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bio-medical sciences 136

bio-medical sciences 136
harrison gunnarshaug
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Bms136 harrison gunnarshaug Bms136 harrison gunnarshaug Presentation Transcript

  • Depleted Uraniumby Harrison GunnarshaugBio-Medical Sciences 136
  • "DU is used in armour penetrating military ordinance because of its high density, and also because DU can ignite on impact"
    “Following conflict, levels of DU contamination in food and drinking water might be detected in affected areas even after a few years. This should be monitored where it is considered there is a reasonable possibility of significant quantities of DU entering the ground water or food chain.”
    “Depleted uranium (DU) has been used in medical and industrial applications for decades but only since its use in military conflicts in the Gulf and the Balkans has public concern been raised about potential health consequences from exposure to it. Concerns have been particularly for peacekeeping forces, humanitarian workers and local populations living and working in areas contaminated by DU following conflict.”
    -TheUnited Nations’ World Health Organization
  • Despite the immense adverse reactions (such as birth defects and cancers), international illegality, and the radioactive half-life of billions of years, many countries and organizations in the world use deadly depleted uranium (DU) ammunitions (including the United States of America, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], and the United Kingdom).
  • “Intake from wound contamination or embedded fragments in skin tissues may allow DU to enter the systemic circulation.”
    “uranium released from embedded fragments may accumulate in the central nervous system (CNS) tissue, and some animal and human studies are suggestive of effects on CNS function”
    “Small children could receive greater exposure to DU when playing in or near DU impact sites. Their typical hand-to-mouth activity could lead to high DU ingestion from contaminated soil. Necessary preventative measures should be taken.”
    -TheUnited Nations’ World Health Organization
  • Children in Iraq with birth defects directly related to foreign chemical weapons, including depleted uranium.
    “A high number of children are being born with birth defects in an Iraqi city where U.S. forces may have used chemical weapons during a fierce battle in 2004. Children in Fallujah are being born with limb, head, heart and nervous system defects.” “The number of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than the rate in Europe.” “Under international law it is illegal if used as an offensive weapon”
    – Daily Mail
    “More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991. The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.”“Because DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the Middle East will, for all purposes, be radioactive forever.”
    -LeurenMoret, a U.S. nuclear scientist who worked at the Lawrence Liverpool National Laboratory, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy
  • “The fraction of uranium absorbed into the blood is generally greater following inhalation than following ingestion of the same chemical form. The fraction will also depend on the particle size distribution. For some soluble forms, more than 20% of the inhaled material could be absorbed into blood.”
    “There is no known specific treatment of uranium exposure.”
    “Kidney dysfunction is the main chemically-induced effect of uranium in humans. Damage to renal tubules may lead to tubulopathy.”
    -TheUnited Nations’ World Health Organization
  • “According to Vietnam's Red Cross, 150,000 children have problems resulting from Agent Orange.”
    -BBC News
    A girl born with six fingers on one of her hands in Fallujah, Iraq
    Not unlike the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam and the atomic bombs on Japan, depleted uranium isn’t just deadly to those it is fired at: it is also deadly to anyone who enters a location where DU has been fired before and also to the offspring of those directly affected. With a half-life of billions of years, the damage today will be just as bad in a thousand, million, and billion years. Since these chemical weapons have been used in Iraq, the rate of birth defects has sky-rocketed.
  • “In the short term, the kidneys are the most susceptible organ if large amounts of material, either by inhalation or ingestion, are absorbed into the bloodstream.”
    “[Urinary excretion of uranium] seem[s] to have no effect once the uranium is fixed in the skeleton or in the kidney.”
    “In case of acute DU exposure there is the possibility of renal tubular acidosis. If DU dust inhalation resulted in the incorporation of significant amounts of insoluble uranium compounds, long-term patient follow up should include checks for lung tumours.”
