Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Depleted Uranium is safe, according to the U.S. DoD

Here's a pointer to several studies and claims around depleted uranium. The most interesting is a U.S. Defense Department study concluding there's little harm from using DU weapons. Of course, what else do you expect from the people who are most liable for damage caused by the weapons.

Depleted Uranium All That Deadly? (defensetech.org November 21, 2005)

Their claim is that DU weapons show little increase in cancer among military personell.

Okay, that may be true. However it's clear the issue doesn't stop with the military folk. Once the battle is over, what happens to the battleground? People will move back to their homes, but now their homesites are littered with the dust made when DU weapons hit their targets. Hence, the people are moving back to a place infested with radioactive dust.

Let's be clear - the radiation emitted by depleted uranium isn't very harmful. It is primarily alpha particles, which have little penetrating power, and therefore are not harmful unless you "eat" the depleted uranium. If DU dust enters the bloodstream the alpha particles can cause a lot of damage, but the damage occurs only if it enters the body.

And that's the point. When a DU weapon hits a target, it tends to turn into dust. The military might "clean up" the battlefield after the battle is over, but how can they clean up the dust? Hence there will be a residue left afterwards, and that residue will mix with the environment, and enter peoples bodies as, for example, they eat food grown on the ground of the former battlefield.

Clearly DU weapons are excellent at what they're designed to do - namely to penetrate armor and other kinds of fortified positions. That's why the military uses them.

Here's some alternate viewpoints:

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium: http://www.cadu.org.uk/

Poisinous Legacy: http://www.bushflash.com/pl_lo.html

Uranium Medical Research Center http://www.umrc.net/

Depleted Uranium: How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers & Civilians with DU Weapons http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/mettoc.htm


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