Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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In the Hands of Fools - Iraq Contaminated Again

It has now become clear that both the US and British Governments have used depleted uranium again in the recent attack on Iraq. The amount used is not yet clear but given the much higher fire power seen in this attack than that used in the first Gulf War we can expect a much larger amount of depleted uranium to have been used. Estimates have been put at around 1000-2000 tonnes, and although these amounts are not confirmed, it is horrifying to compare them with official figures of 320 tonnes of DU used in the first Gulf War.

Another extremely disturbing development has been the use of DU weapons in urban, densely populated areas which will result in much greater civilian exposure to environmental contamination; as geochemist Vala Ragnarsdottir, who has taken part in United Nations DU field studies in the Balkans said, ''The fact that most of the fighting in Iraq has been in population centres is of great worry to me.'' At CADU, and in line with many others, we are staggered at the callous and irresponsible use of these weapons again in Iraq at a time when new studies are showing the damage DU does to health, when the European parliament has called for a moratorium on their use, when radioactive hotspots have just been found in the Balkans and when the chief body of scientists in Britain, the Royal Society, has been warning the Government of the dangers of DU.

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Page last updated: January 28, 2003