    -TheUnited Nations’ World Health Organization
  • “The Gulf War was the arena for the first battlefield use of armor-piercing munitions and reinforced tank armor incorporating depleted uranium. Depleted uranium played a key role in the overwhelming success of U.S. forces during the Gulf War. While DU showed the metal's clear superiority for both armor penetration and armor protection, its chemical and radiological properties gave rise to concerns about possible combat and non-combat health risks associated with DU use.”
    “the Office of the Special Assistant believes that DU can pose a chemical toxicity and radiological hazard”
    -TheUnited States Department of Defense
  • "Levels of DU may exceed background levels of uranium close to DU contaminating events. Over the days and years following such an event, the contamination normally becomes dispersed into the wider natural environment by wind and rain. People living or working in affected areas may inhale contaminated dusts or consume contaminated food and drinking water.”
    "Under most circumstances, use of DU will make a negligible contribution to the overall natural background levels of uranium in the environment. Probably the greatest potential for DU exposure will follow conflict where DU munitions are used.”
    “Uranium isotopes emit mainly α, but also some β radiation, and a very small amount of γ radiation.”
    -TheUnited Nations’ World Health Organization
  • “Depleted uranium is a low-cost radioactive material that, in addition to other applications, is used by the military in kinetic energy weapons against armored vehicles. During the Gulf and Balkan conflicts concern has been raised about the potential health hazards arising from the toxic and radioactive material released. The aerosol produced during impact and combustion of depleted uranium munitions can potentially contaminate wide areas around the impact sites or can be inhaled by civilians and military personnel.”
    -Institute of Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection
    “Within and adjacent to areas where DU has been used, groundwater used for drinking should be checked by appropriate authorities for possible DU contamination.”
    -The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • “There may be areas where there is significant DU debris or dusts, but these should have been cordoned off and sign-posted accordingly.”
    “Where justified and possible, clean-up operations in impact zones should be undertaken if there are substantial numbers of radioactive projectiles remaining and where qualified experts deem contamination levels to be unacceptable. If high concentrations of DU dust or metal fragments are present, then areas may need to be cordoned off until removal can be accomplished. Such impact sites are likely to contain a variety of hazardous materials, in particular unexploded ordnance. Due consideration needs to be given to all hazards, and the potential hazard from DU kept in perspective.”
    -TheUnited Nations’ World Health Organization
  • Above: A U.S. anti-tank and –personnel A-10 Thunderbolt II Aircraft, which fires DU rounds
    Below: the same type of aircraft as above being loaded
    A U.S. soldier holding a DU sabot round next to an Abrams A-1 tank
  • “Depleted uranium is being used increasingly often as a component of munitions in military conflicts. Military personnel, civilians and the DU munitions producers are being exposed to the DU aerosols that are generated. “ “In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.”
    -Rita Hindin (of the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Concentration, University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences), Doug Brugge (of the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine), and BinduPanikkar (of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering
    This chart illustrates the process in which depleted uranium is created.
  • “Soldiers returning from the Gulf will be offered tests to check levels of depleted uranium in their bodies to assess whether they are in danger of suffering kidney damage and lung cancer as a result of exposure, the Ministry of Defence said last night.” “Depleted uranium is standard in a number of anti-tank weapons. Amounts in bullets, shells and bombs vary from 300 grams to 7 tonnes in the bunker-busters of the type dropped on Baghdad. The bombs used on the restaurant in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Saddam Hussein are believed to have contained tonnes of depleted uranium which would have contaminated the surrounding area. Experts have calculated that from all sources between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes of depleted uranium were used by the coalition in the three-week conflict. Unep said immediate priorities should include restoring the water supply and sanitation systems, and cleaning pollution hot spots and waste sites to reduce the risk of epidemics from accumulated municipal and medical wastes. Prof [Brian] Spratt [FRS] added: "About 340 tonnes of DU were fired in the 1991 Gulf war. The coalition needs to make clear where and how much DU was used in the recent conflict.””
    - The Guardian
    Army National Guard Spec. Gerard Darren Matthew was sent home from Iraq after DU gave him uranium contamination. After his return, his wife became pregnant and had a child that was missing three fingers on her left hand and almost all of her right hand.