Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
"Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness"
Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:16


Three video tapes:

1. "Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness"
2. "Contaminated and Damaged Equipment Management"
"Operation of the AN/PDR 77 Radiac Set" and
The draft DU and LLRM contamination management procedures including a United States Army Regulation: "Management of Equipment Contaminated with Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities" and an United States Army Pamphlet " Handling Procedures for Equipment Contaminated with Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities".

Although, these products with approval of all participants were all completed and ready for distribution by January 1996, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Defense, British, German, Canadian, and Australian officials disregarded repeated directives and did not implement or only have implemented portions of the training or management procedures. Unfortunately, only a few U.S. personnel have been trained. The training and management plan have not been given to all individuals and representatives of governments whose populations and environment have affected by DU contamination. These failures have been verified by U.S. General Accounting Office investigators and the report was published during March 2000.
The DU project and review of previous research reinforced the original conclusions and recommendations that we developed while still in Saudi Arabia and which are just plain simple common sense. These recommendations were / are:

1. All depleted uranium contamination must be physically removed and properly disposed of to prevent future exposures.
2. Radiation detection devices that detect and measure alpha particles, beta particles, x-rays, and gamma rays emissions at appropriate levels from 20 dpm up to 100,000 dpm and from .1 mrem/ hour to 75 mrem/ hour must be acquired and distributed to all individuals or organizations responsible for medical care and environmental remediation activities involving depleted uranium / uranium 238 and other low level radioactive isotopes that may be present.
3. Medical screening of all individuals who did or may have inhaled, ingested, or had wound contamination to detect mobile and sequestered internalized uranium contamination must be completed.
4. All individuals who enter, climb on, or work within 25 meters of any DU contaminated equipment or terrain must wear respiratory and skin protection.
5. Uranium 238 contaminated and damaged equipment or materials should not be recycled to manufacture new materials or equipment.

Visual evidence, personal experience, and published reports verify that:

1. Medical care has not been provided to all DU casualties.
2. Environmental remediation has not been completed.
3. DU contaminated and damaged equipment and materials have been recycled to manufacture new products.
4. DU training and education has only been partially implemented.
5. DU contamination management procedures have not been distributed.

