UK DU Test for Veterans "Too Little, Too Late"
The National Gulf Veterans and Families Association has accused the Ministry of Defence of deliberately dragging its feet in waiting 14 years to implement a screening test to detect uranium in the bodies of Gulf war soldiers.
After the announcement by the MoD that a new test would be offered to 500 military and civilian personnel who served in the Gulf war, veterans are saying that the procedure is too little, too late for the thousands who have suffered unexplained ill-health for years.
Many veterans who had been exposed to radiation from battlefield shells believe they may have levels of depleted uranium in their bodies that can no longer be detected, and that may have caused kidney failure or leukaemia.
The MoD set up an independent committee of scientists' and veterans' representatives in 2001 - the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board - to develop a screening process.
Three years later, they are ready to take applications from those who served in the Gulf area between August 1990 and July 31 1991. The test will also be made available to those who served in Kosovo from August 5 1994. The results will take three months to come back.
The four clinics at which testing will be done are St Thomas' hospital in London, the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Southmead Hospital in Bristol and the University of North Tees in Stockton-on-Tees.
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Page last updated: January 28, 2003