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  • Canada must do more on depleted uranium weapons

    ICBUW has produced a new briefing on Canada and DU weapons, it finds that in spite of claims to the contrary, Canada has shown little international leadership on the issue. Available to download in English and French.
  • ICBUW needs your help if our work is to continue.

    Last week, the Norwegian government announced that it will no longer fund ICBUW’s research and advocacy on DU weapons. We are now facing a funding crisis that could result in us having to close the secretariat and make the staff redundant.
  • The A-10 warthog: raising depleted uranium’s threshold of acceptability

    The apparent U-turn by the Pentagon over DU use by aircraft in Operation Inherent Resolve has been cautiously welcomed by campaigners, but is it a sign of a wider policy shift? Is the threshold of acceptability for the use of DU in operations rising in response to international pressure over the controversial munitions and what part has the A-10 played in this?
  • Pentagon announces U-turn on use of depleted uranium in Iraq and Syria

    The Pentagon has announced that depleted uranium (DU) munitions have not, and will not, be used by US aircraft in the conflict against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The policy U-turn contrasts with statements made over previous months, where Pentagon officials claimed that DU would be used if needed; the decision reflects a growing stigmatisation of the controversial weapons.
  • "Fear of a slow death" civilians raise concerns over depleted uranium use in Syria

    The news that US A-10 gunships are now also active in Syria in operations against Islamic State has coincided with the emergence of reports that Syrian civilians fear the long-term health impact of the Coalition’s airstrikes.

Depleted Uranium in Iraq and Gulf War Veterans

Some of the reported effects of DU contamination arising from the Gulf War

In the areas where depleted uranium was used in Southern Iraq, a number of serious health problems have emerged among both soldiers and civilians.
For instance, there has been a 66% increase in leukaemias and cancers in Southern Iraq. There has also been a marked increase in the numbers of children born with birth malformations, with horrific reports of 3 children in one family being born with severe congenital malformations.

Maggie O'Kane, Felicity Arbuthnot, and journalists working with Desert Concerns, have all reported on the health crisis in Southern Iraq. The former reported a Dr Zenad Mohammed, from a hospital in Basra, herself pregnant, who was so terrified of giving birth to a severely malformed child, that she was doing her own monitoring of the problem. Her notes begin "In August we had three babies born with no head. Four had abnormally large heads. In September we had six with no heads, none with large heads and two with short limbs. In October, one with no head, four with big heads and four with deformed limbs or other types of deformities."

 

 

Photograph of deformed baby

 

Severe case of hydrocephalus with defects of the cerebral nerves and debility, seen in Southern Iraq

photo: Siegwart-Horst Günthor

 

There are also large numbers of soldiers who served in the Gulf with Allied forces and in the Iraqi army, who are now suffering from mysterious illnesses - often referred to as Gulf War syndrome. Many of these illnesses reflect those seen among Iraqi children and civilians. For example, of the 697,000 US troops who served in the Gulf, over 90,000 have reported medical problems. Symptoms include respiratory, liver, and kidney dysfunction, memory loss, headaches, fever, low blood pressure. There are also defects reported among their newborn children. In a veterans community in Mississippi, 67% of the children were born with malformations.


UK and US Gulf War veterans have tested positive for depleted uranium poisoning, although the governments of both countries have at every turn denied proper independent testing for all veterans.


For more information on depleted uranium and Gulf War Veterans see the National Gulf War Resource Centre's information at http://www.ngwrc.org/Dulink/du_link.htm or the Military Toxics Project: http://www.miltoxproj.org

Photo of a severley disfigured Iraqi soldier

 

Severly injured Iraqi soldier, the lesions in his face are due to radiation

Photo: Siegwart-Horst Günthor

 

 

 

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