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Depleted Uranium




"Which is worse, flash annihilation by nuclear explosions, or
 slow mutilation from low-level radiation, the result of
 radioactive contamination of the air, water and earth
 essential to life? Globally, we have been deceived about the
 health effects of radiation by bureaucratized governments
 informed by the military industrial complex and scientific
 power. In the past half-century, 1.3 billion people have been
 killed, maimed, and diseased by nuclear weapons and
 nuclear power."
 -- Leuren Moret - Berkeley, California June 2001

"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and
 what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as
 sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny."
 -- Thomas Jefferson

"Most men die of their remedies, not of their illnesses."
 -- Moliere

"In all the controversies over what the causes of diversities
 might be, no one seem to have paid much attention to the 
 factor in the environment that has the most obvious effect
 on any organism: food."
 -- Michael Crawford & David Marsh
    

Depleted Uranium (DU)

The Pentagon claims that the low levels of radiation emitted from DU weaponry pose no health risks. Many scientists disagree with the way this conclusion is drawn. The military looks only at how the trillions of healthy cells that comprise the human body are affected by exposure to low dosages when handling the munitions. They ignore the fact that as DU munitions are exploded, they burst into flames and vaporize.

According to Helen Caldicott, up to 70% of the uranium released when DU munitions are exploded is converted into microscopic particles that can be inhaled or ingested immediately or when air, soil and water get contaminated. Once inside the human body, these particles kill or mutate the cells they come in contact with. Photographs of DU particles in living lung tissues show them as tiny sun-like, radiating objects. The half-life of this radioactive substance is 4.5 billion years.

Depleted Uranium is anything but Depleted. The name is a misnomer. It has a Half Life of 4.5 Billion years, this is the time that it will emit Radioactivity till half strength. It is primarily an Alpha Emitter producing a weak yet very dangerous radioactivity if consumed - inhaled, swallowed or embedded in the skin. It is the 'gift' that keeps giving. A new report from PubMed National Medical Libary abstracts on the undisputed toxicology of notso-Depleted Uranium, 28.5 BILLION YEARS To Clear from Earth.

When a DU kinetic energy penetrator impacts a target and because it is very Pyrophoric, meaning it burns,US Army research shows that between 10 and 70 percent of the round oxidizes. The bullets and large calibre shells are actually on fire when they come out of the gun barrel because they are ignited by the friction in the barrel and explode on contact. Most of the oxides created are respirable in size (less than 5 microns) and insoluble. The dust created by an impact (roughly 0.5 to 3 kg per 120mm tank round) is a vapourised, radioactive gas comprising of tiny nano-particles. The microscopic particles in this vapour are then littered, depending upon prevailing winds, up to 100 kms around (estimates on this vary — with some sources citing up to 1000 kms), where they fall on crops, water, or just on the ground to be picked up by the next gust of wind or by car tyres. Later, when this gas enters the atmosphere, it can spread worldwide. DU weaponry are nuclear weapons. No question.

The nanoparticles of DU enter the body, from the air, from landing on clothing or skin and from food or water. These nanoparticles penetrate all protective clothing and masks, and once it comes in contact with the body it immediately disperses and begins to alter DNA. As it is not soluble it cannot be excreted from the body. Uranium is a toxic chemical element, just like lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium. A single microscopic particle can cause a lethal disease. DU will continue to poison life from the dust and soils of the battlefields and testing grounds.

According to the declassified Groves memo from the Manhattan Project in 1943, the properties of DU in weapons has been known and strategised with for 60 years. It is clear that the US has known for 60 years about the effects of DU on the battlefield, also the danger to its own soldiers. Radioactive waste from nuclear weapons development, mixed with high-level waste front nuclear reactors, becomes a lethal cocktail in DU ammunition. In recent reports, the US Department of Energy has admitted that military reactor waste has been mixed with DU. The waste contains plutonium, uranium-236, neptunium and other isotopes thousands of times more radioactive than DU. Disposing of dangerous waste at a profit benefits US government agencies and the military industrial complex, while passing the liability for disposal and the biological and environmental damage to citizens around the world.

Which is worse, flash annihilation by nuclear explosions, or slow mutilation from low-level radiation, the result of radioactive contamination of the air, water and earth essential to life? Globally, we have been deceived about the health effects of radiation by bureaucratized governments informed by the military industrial complex and scientific power. In the past half-century, 1.3 billion people have been killed, maimed, and diseased by nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Millions more will be killed, maimed and diseased unless the citizens of the world demand an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear power, nuclear waste, and the new radiological weapons. Additionally, the military use of DU violates current international law including the principle that there is no unlimited right to choose the means and methods of warfare.

When speaking of the quantities of DU used in various wars it is worth understanding that the amount of uranium used in the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was approximately 13kg, about the size of a two-litre milk container. A Japanese professor, Dr. K. Yagasaki, has calculated that in terms of the atomicity, (the amount of radiation produced), a ton of DU used on the battlefield releases the equivalent of 100 Hiroshima bombs worth of radiation released into the atmosphere. Thus when experts refer to the 2000 tons of DU dropped on Iraq in the past three years, what is being released in the Iraqi atmosphere, and then spreading worldwide, is the equivalent of 200,000 Hiroshima bombs. The total amount of DU the US has used since 1991 is approximately 4600 tons (1000 in the first Gulf War, 800 in Kosovo, 800 in Afghanistan and a further 2000 tons in the current Iraq war.) This amounts to approximately 460,000 Hiroshima bombs, ten times the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere from all previous nuclear testing worldwide.

Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in GW1 (the first Gulf War), of them, 11,000 are now dead! Of the 580,000 US soldiers that served in Iraq in 1991, by mid 2004 518,739 were on medical disability pensions. This figure is 150,000 higher than just one year earlier. There are no more recent statistics, but it would appear that by now the percentages of soldiers affected would be reaching 100%. This is an astounding number of ‘Disabled Vets’ The disability rate for the wars of the last century was 5 percent; it was higher, 10 percent, in Viet Nam.

Terry Jamison, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, at the VA Central Office, recently reported that ‘Gulf Era Veterans’ now on medical disability, since 1991, number 518,739 Veterans. The long-term effects have revealed that DU (uranium oxide) is a virtual death sentence.

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Last modified: Monday, 28-Mar-2011 15:57:33 PDT