guardsmen returning from Iraq to see if dust from spent-uranium munitions has harmed them. Link: www.startribune.com/587/story/1112856.html.

 

 

There are still those who maintain that depleted uranium poses no health risks or environmental contamination.  If this is true, why do sites that have been exposed to these munitions have to be routinely [decontaminated]? Although I would like to believe DU poses no threat, the fact remains that if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be used.  The idea that it might possibly be poisoning the environment, causing damage to human beings must fall under the category of [collateral damage].  One of those unexpected perks of wars.

 

(C) 2009 Marti Oakley

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