Scientists detect high levels of uranium contamination that increases cancers, birth defects in Iraq http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130521/Scientists-detect-high-levels-of-uranium-contamination-that-increases-cancers-birth-defects-in-Iraq.aspx May 21, 2013 Ten years after the Iraq war of 2003 a team of scientists based in Mosul, northern Iraq, have detected high levels of uranium contamination in soil samples at three sites in the province of Nineveh which, coupled with dramatically increasing rates of childhood cancers and birth defects at local hospitals, highlight the ongoing legacy of modern warfare to civilians in conflict zones. The radioactive element uranium is widely dispersed throughout the earth’s crust and is much sought after as a fuel for nuclear power plants and for use in weapons. Depleted uranium (DU), commonly used in modern munitions such as defensive armour plating and armour-piercing projectiles, is 40 per cent less radioactive than natural uranium, but remains a significant and controversial danger to human health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets a maximum uranium exposure of 1 millisievert (mSv) per year for the general public, but environmental scientists at the University of Mosul and the Institute of Forest Ecology, Universitaet für Bodenkultur (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, led by Riyad Abdullah Fathi have measured significant levels of uranium in soil samples from three sites in the province of Nineveh in the north of Iraq. Writing in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Fathi and colleagues link their findings with dramatic increases in cancers reported to the Mosul Cancer Registry and the Iraqi national cancer registry (which began collecting data in 1975).
They conclude that:
“The Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003 left a legacy of pollution with DU in many regions of Iraq. The effects of these munitions may be affecting the general health of Iraqi citizens, manifesting in an increase in cancers and birth defects.”
They also warn that, even though some of the contamination measured in this study is specifically linked to known sites, it can be easily spread widely in the air, soil and water, particularly as dust in windstorms.
Their report “Environmental pollution by depleted uranium in Iraq with special reference to Mosul and possible effects on cancer and birth defect rates” begins with a literature review that collates health-related data from a range of sources, including a report by the WHO (in 2003), which states that childhood cancers – particularly leukaemia - are ten times higher in Iraq than in other industrialised countries. Read more »
“Although this is a big step forward, the campaign must continue until there is a clear guarantee that there will be no more test firing of DU shells in Scotland at any point in the future.”
This is a major victory for our campaign and one that reflects the increasing global opposition to depleted uranium.
CADU campaigners plan to hold a public meeting in Dumfries at the end of May to discuss further plans with local residents. More details will be released on their website
Ministry of Defence back down over test firing of depleted uranium munitions in Scotland, Occupy News Network, 1 May 13
- Parliamentarians and campaigners claim this as a ‘major victory’
Last week Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, told Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, that the MoD will not fire depleted uranium (DU) as part of the current Life Extension Programme. This is the first time the MoD have bowed to public and political pressure and not fired depleted uranium as part of the life extension programme (LEP) of CHARM3. Read more »
while our many soldiers’ DU-related health problems is terrible enough on its own, we’ve also left Iraq covered in radioactive munitions fragments that, by the very virtue of having exploded, are essentially impossible to clean up. That is a huge, if overlooked, legacy of the United States’ wars in Iraq: Not only does Iraq have to deal with the physical toll of a decade-plus of war, it’s also been left with a huge, and ongoing, health crisis.
Video (skip the ad) America’s Terrible History of Depleted Uranium http://motherboard.vice.com/read/americas-terrible-history-of-depleted-uranium By Derek Mead 24 April 13, The United States has left its mark on Iraq in myriad ways in its two wars in the Persian Gulf, but one of the least-discussed is the effects of the US military’s use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. DU is a munitions designer’s dream: projectiles using DU alloys are armor-piercing and incendiary, which means it’s ideal for obliterating and burning tanks and other armored vehicles. But its use has left the Gulf’s battlefields blanketed with radioactive material.
DU is byproduct of the production of the enriched uranium used in nuclear reactors, and as such has relatively low levels of radiation. But Gulf War soldiers were regularly exposed to it, not least when DU used in munitions converted into an aerosol form after explosions. That means that Gulf War soldiers may have been exposed without realizing it, and has long been blamed for contributing to Gulf War Syndrome, Read more »
‘Falluja Babies’ and Depleted Uranium — America’s Toxic Legacy in Iraq http://www.alternet.org/world/falluja-babies-and-depleted-uranium-americas-toxic-legacy-iraq Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tons of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes. March 18, 2013 |
Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.
There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.
Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing. Read more »
in Iraq, and Afghanistan, too, the idea of sicknesses related to depleted uranium does not seem in much doubt, from what we can tell. In Iraq, as we have reported many times, doctors are even advising women in certain areas not to have children because the chances of birth defects are so great
Depleted Uranium Receives More Attention , The Daily Bell
December 21, 2012
Mystery in Iraq – Are US Munitions to Blame for Basra Birth Defects? … The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently assembling a report on DU ammunition. It will reflect the current state of research on the issue, but it will hardly provide any new insights. With the help of the University of Greifswald, a cancer registry has been developed for the Basra region and will serve as the basis for all future study. Still, even as further research is needed, if only for the children’s sake, it will come too late for many. The guns have been silent in Iraq for years, but in Basra and Fallujah the number of birth defects and cancer cases is on the rise. Locals believe that American uranium-tipped munitions are to blame and some researchers think they might be right. – Der Spiegel
Dominant Social Theme: US munitions are harmless except to the bad guys.
Free-Market Analysis: The WHO (see above) is finally getting around to seeing if depleted uranium weapons used by NATO and the US are responsible for the many birth defects in Iraq. From what we can tell, the outcome will be a preordained “no.”
US officials, military or otherwise, have already ruled out the idea that depleted uranium dust could possibly be responsible for these birth defects or for US ailments that are much in dispute – having to do with immune deficiencies, etc. Read more »
”A 2002 study at the University of Bremen in northern Germany found that chromosomal changes had occurred in Gulf war veterans who had come into contact with uranium ammunition.”
the very weapons that soldiers depend upon to bring them victory are sowing death for themselves and others long after the fighting is finished.
Depleted Uranium Receives More Attention , The Daily Bell
December 21, 2012“…….Jawad al-Ali has worked as a cancer specialist at the Sadr Teaching Hospital (formerly the Saddam Hospital), housed in a sinister-looking building in Basra, since 1991. He remembers the period after the first Gulf war over Kuwait. “It isn’t just that the number of cancer cases suddenly increased. We also had double and triple cancers, that is, patients with tumors on both kidneys and in the stomach. And there were also familial clusters, that is, entire families that were affected.” He is convinced that this relates to the use of uranium ammunition. “There is a connection between cancer and radiation. Sometimes it takes 10 or 20 years before the consequences manifest themselves.”
Uranium ammunition comes with cores of “depleted,” (weakly radioactive) uranium, which has a high density, allowing it to pierce the armor of enemy combat vehicles, especially tanks.
People inhale the fine dust from exploded munitions, especially near tanks. Read more »
FallujahIraq: Crimes against Humanity. The Babies Will Haunt Us By Kelley B. Vlahos Global Research, December 18, 2012 antiwar.com It was like walking through a nightmare: drifting in an out of hospital rooms, down the long hallways, her contact with shock-ravaged Iraqi parents interrupted only by glimpses of their physically deformed and terminally sick babies who in many cases, would never see the outside of Fallujah’s main hospital, ever.
Then, the more than vague sense that she must apologize. The words thick like molasses were hard to form. “I felt inadequate,” said Donna Mulhearn. “What was so hard was, what do you say to these people other than saying sorry, which I said over and over again. You just wanted to offer more.”
Donna Mulhearn is a name we need to remember, as she is one of a small but dedicated group of citizen activists who, after most of us have said the long goodbye to Iraq in the rear-view mirror, are taking on the environmental and humanitarian legacy of the Iraq War as a personal cause. Right now, she is doing what the western mainstream has so far failed to do, which is report on the horrifying number of miscarriages, deaths, birth defects and congenital illnesses among babies in urban Fallujah, the site of some of the most intense U.S bombing (2004) during the war. Read more »
Of course, this isn’t an act of stupidity, but rather cunning. How else to test the response of a healthy population to scattered toxic debris? The people of Iraq aren’t good subjects cause they get hit directly, and soldiers are always in the proximity of DU. But to test the effects of a limited attack by an enemy, say, the U.S. Air Force, what better subjects than the people of Hawaii, which is far enough away from the “mainland” to avoid contaminating the integrity of the test?
We Had to Bomb the Nuclear Waste Dump in order to Save It Dissident Voice, by The Phantom / December 15th, 2012 “….. It seems the All-knowing U.S. Military has been using depleted uranium weapons to take out…depleted uranium…
According to the Malu’aina, the “Center for Non-violent Education and Action” in Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i (http://malu-aina.org/), the U.S. has been expoding DU rounds and other ordnance near populated areas in Hawaii.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be issuing a license for the mongoose to guard the hen house in Hawaii. The Army will be issued an NRC license to possess Depleted uranium (DU) in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks and the Pohakuloa Training Area
(PTA),” wrote Jim Albertini on malu-aina.org. Read more »
The Toxic Legacy of Depleted Uranium Weapons 11-26-2012, EcoWatch, By Paul E McGinniss “……… how many of us know about the current manufacturing and active use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons? DU (Uranium 238) is a radioactive waste by-product of the uranium enrichment process. It results from making fuel for nuclear reactors and the manufacturing of nuclear weapons.
In a frightening adaptation of the “Cradle to Cradle” philosophy in manufacturing, which seeks to use waste in the manufacturing process to create other “useful” products, militaries around the world have come up with the “brilliant” idea of taking DU and making “conventional” weapons with it.