The United States Army Materiel Command possesses the Nuclear Regulatory Commission license for depleted uranium. A health physicist assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army Materiel Command told me during a conversation on November 8, 1999 that their office will not release the DU medical treatment protocols nor the DU contamination management and remediation procedures to all those who are affected by depleted uranium contamination. He has restated this decision in writing on behalf of commanding general. This decision ignores United States and international legal requirements.
The answer to this question is difficult. Deliberate denial and delay of medical screening and consequent medical care of not only U.S. friendly fire casualties who inhaled, ingested, and had wound contamination but all others with verified or suspected internalized exposure makes actually knowing what has occurred difficult. Although I, physicians, scientists, and other medical personnel recommended immediate medical care during March, April, and May of 1991 and many times since then the United States Department of Defense, the British Ministry of Defense, and consequently the United States Department of Veterans Affairs are still reluctant to provide thorough medical screening and necessary medical care. Dr. Bernard Rostker wrote to me in a letter dated March 1, 1999 that physicians and health physicists at the completion of the ground war decided that medical screening and care for uranium exposures was not required. Actual documents refute this! Today, individuals are sick and others are dead who were denied medical care even though I requested it in a letter dated May 21, 1997 which was sent to the Office of Surgeon U.S. Army Materiel Command and forwarded to Dr. Rostker by Dr. (LTC) Kelsey.
Verified adverse health effects from personal experience, physicians, and from personal reports from individuals with known DU exposures include: (a) Reactive airway disease, (b) neurological abnormalities, (c) kidney stones and chronic kidney pain, (d) rashes, (e) vision degradation and night vision losses, (f) gum tissue problems, (g) lymphoma, (h) various forms of skin and organ cancer, (I) neuro-psychological disorders, (j) uranium in semen, (k) sexual dysfunction, and (l) birth defects in offspring.
Today, serious adverse health effects have been documented in employees of and residents living near Puducah, Kentucky, Portsmouth, Ohio; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington. Additionally employees at uranium manufacturing or processing facilities in New York, Tennessee, and the four corners area of southwest Colorado have repeatedly reported adverse health effects similar to those reported by verified Gulf War DU casualties. Iraqi and other humanitarian agency physicians are reporting serious adverse health effects in exposed populations. Today, verifying correlation between uranium exposures and adverse health effects, except in only in a few cases, may not be possible because of deliberate delays in screening. Health physics guidelines state that testing should be completed within 30 days not 8 years after exposures. Testing involves the collection of a urine, fecal, and throat samples. Eight years or so after exposures only a small fraction of the sequestered uranium or original dose will be detected. This fraction represents only the mobile or soluble portion that is in the body. Figure 1 shows the relationship between time of sampling and detection of internalized uranium. Two recent autopsys have revealed that sequestering is an observed phenomena and that the mobile fraction may or may not be representative of what is actually present. The current U.S. Army medical department guideline dated April 1999 requires immediate testing as always required by laws and regulations. However, this is still not occurring.
Even when verified medical evidence attributing adverse health effects to DU exposures is available official recognition and documentation has been erratic at best. For example during 1994 and 1995 United States Department of Defense medical personnel at an U.S. Army installation hospital removed, separated, and hid documented diagnoses from affected individuals and other physicians. Some medical records were retrieved, but, probably too late for many individuals. Today, this practice continues and consequently exposed individuals are not receiving adequate and effective medical care. This includes individuals whose medical care has been requested many times. This will continue as long as the United States, British, Canadian and other governments are permitted to ignore the emerging evidence and deny medical care to all individuals who have been or may have been exposed to depleted uranium (uranium 238), other isotopes, and other contaminants created as result of the use of depleted uranium munitions. The criteria describing exposures were specified in a message from Headquarters Department of the Army dated October 14, 1993 (enclosure 2) . Exposures requiring medical screening within 24 hours of exposure and consequent care included:

"a. Being in the midst of smoke from DU fires resulting from the burning of vehicles uploaded with DU munitions or depots in which DU munitions are being stored.
b. Working within environments containing DU dust or residues from DU fires.
c. Being within a structure or vehicle while it is struck by DU munitions."

These guidelines should be applicable to all exposed individuals and thus care should be independent of military or civilian status. Today, medical care has not been and is still not being given to all depleted uranium casualties as specified. Although, I am not a physician I have been involved in teaching and providing emergency medicine for over 20 years and thus the following recommendations are based on experience and common sense applications of emergency medicine and simple health physics principles. I also provided emergency medical care for some DU casualties in Iraq and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War.
Medical care must be planned and completed to identify and then alleviate actual physiological problems rather than placing an emphasis on psychological manifestations and continued testing. Warriors, civilian employees, non-combatants, and enemy personnel are sick and deserve care for the complex exposures that have resulted in observed physiological effects. Medical care for known uranium exposures should emphasize (concern in parentheses):

a. neurology (heavy metal effects)
b. ophthalmology (radiation and heavy metal effects)
c. urology (heavy metal effects and crystal formation)
d. dermatology (heavy metal effects)
e. cardiology (radiation and heavy metal effects)
f. pulmonary (radiation, particulate, and heavy metal effects)
g. immunology (radiation and heavy metal effects)
h. oncology (radiation and heavy metal effects)
i. gynecology (radiation and heavy metal effects)
j. gastro-intestinal (systematic effects)
k. dental (heavy metal effects)
l. psychology (heavy metal effects)

