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CADU NEWS 17
to Pay Pension for DU Contamination
New Campaigning and Information Pack Available from CADU
WHO Scientists Report into DU Cancer Dangers
Gulf War Vets Babies 50% more likely to have Birth Defects
MoD Issues DU Warning Card to Troops
Scottish Anger at DU Contamination
Political Heat Rises in the US as Soldiers Test Positive
Dutch Troops Moved Belatedly from Same Contaminated
Iraqis at Risk of DU Contaminated Scrap Metal
US Miltary Searching for Replacement to DU
Gulf War Syndrome Legal Case Collapses
Alliant Techsytems Gets New DU Order
Isotope Analysis Shows Exposure To Depleted Uranium In
Gulf War Veterans
DU in Sardinia
Japanese Hostage was Anti-DU Campaigner
DU Protests in Warwickshire
EC to probe DU pollution
New Reports on DU
'Friendly Fire' Newsletter 1 ICBUW
Plans to Dump Low Level Radioactive Waste in Landfills
Victims of War
Forced to Pay Pension for DU Contamination
A former soldier has become
the first veteran to win a war pension appeal after suffering depleted
uranium poisoning during the Gulf War, it has emerged.Kenny Duncan took
the Ministry of Defence to the Pensions Appeal Tribunal Service over his
claim that he suffered depleted uranium poisoning during active service
The father of three, from Clackmannanshire,
served with the Royal Corps of Transport as a specialist tank transporter
during the first Gulf War in 1991.Part of his job was to move Iraqi tanks
destroyed by depleted uranium shells. Mr Duncan's case relied on blood
tests carried out by Dr Albrecht Schott, a German biochemist, which revealed
chromosome aberrations caused by ionising radiation. The tribunal found
that Mr Duncans exposure to the uranium was attributable to his
service in the Gulf.
Dr Schott's research formed
part of a study of 16 British veterans of conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia,
and Kosovo, which found that they had 14 times the usual level of chromosome
abnormalities in their genes, raising fears that they will pass cancers
and genetic illnesses to their offspring. Kenny Duncan believes that his
children's health problems are linked to his service in the Gulf war.
All three were born with deformed toes and low immune systems.
When he retired from the army
in 1993, due to ill health, Duncan received only a half-pension. The PATS
decision means that his pension will now be reassessed. Duncan said: It
is just a huge relief to have someone in authority say that you have been
poisoned by this stuff and that you are not telling lies. It is now time
for the [defence ministry] to tell us what went wrong... I doubt that
I will benefit much financially from this, but it wasn't about the money,
it was about the principle of the thing.
His wife Mandy said: 'It's
scandalous that while we are suffering with the
consequences of what the Government has done, politicians are just thinking
Campaigning and Information Pack Available from CADU
A new campaigning pack and
information pack will soon be available from CADU. The pack has a comprehensive
section about DU weapons, petitions,
campaigning postcards, and advice on how
to take effective action against DU.
To put in an order contact
the CADU office. Affiliates to CADU will be able to order the pack
at the specially discounted rates of
£2.50 (+50p P+P)
Scientists Report into DU Cancer Dangers
An expert report by three leading
radiation scientists cautioned that children and
adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU. But
it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO),
which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation
advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed. Baverstock also
believes that if the study had been published when it was completed in
2001, there would have been more pressure on the US and UK to limit their
use of DU weapons in last years war, and to clean up afterwards.
Our study suggests that the widespread use of depleted uranium weapons
in Iraq could pose a unique health hazard to the civilian population,
Baverstock told the Scottish Sunday Herald. There is increasing
scientific evidence the radioactivity and the chemical toxicity of DU
could cause more damage to human cells than is assumed.
Baverstock was the WHOs
top expert on radiation and health for 11 years
until he retired in May last year. While he was a member of staff, WHO
refused to give him permission to publish the study, which was co-authored
by Professor Carmel Mothersill from McMaster University in Canada and
Dr Mike Thorne, a radiation consultant . Baverstock suspects that WHO
was leaned on by a more powerful pro-nuclear UN body, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). I believe our study was censored and
suppressed by the WHO because they didnt like its conclusions. Previous
experience suggests that WHO officials were bowing to pressure from the
IAEA, whose remit is to promote nuclear power, he said.
War Vets Babies 50% more likely to have Birth Defects
A major Ministry of Defence-funded
survey study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has
found that babies whose fathers served in the first Gulf war are 50 per
cent more likely to have physical abnormalities. They also found a 40
per cent increased risk of miscarriage among women whose partners served
in the Gulf.
Increased risks of genital,
urinary and renal abnormalities and deformed limbs, bones and muscles
were found in the Ministry of Defence-funded survey. Of 13,191 pregnancies
among the partners of male Gulf veterans, 686, or 5.2 per cent, had some
form of physical abnormality, compared with 342, or 3.5 per cent, of the
9,758 non-Gulf pregnancies.
The survey didnt find
increased risks of other types of birth defects nor stillbirths among
veteran pregnancies. Female veterans were also found to be at no greater
risk of miscarriage.
The MoD have been hawking this
study as the definitive study into pregnancy outcomes among veterans for
some time so it was difficult for them to downplay it. Although they still
tried: An MoD spokesman said: It is important to note the researchers
have cautioned that the findings may be susceptible to recall bias, and
that it is a comparison with a control group in which miscarriage may
have been under-reported. Extensive recall bias in remembering your
own childrens birth deformities seems a little far-fetched!
Similar evidence was found
in US research from a Veterans Administration study, published within
the last year, that shows children of Gulf War vets have twice the normal
rate of birth defects. A US study released this month shows women who
served in the first Gulf War suffered three times the normal rate of miscarriages
in the period just after the conflict.
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:
(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.
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: www.uk/issues/depleted_uranium/index.htm
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 arent all troops given inexpensive urine
tests considering many wont know the risks? The British military
is definitely increasingly being caught on the back foot about its use
of DU weapons.
Anger at DU Contamination
DU is still contaminating the
military firing range near Kirkcudbright in the south of Scotland, according
to an unpublished MoD survey, reports the Sunday Herald (11 April 2004).
Since 1982 over 90 shells have been misfired or have malfunctioned and
scattered fragments of DU across the ground. Despite searches, some of
the fragments have never been recovered.
Higher levels of contamination
have sometimes been found at points where
malfunctioning DU rounds or fragments landed on the range, but this has
been removed when MoD clean-up levels were exceeded, the report
states. Other areas were less contaminated, but fenced off as a
matter of good practice. But, the report adds: Some projectiles
and fragments have not been recovered... There are also a small number
of areas where it would be advantageous to carry out further intrusive
investigations to investigate some apparently anomalous monitoring results.
Local concern about the risks
was highlighted when peace activists took to the streets to hand out cards
that are deliberately designed to mimic those handed to troops in Iraq.
The focus of our action on April 16 is to highlight the hypocrisy
of the MoD issuing warning cards to our troops, but not to the civilians
they supposedly protect.
Heat Rises in the US as Soldiers Test Positive for DU
Four soldiers in the US have
tested positive for DU, leading to hundreds of troops referring themselves
for tests and political questions being asked about troop safety and testing.
After the recent news that
British troops had tested positive for DU (see CADU News 16) a newspaper
in the US paid to have 9 soldiers who had been staying in a contaminated
area tested for DU and were experiencing unexplained ill-health. Four
of the nine, three of whom were Puerto Rican, tested positive in tests
carried out by Dr. Asaf Durakovic, of the Uranium Medical Research Center.
The army said that only three soldiers of a 1000 tested had returned positive
results, causing doubts about the accuracy of their tests. The soldiers
had repeatedly tried and failed to get DU tests through the army.
The soldiers were from the
New York National Guard and had been staying in Samawah, the scene of
previous heavy fighting. Thered been a lot of fighting in
Samawah before we got there, said Staff Sgt. Ray Ramos, one of the
soldiers who tested positive. The place was dusty as hell, and the
sandstorms were hitting us pretty good. He said, I got sick
instantly in June. My health kept going downhill with daily headaches,
constant numbness in my hands and rashes on my stomach.
Since then up to 800 G.I.s
have handed in their 24-hour urine samples, and hundreds more are waiting
for appointments. But several independent uranium experts who reviewed
one of the first official lab results that military doctors provided to
a soldier last week are questioning whether the Armys testing methods
are adequate. They are using an instrument that apparently isnt
very accurate, said Glen Lawrence, a professor of biochemistry at
Long Island University. The instruments they used are just not sophisticated
enough to give accurate readings, agreed Leonard Dietz, who invented
one of the instruments for measuring uranium isotopes.
Sen.Hillary Clinton took up
the issue with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard
Myers at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Myers vowed
to upgrade uranium tests for G.I.s and to shake up the system to improve
the screening and tracking of troops who may have been exposed to uranium
dust in the Iraq war.Weve got to do a first-class job for
our troops, said Gen. Richard Myers.
However in a Pentagon memo
from Army Assistant Surgeon General Richard Ursone he was found to state
performance of routine screening laboratory, radiologic and electrocardiographic
tests in this setting is extremely low yield and is discouraged.
Even if giving those tests is supported by evidence-based medicine,
they may be deferred if the soldier is without symptoms and the laboratory
tests will delay release from active duty.
Troops Moved Belatedly from Same
When Dutch troops arrived in
the same army base in Samawah that the DU contaminated US soldiers had
been staying in, they measured unacceptably high levels of radioactivity.
Sgt. Juan Vega, senior medic with the US 442nd, told the New York-based
Daily News the Dutch swept the area around the train depot with
Geiger counters and their medics confided to [me] they had found high
radiation levels. The Dutch were ordered instead to pitch camp in
the desert. Yet troop transfer from the area was delayed by three weeks,
while the new camp was under construction leading to unnecessary exposure
to DU for Dutch troops.
at Risk of DU Contaminated Scrap Metal
recovering parts from destroyed Iraqi Tanks
reports from respected sources have arrived saying that tanks and armoured
vehicles hit by DU ammunition are being smelted down in Iraq. The contaminated
metal is being recycled in a huge smelting facility near Basra, in southern
Iraq, under the auspices of the British Army and being turned into prefabricated
bridges, litter bins and even pots and pans according to the Independent
Newspaper correspondent Robert Fisk. Children have also been reported
collecting parts from the tanks to raise extra money for their families.
This practice obviously puts Iraqis at risk both while collecting the
metal and using any objects it is turned into.
Professor Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor at the University of Sunderland
and a Government Advisor on Gulf War illnesses says: Taiwan springs
to mind, where radioactive material was used in building structures and
deaths and illnesses were so great, they had to be demolished. I would
be very unhappy about using these materials, it would be a disaster for
workers, a disaster for those living in the vicinity and it would be a
real toxic brew also containing mercury, cadmium and numerous other lethal
If the UK and US militaries had cleaned up all risk areas and removed
all destroyed vehicles this could have been avoided. The British Government
claimed that it was putting up safety signs to keep locals away although
observers in Iraq say this has often not been the case. Jo Wilding, who
is currently in Iraq running a circus for Iraqi street children said,
There is a huge tank cemetery near Daura where all the burnt-out
military hardware has been dumped, and there are children working there,
cutting pieces off the tanks for a small amount of money, and there are
no warnings at all. I asked one of the boys if hed been told anything
at all about the dangers, and he said some British journalists told him
it might be dangerous, but he had no other source.
In response to a Parliamentary question Adam Ingram, Minister of State
for the Armed Forces, replied: There is no known legitimate operational
smelting plant in the Basra region. A small number of illegal mobile smelting
plants used for smuggled copper and aluminium have been found and closed
down. There is no evidence they had been used to smelt tanks. Military
vehicles known to have been hit by DU munitions within the southern sector
of Iraq controlled by the British military have been clearly marked. Arrangements
are currently being negotiated with the US for a contractor to collect
and store these military vehicles.
Miltary Searching for Replacement to DU
It would appear
the US Department of Defense is not as confident about its use of DU in
weapons as it likes to imply. According to a company, Liquidmetal Technologies,
it is working hard with them to develop a replacement for DU. The companys
Awarded a series of multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts
by the Department of Defense, Liquidmetal alloys technology is currently
being developed for use as a Kinetic Energy Penetrator (KEP) rod. The
KEP, the key component of the highly effective armor piercing ammunition
system, currently utilizes Depleted Uranium (DU) because of its density
and self-sharpening behavior. Ballistic tests conducted by the Army have
proven that the Liquidmetal® tungsten composite KEP exhibits self-sharpening
similar to the DU KEP. As a result, the Department of Defense is working
closely with Liquidmetal Technologies to develop a new class of effective
and environmentally benign KEP rods. (Emphasis added)
The US military has always been particularly belligerent about its use
of DU weapons but it seems activist pressure is getting to them too!
War Syndrome Legal Case Collapses
An eight-year, multimillion
pound legal battle by more than 2,000 veterans for compensation for Gulf
War Syndrome has collapsed after legal aid was withdrawn. This does not
mean that the veterans were not sick but rather that a specific cause
would have to be proved. To succeed in their claim against the MoD the
veterans would have to produce scientific evidence not only that their
illness was caused by their service in the 1991 Gulf war, but also that
the MoD had been negligent. In a reversal of pension awards the burden
of proof would be on them as claimants to prove their case.
In the face of the collapse there has been a growing call from top QCs
and politicians for an independent inquiry into the illnesses suffered
by veterans. Lord Morris of Manchester said he would deliver a letter
to the prime minister calling for an inquiry and ex gratia payments to
veterans. The collapse of the legal battle means that the government
can no longer pass the buck to the courts, said Mr Paul Tyler, MP.
The fact that the legal case has petered out in no way implies that
the illnesses have petered out - far from it.
Techsytems Gets New DU Order
Nukewatch, in the States, reports
that Alliant Techsystems, outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, the nations
biggest assembler of uranium munitions, announced this week that it was
awarded new contracts for 120-millimetre battle tank ammunition for the
M1A1 main battle tanks. The contract is worth $38 million. As Alliant
has removed all references to uranium or depleted uranium in its public
notices, web pages and press releases, it can only be inferred at this
point that the newest contracts are for uranium weapons. The tanks have
always used DU ammunition in the past. [see: www.nukewatch.com]
Analysis Shows Exposure To Depleted Uranium In Gulf War Veterans
U.S. Veterans who were exposed to DU during the 1991 Gulf War have continued
to excrete it in their urine for 6-8 years after their exposure, according
to a new study published in the journal Health Physics. The study indicates
that soldiers may absorb DU uranium particles through inhalation, ingestion,
or wound contamination, said Roberto Gwiazda, lead author of the study.
Using isotope analysis of urine, similar to new tests available in the
UK, it was revealing that DU was present in the urine of a significant
number of soldiers without embedded shrapnel but with potential exposure
through inhalation, ingestion, or wound contamination.
Activists in Sardinia, Italy, have called for an immediate halt to all
DU testing at the Salto di Quirra test range and the U.S. military base
of La Maddalena following what they describe as a series of anomalies.
They claim there are higher than average rates of cancer and birth deformities
in the area and that the military activity is causing irreversible
damage to the image of our island and a risk to the already fragile economy.
Protests have also followed the death of Sardinian Corporal Major Valery
Melis of Hodgkins lymphoma. Melis served as a Peacekeeper in Bosnia
and Macedonia. The army consistently denied him care and medical costs
up to his death. More than 20 men are thought to have died from illnesses
linked to their service in the Balkans, where DU was used in the 1990s.
Hostage was Anti-DU Campaigner
One of the 3 Japanese hostages,
kidnapped in Iraq in dramatic fashion in April, was there because of his
anger at the US/UK use of DU weapons. Noriaki Imai, 18, had gone to investigate
their effects in Iraq. Japanese DU activists worked tirelessly for his
release launching an international campaign to explain the hostages good
intentions and antiwar stance.
Protests in Warwickshire
The protesters staged a demonstration
outside DM Kineton arms depot protesting against the storage of weapons
containing DU - which could lead to widespread radioactive contamination
if there was a serious accident or terrorist attack.
Long Itchington resident Richard Williams was part of the 15-strong group,
who called themselves the Warwickshire Weapons Inspectors. He said: We
succeeded in getting our message across, but we didnt have any joy
in our attempts to get into the base itself.
We want people to be aware of what is really going on here. These
weapons could cause a major contamination of this densely-populated region
if there was an accident. This could lead to mass evacuation, and the
sealing-off of a large area of the Midlands for decades, even centuries
- as has happened in Chernobyl.
to probe DU pollution
SNP Shadow Minister for Europe
Neil MacCormick MEP raised concerns in the European Parliament last month
and the commission have now agreed to look into possible pollution stemming
from the firing from Dundrennan range.
The MEP had claimed in the European Parliament that depleted uranium shells
littering the seabed in the Solway Firth breach international law. He
said that dumping low-level radioactive waste in the sea was illegal,
even if there was no conclusive evidence that it is harmful.
Reports on DU
Investigations of environmental
impacts from the deployment of depleted uranium munitions
by Dr. Hari Sharma - Examination of environmental DU contamination in
air and soil through analysis of residents tissue of Basra, Iraq.
Available from the Military Toxics Project at:
Audio reports from the recent MIT seminar Depleted Uranium Weapons:
Toxic Contaminant or Necessary Technology? can be downloaded at:
Fire' Newsletter 1 ICBUW
The first edition of the newletter
of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons is now available
online prior to the next meeting of the coalition in Brussels in May.
Full of original material Friendly Fire can be found at: www.bandepleteduranium.org
to Dump Low Level Radioactive Waste in Landfills
is examining plans to relax safety limits to allow low-level radioactive
waste from civil and military nuclear plants to be dumped in landfill
sites around the country.Contaminated metal and other materials from reactors
and related facilities could also be recycled into household products,
such as food containers and furniture. Radioactive rubble could be used
to build roads, or used in other major construction projects.
Materials contaminated by twice todays legal limit of plutonium
and up to 250 times todays legal limit of radioactive tritium could
be disposed of along with ordinary rubbish, or reused in consumer goods.
ACTION: Please contact Defra and the Government to tell them this is
unacceptable, - before its too late.
Victims of War
Child Victims of War is raising
money to have the urine of Iraqi children tested for DU. To find out more
contact them at:
17 Anstey Street, Easton,
Bristol, BS5 6DG, UK
or on Tel: 44 (0)20 8567 4237/ (0)117 902 6534.
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