According to BanDepletedUranium.org, approximately 20 countries are thought to have DU weapons in their arsenals. Nations known to have produced these weapons include UK, U.S., France, Russia, China and Pakistan.
DU is well liked by armed forces Read more »
Published by arclight2011- date 15 Sep 2012 -nuclear-news.net
Accusations: Despite the mockery of the film Borat, leaked U.S. cables suggest the country was undemocratic and used torture in detention
Other dignitaries at the meeting included former Italian Prime Minister and ex-EU Commission President
Romano Prodi. Mr Mittal’s employees in Kazakhstan have accused him of ‘slave labour’ conditions after a series of coal mining accidents between 2004 and 2007 which led to 91 deaths.
Last week a senior adviser to the Kazakh president said that Mr Blair had opened an office in the capital.Presidential adviser Yermukhamet Yertysbayev said: ‘A large working group is here and, to my knowledge, it has already opened Tony Blair’s permanent office in Astana.’
It was reported last week that Mr Blair had secured an £8 million deal to clean up the image of Kazakhstan.
Mr Blair also visited Kazakhstan in 2008, and in 2003 Lord Levy went there to help UK firms win contracts.
Max Keiser talks to investigative journalist and author, Leah McGrath Goodman about her being banned from the UK for reporting on the Jersey sex and murder scandal. They discuss the $5 billion per square mile in laundered money that means Jersey rises, while Switzerland sinks.
And as well as protecting the guilty child sex/torturers/murderers of the island of Jersey I believe that they are also protecting the tax dodgers from any association.. its just good PR!
FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair was reportedly involved in helping to keep alive the world’s biggest takeover by Jersey-incorporated commodities trader Glencore of mining company Xstrata.
Mr Blair was said to have attended a meeting at Claridge’s Hotel in London towards the end of last week which led to the Qatari Sovereign wealth fund supporting a final revised bid from Glencore for its shareholding. Read more »
Kiwi soldiers tested for uranium poisoning, TVNZ June 25, 2012 Soldiers returning from Afghanistan are having urine tests to check if they have absorbed radioactivity from American depleted uranium munitions…. The issue will come before Parliament on Wednesday during the first reading of the Depleted Uranium (Prohibition) Bill, backed by Labour MP Phil Twyford. Read more »
The US and UK militaries have sent mixed signals about the effects of depleted uranium, but Iraqi doctors like Alwachi and Alani, and along with researchers, blame the increasing cancer and birth defect rates on the weapon.
Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of Uranium in Iraq, has been researching the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqis since 1991. He told Al Jazeera he personally measured radiation levels in the city of Kerbala, as well as in Basra, and his Geiger counter was “screaming” because “the indicator went beyond the range”.
Fallujah babies: Under a new kind of siege, Doctors and residents blame US weapons for catastrophic levels of birth defects in Fallujah’s newborns, Al Jazeera, Dahr Jamail 06 Jan 2012 Fallujah, Iraq - While the US military has formally withdrawn from Iraq, doctors and residents of Fallujah are blaming weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorous used during two devastating US attacks on Fallujah in 2004 for what are being described as “catastrophic” levels of birth defects and abnormalities.
Dr Samira Alani, a paediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005. ”We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Al Jazeera at her office in the hospital, while showing countless photos of shocking birth defects.
As of December 21, Alani, who has worked at the hospital since 1997, told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009. Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699. Read more »
North Korea closer to nuclear-tipped missile: US expert Business Recorder DECEMBER 29, 2011 North Korea likely is closer to mounting nuclear warheads on its ballistic missiles than generally reported, possibly only one or two years away, the US Congress’s former top expert on the issue has concluded.
Larry Niksch, who tracked North Korea for the non-partisan US Congressional Research Service for 43 years, concludes in a new paper that the North probably would need as little as one to two years to miniaturise and mount a nuclear warhead atop its medium-range Nodong
missile once it has produced enough highly enriched uranium as the warhead’s core fuel.
A North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped missiles would rattle East Asia and present new policy and military challenges to the United States and its allies….. Its nuclear and missile capabilities are once again in the spotlight as power passes to North Korea’s designated young leader, Kim Jong-un, after the December 17 death of his father, Kim Jong-il.
Pyongyang already may have produced enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a warhead or be close to doing so, Niksch and experts such as Siegfried Hecker, the former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said in interviews with Reuters….. http://www.brecorder.com/general-news/single/599/172/1265893/
Gulf War Syndrome and the Army’s Depleted Uranium Training Videos, Motherboard by DerekMead , Nov 12, 2011 Depleted uranium, a bi-product of enriched uranium that was used in American munitions, was the focus of military preparations before the war. We dug up some old Army videos for “Depleted Uranium General Awareness Training” that shows just how under-prepared soldiers may have been to the hazards of this potentially pretty nasty stuff. Read more »
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