Many individuals with known exposures still had not received requested care as of March 8, 2000 according to the VA DU project patient manager. As of January 3, 2001 only 63 individuals (including myself) are receiving medical care from physicians assigned to the Baltimore Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Depleted Uranium program. Today casualties with verified DU health related problems live on antibiotics and steroids to quell problems but treatment or cure has not been tried to restore health. It is impossible to get proper care and treatment. IF YOU DO NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THOSE WITH VERIFIED EXPOSURES AND HEALTH PROBLEMS THEN YOU CAN SAY DU DID NOT CAUSE ANY ADVERSE HEALTH PROBLEMS. SO MUCH FOR MEDICAL SCIENCE WHEN A COVER-UP IS DIRECTED BY POLITICIANS TO LIMIT LIABILITY FOR NON-COMBATANTS, WARRIORS, AND OTHERS. The cover-up started with the infamous Los Alamos memorandum sent to our team in Saudi Arabia during March 1991. This memo told us to be sure no matter what we did or reported that we should only report information so DU could always be used. A letter sent to General Leslie Groves during 1943 is even more disturbing. In that memorandum dated October 30, 1943, senior scientists assigned to the Manhattan Project suggested that uranium could be used as an air and terrain contaminant. According to the letter sent by the Subcommittee of the S-1 Executive Committee on the "Use of Radioactive Materials as a Military Weapon" to General Groves (October 30, 1943) inhalation of uranium would result in "bronchial irritation coming on in a few hours to a few days". This is exactly what happened to individuals who inhaled DU dust during Operation Desert Storm.
The subcommittee went on further to state that "Beta emitting products could get into the gastrointestinal tract from polluted water, or food, or air. From the air, they would get on the mucus of the nose, throat, bronchi, etc. and be swallowed. The effects would be local irritation just as in the bronchi and exposures of the same amount would be required. The stomach, caecum and rectum, where contents remain for longer periods than elsewhere would be most likely affected. It is conceivable that ulcers and perforations of the gut followed by death could be produced, even without an general effects from radiation".
The twisted history of medical care of DU casualties took a unique and unprecedented turn on March 14, 2000 when representatives of the Italian government announced that they would begin providing medical care for Iraqis who had been exposed to depleted uranium as a consequence of deliberate actions by the United States and England and the continued refusal by U.S. and British officials to provide medical treatment protocols. In another twist on March 14 a French investigative journalist reported that "There has been lots of new things: - there are Belgium sick people from Kosovo.... same symptoms. - There are Italian sick soldiers from Bosnia - Some French soldiers from the Gulf are sick journalists are working on that." This provides additional evidence of health related problems that must be addressed as previously cited in a U.S. Department of Defense press release dated July 27, 1999 which stated that 'Some soldiers in the Balkans are coming down with the "Bosnian Crud," a type of upper respiratory infection, according to an article in the July 9, 1999 issue of the "Talon," the Operation Joint Forge newspaper for U.S. forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.' Today, NATO soldiers are reporting medical problems and some have died. Still medical care is denied or delayed for all uranium exposed casualties while United States Department of Defense and British Ministry of Defense officials continue to deny any correlation between uranium exposure and adverse health and environmental effects. They continue to contend that they can spread radioactive waste (depleted uranium) in anyone's backyard without cleaning it up and providing medical care. Their arrogance is astonishing.
The international community and all citizens of the world must raise a unified voice in opposition to future use of depleted uranium munitions and force those nations that have used depleted uranium munitions to recognize the immoral consequences of their actions and assume responsibility for medical care and thorough environmental remediation. Specifically:

1. Depleted uranium munitions and the use of depleted uranium must be banned.
2. All individuals who were exposed or who may have been exposed to any form of depleted uranium and its various integral contaminants or other contaminants created during combat, research, or training activities must receive a through physical examination and medical care to alleviate or cure the physiological consequences caused by inhalation, ingestion, or uranium wound contamination.
3. All depleted uranium penetrator fragments, depleted uranium contaminated equipment, and depleted uranium oxide contamination must be cleaned up and disposed of at secure sites.

Share this page with a friend

International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
En Espanol:
Support Mumia Abu-Jamal:
phone: 212 633-6646
fax: 212 633-2889

    DEPLETED URANIUM: USES AND HAZARDS DEPLETED URANIUM: USES AND HAZARDS Doug Rokke, Ph.D. (This paper is updated version of the paper presented... more
    • "Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness" — APFN, Wed Aug 13 12:16
Click here to receive daily updates