The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2946715.stm > > US rejects Iraq DU clean-up > > By Alex Kirby > BBC News Online environment correspondent > > > The US says it has no plans to remove the debris > left > over from depleted uranium (DU) weapons it is using > in > Iraq. > > DU shells can go straight through the side of a tank > > It says no clean-up is needed, because research > shows > DU has no long-term effects. > > It says a 1990 study suggesting health risks to > local > people and veterans is out of date. > > A United Nations study found DU contaminating air > and > water seven years after it was used. > > DU, left over after natural uranium has been > enriched, > is 1.7 times denser than lead, and very effective > for > punching through armoured vehicles. > > When a weapon with a DU tip or core strikes a solid > object, like the side of a tank, it goes straight > through before erupting in a burning cloud of > vapour. > This settles as chemically poisonous and radioactive > dust. > > Risk studies > > Both the US and the UK acknowledge the dust can be > dangerous if inhaled, though they say the danger is > short-lived, localised, and much more likely to lead > to chemical poisoning than to irradiation. > > One thing we've found in these various studies is > that > there are no long-term effects from DU > > Lieutenant-Colonel David Lapan, Pentagon spokesman > But a study prepared for the US Army in July 1990, a > month before Iraq invaded Kuwait, says: "The health > risks associated with internal and external DU > exposure during combat conditions are certainly far > less than other combat-related risks. > > "Following combat, however, the condition of the > battlefield and the long-term health risks to > natives > and combat veterans may become issues in the > acceptability of the continued use of DU." > > A Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel David > Lapan, > told BBC News Online: "Since then there've been a > number of studies - by the UK's Royal Society and > the > World Health Organisation, for example - into the > health risks of DU, or the lack of them. > > "It's fair to say the 1990 study has been overtaken > by > them. One thing we've found in these various studies > is that there are no long-term effects from DU. > > "And given that, I don't believe we have any plans > for > a DU clean-up in Iraq." > > Part of the armoury > > The UN Environment Programme study, published in > March > 2003, found DU in air and groundwater in > Bosnia-Herzegovina seven years after the weapons > were > fired. > > The UN says the existing data suggest it is "highly > unlikely" DU could be linked to any of the health > problems reported. > > But it recommends collecting DU fragments, covering > contaminated points with asphalt or clean soil, and > keeping records of contaminated sites. > > Reports from Baghdad speak of repeated attacks by US > aircraft carrying DU weapons on high-rise buildings > in > the city centre. > > The UK says: "British forces on deployment to the > Gulf > have DU munitions available as part of their > armoury, > and will use them if necessary." It will not confirm > they have used them. > > Many veterans from the Gulf and Kosovo wars believe > DU > has made them seriously ill. > > One UK Gulf veteran is Ray Bristow, a former > marathon > runner. > > In 1999 he told the BBC: "I gradually noticed that > every time I went out for a run my distance got > shorter and shorter, my recovery time longer and > longer. > > "Now, on my good days, I get around quite adequately > with a walking stick, so long as it's short > distances. > Any further, and I need to be pushed in a > wheelchair." > > > Ray Bristow was tested in Canada for DU. He is > open-minded about its role in his condition. > > But he says: "I remained in Saudi Arabia throughout > the war. I never once went into Iraq or Kuwait, > where > these munitions were used. > > "But the tests showed, in layman's terms, that I > have > been exposed to over 100 times an individual's safe > annual exposure to depleted uranium." > This email is intended only for the above named > addressee(s). The information contained in this > email > may contain information which is confidential. The > views expressed in this email are personal to the > sender and do not in any way reflect the views of > the > company. > > If you have received this email and you are not a > named addressee, please contact the sender and then > delete it from your system. > > > __________________________________________________ > Yahoo! Plus > For a better Internet experience > http://www.yahoo.co.uk/btoffer __________________________________________________ Yahoo! Plus For a better Internet experience http://www.yahoo.co.uk/btoffer --------------------------------- Yahoo! Plus - For a better Internet experience _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk