A Missed Opportunity
As was made clear by the Royal Society and WHO (see CADU News 14) there are no scientific studies of the effects of DU on people close to exploding munitions or exposed just afterwards and these studies should have taken place straightaway. If the US and the UK are so assured of the safety of DU why did they not take the opportunity to gain accurate information? The Royal Society said in its report on the health effects of DU weapons that death could result in days from kidney damage at high exposure levels. This means many Iraqis could have died already without anyone knowing. The Government wants to be able to keep making the claim that DU has not been linked to effects on health by not looking for any links.
Meanwhile many reporters in Iraq have reported seeing people unknowingly selling food next to burnt out tanks and children playing around DU-bombed buildings and vehicles. Many children, with schooling finished by the war, have started dismantling ordnance for scrap metal risking certain exposure. Very few warning signs have been erected or areas cordoned off, a basic necessity agreed on by all sides, and where signs have been made they have been hastily handwritten by Coalition troops in English.
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Page last updated: January 28, 2003