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MoD Issues DU Warning Card to Troops

The MoD has issued a card to all troops serving in Iraq in areas where DU has been used. The card reads:

[front]“DU Information Card
(introduced 03.03) F Med 1018

You have been deployed to a theatre where Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions have been used.

DU is a weakly radioactive heavy metal, whch has the potential to cause ill health.

You may have been exposed to dust containing DU during your deployment.

[back]Further Information

You are eligible for a urine test to measure uranium. If you wish to know more about having this test, you should consult your unit medical officer on return to your home base.

Your medical officer can provie information about the health effects of DU.

Information is also available on the MOD [Ministry of Defense] web site:”

It is good to see the MoD deviating from their normal line that DU poses no health risks and taking some responsibility towards serving soldiers, if only to cover their own backs. Yet the card raises many questions: Why is DU still being used if they know it to be a danger? What about Iraqi citizens, who are not being issued with cards nor offered tests? Why aren’t all troops given inexpensive urine tests considering many won’t know the risks? The British military is definitely increasingly being caught on the back foot about its use of DU weapons.

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Page last updated: January 28, 2003