Gen. L.R. Groves 1943 – a blueprint for DUThere is no possible protection, particles of depleted uraniSun Aug 13, 2006 14:22
There is no possible protection from exposure to very fine particles of depleted uranium through filtering of air.
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- As a terrain contaminant: the dispersal of very fine particles of depleted uranium will contaminate the terrain and deny access to either side except at the risk of exposure. That includes civilians and animals who may live there after the battle. The half-life of depleted uranium – 4.5 billion years – leaves the contaminated terrain radioactive forever.
Small particles less than 1 micron in diameter do not settle from the air (see Attach. 3 – Chart “Characteristics of Particles and Particle Dispersoids”) but become incorporated into atmospheric dust (see Attach. 5 - Chart “Natural Aerosols”) and are transported around the earth until they are removed (“rainout”) by rain, pollution or snow3. Seasonal climate change, agricultural activities, fires and other natural and man-made disturbances will continue to remobilize particles in the upper dust level contaminating terrains off the battlefield.
Weathering of larger particles of depleted uranium deposited on the battlefield7 will contribute to concentrations of depleted uranium fine and superfine particles in the air and upper dust level.
Air monitors in Hungary8 and Greece during bombing in Kosovo and Bosnia measured Uranium 238 carried by the wind from the battlefields. Seasonal fluctuations of depleted uranium particles in the air have been reported in Kuwait6.
- Water and food contamination: the depleted uranium dust will cycle through the environment both on and off the battlefield contaminating water supplies and food. Food grown in contaminated areas will be transported to markets and contaminate populations and areas far from the battlefields. Wind, water, birds9 and animals who transport the depleted uranium in their droppings, slowly contaminate wider and wider areas.
- Internal contamination: inhalation of very fine depleted uranium dust particles is extremely damaging to the respiratory tract and will get into the blood stream where it is carried by blood cells and contaminates tissues throughout the body. These “hot particles”10 will continue to emit alpha and gamma radiation (see Attach. 6 - photo “Hot particle in lung tissue”) as they travel throughout the body or where they rest in tissue. After the Uranium 238 nucleus decays, the radioactive daughter product which forms (see Attach. 7) will continue to decay to other isotopes as many as four times. This will increase the level of radioactive exposure by magnitudes. Depleted uranium particles lodged in tissue will decay and continue emitting higher levels of radioactivity from daughter isotopes into the surrounding tissues.
SYNERGISTIC EFFECTS: The health effects from exposure to a combination of radiation, chemicals, and biological agents was not addressed in this WW II memo. This is a critical issue on the battlefield and should be considered in studies of Gulf War Illness. The combination of radiation with heavy metals, chemicals and biological toxins accelerate and increase the adverse health effects of exposure. The effects are unknown since very little research exists in this field11.
THIS IS AN ISSUE WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN FUTURE CONFLICTS SUCH AS THE PLANNED BOMBING OF IRAQ.
MEASUREMENTS OF DU IN TISSUES FROM 71 DEAD RESIDENTS OF BASRA:
Dr. Hari Sharma, a radiochemist living in Canada and member of the Radiation and Public Health Project, has measured depleted uranium levels in the tissues of 71 residents of Basra who died after the Gulf War from cancers12. They were in the age range of 35-50 years. He found high concentrations of depleted uranium in tissue samples from these individuals. The levels were about the same throughout the tissues, suggesting that very fine particles were transported in the blood and deposited or lodged throughout the body.
WORLD TRADE CENTER AIR STUDIES:
Dr. Thomas Cahill, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of California at Davis, conducted an independent study of the air around Ground Zero at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 disaster13. Using very sophisticated monitoring instruments14 which detect very fine and ultra fine particles, Cahill and his group monitored the smoldering pile at the WTC for 5 months following the disaster from one mile north of the center. They measured concentrations of particles in six size ranges from 2.5 microns to 0.09 microns13. They reported the highest concentrations of very fine particles of metals ever reported in the US13, and unprecedented numbers of very fine and super fine particles13. This air monitoring study of the WTC provided new information about very fine and superfine particles which have rarely been studied. Burning metals and other materials at high temperatures generate very large amounts of very small particles. For this reason depleted uranium which has burned is particularly hazardous.
The EPA has verified that depleted uranium was in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 18,19 and that the crash site was contaminated. Residents of New York City detected radiation on hand held geiger counters at the WTC site. The EPA not only failed to protect emergency response personnel at both sites, but did not report or measure13 concentrations of very fine particles at any of the 9/11 plane crash locations. These are the most hazardous to health, and many personnel who worked at the crash sites are now very ill.
Dr. Cahill also studied the Kuwaiti oil field fires following the Gulf War.
ECRR: RELEASED JANUARY 30, 2003
A new report from the European Parliament has been released “2003 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes” Regulators’ Edition: Brussels, 2003 10. The report was written by 46 international scientists and has over 550 references to epidemiological studies which include nuclear site leukemias, Chernobyl infants, minisatellite mutations, weapons fallout cancers, DU Gulf Veterans, and Iraqi children.
The report concludes that the International Committee on Radiation Protection (ICRP) determined international standards for risk and dose effects from studies on A-bomb survivors which were based on high dose, external, acute exposures. The ICRP model only considered cancer as a health risk associated with radiation exposure. The ICRP model, using “bathtub” chemistry, “steam engine” physics, and deceptive reporting, produced faulty and fraudulent estimates of risk and dose effects. Additionally, because the ICRP model is based on acute, high dose, external exposure it cannot accurately determine risks or dose response for internal, chronic, isotopic exposures. For this reason, the ICRP and ECRR models are mutually exclusive.
This new ECRR report based on epidemiological studies, concludes that the health effects of low level radiation exposure have been underestimated by the ICRP model by 100-1000 times. It also includes other health effects due to radiation exposure from global weapons fallout. In addition to cancer it estimates the number of foetal deaths, infant mortality, and predicts “a 10% loss of life quality integrated over all diseases and conditions in those who were exposed over the period of global weapons fallout”.
The committee concluded that underestimates of risk and dose effects for depleted uranium exposure could be very great since the effect at the cell level may be very different than other types of radiation exposures. For this reason the health effects of depleted uranium exposure in Gulf Veterans will be investigated in depth by this committee and will be presented in a new report.
Internal exposure to depleted uranium is a “novel” exposure to an altered form of natural isotopes. The size, shape, surface texture, density, chemical composition and other physical and chemical factors of the particles greatly affect the health impact and damage to the cells of any biological system from depleted uranium exposure. Particle size may be the most overlooked and one of the most important characteristics of depleted uranium dust formed on the battlefield. After burning, depleted uranium is altered both physically and chemically and estimates of risk to health and dose effects cannot be based on previous studies of naturally occurring uranium. In the Research Report Summaries7 of depleted uranium studies done for the military between 1974 and 1999, they clearly provide information and concerns in these studies about the hazards of depleted uranium both to health, exposure on the battlefield and damage to the environment. This summary is well worth reading as it provides a timeline of the military politicizing decisions on the use of depleted uranium over 25 years. For example, in a 1980 Army report17:
This report provides an excellent history of the logic behind the Army’s decision to use DU as a
kinetic energy, armored-piercing munition. DU’s final selection over tungsten was based on
several reasons, including the lower initial cost of the penetrator itself and its better overall
performance. DU and tungsten were rated even for “producibility”. Tungsten had the advantage
for safety, environmental concerns, and deployment.
RADIATION RESPECTS NO BORDERS
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