Several weeks ago it was mentioned in the Australian media that replacement Australian troops about to be deployed to Iraq were being warned to stay well away from old destroyed Iraqi tanks and other military weaponry because of the danger of DU dust contaminating the wrecks. No such warnings however to the Iraqi kids who find those old tanks make excellent cubby houses.
Last week there was a startling photo in the local newspaper showing a gigantic dust storm front rolling across central Iraq. What the accompanying article didn’t say however, was that the dust storm was effectively picking up American DU dust and spreading the particles far and wide across the country.
Now evidence is pointing out that those DU particles present a completely new and potent hazard to all people in Iraq, not to mention nearly countries- Nano Particles. Or should we now call it Nano Wars?
Radioactive Uranium Nano-
Particles Pinpointed As Major Issue in Gulf War Syndrome
By Christopher Bollyn – American Free Press
Coastal Post – Bolinas,CA,USA – April 2005
MARIN COUNTY’S NEWS MONTHLY – FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 – (415)868-0502(fax) – P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
Depleted uranium weapons and the untold misery they wreak on mankind
are taboo subjects in the mainstream media. There are indications,
however, that the media embargo is about to be breached.
Despite being a grossly under-reported subject in the mainstream
media, there is intense public interest in depleted uranium (DU) and
the damage it inflicts on humankind and the environment.
While American Free Press is actively investigating DU weapons and
how they contribute to Gulf War Syndrome, the corporate-controlled
press virtually ignores the illegal use of DU and its long-lasting
effects on the health of veterans and the public.
In August 2004 American Free Press published a ground-breaking four-
part series on DU weapons and the long-term health risks they pose to
soldiers and civilians alike. Information provided to AFP by experts
and scientists, some of it published for the first time in this
paper, has increased public awareness of how exposure to small
particles of DU can severely affect human health.
Leuren Moret, a Berkeley-based geo-scientist with expertise in
atmospheric dust, corresponds with AFP on DU issues. Recently Moret
provided a copy of her correspondence to a British radiation
biologist, Dr. Chris Busby, about how nanometer size particles of DU-
less than one-tenth of a micron and smaller-once inhaled or absorbed
into the body, can cause long-term damage to one’s health.
Busby is one of the founders of Green Audit, a British organization
that monitors companies “whose activities might threaten the
environment and health of citizens.”
Moret’s letter was meant to assist Busby in a legal case being heard
in the High Court in London where a former defense worker, Richard
David, 49, is suing Normal Air Garrett, Ltd., an aircraft parts
company now owned by Honeywell Aerospace, claiming exposure to
depleted uranium on the job has made his life a “living hell.”
David worked as a component fitter on fighter planes and bombers but
had to quit due to health problems. He says he developed a cough
within weeks of starting work.
Today, David suffers from a variety of symptoms like those known as
Gulf War Syndrome, including respiratory and kidney problems, bowel
conditions and painful joints. Medical tests reveal mutations to his
DNA and damage to his chromosomes, which, he says, could only have
been caused by ionizing radiation. He has also been diagnosed with a
terminal lung condition.
Honeywell denies depleted uranium was ever used at the plant in
Yeovil, Somerset, where David worked for 10 years until 1995. David
claims that DU’s existence at the plant was denied because it is an
David has asked the High Court for more time to gather evidence. The
hearing is due to resume in April. “I don’t have any legal
representation,” David said, “so I am representing myself. It is a
real David versus Goliath case. “I am confident I will win. I hope to set a precedent for other cases
of people who have suffered from the effects of depleted uranium.”
Moret’s letter on the particle effect of DU is based on research done
by Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist and former scientist with
the Manhattan Project and the National Laboratory at Livermore,
California. Fulk, who has developed a “particle theory” about how DU
nano-particles affect human DNA, donates his time and expertise to
help bring information about DU to the public.
Asked about Fulk’s particle theory, Busby said it is “quite
sound.” “DU is much more dangerous than they say,” Busby added.
“I’ve always said that it contributes significantly to Gulf War Syndrome.”
When Moret’s correspondence to Dr. Busby was posted on the Internet
over the New Year’s holiday under the title “How Depleted Uranium
Weapons Are Killing Our Troops,” some 6,000 people read the letter in
the first two days. The following Monday, a producer from the BBC’s
Panorama program contacted Moret to arrange an interview.
If the BBC follows up with an investigation on the health effects of
DU, it may be hard for the US media to remain silent. More than
500,000 ;Gulf War Era” vets currently receive disability
compensation, many of them for a variety of symptoms generally
referred to as Gulf War Syndrome. Experts blame DU for many of these
symptoms. “The numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get
worse,” Robert C. Koehler of the Chicago-based Tribune Media Services
wrote in an article about DU weapons entitled “Silent Genocide”.
“DU dust does more than wreak havoc on the immune systems of those
who breathe it or touch it; the substance also alters one’s genetic
code,” Koehler wrote. “The Pentagon’s response to such charges is
denial, denial, denial. And the American media is its moral co-
The US government has known for at least twenty years that DU weapons
produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized
DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A
1984 Dept. of Energy conference on Nuclear Airborne Waste reported
that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent
of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on
impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to
nearly 100 percent, Fulk told AFP.
Depleted uranium is harmful in three ways, according to
Fulk:”Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity, and particle
toxicity”. Particles in the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter)
range are a “new breed of cat”, Moret wrote. Because the size of the
nano-particles allows them to pass freely throughout the organism and
into the nucleus of its cells, exposure to nano-particles causes
different symptoms than exposure to larger particles of the same
substance. Internalized DU particles, Fulk said, act as “a non-specific
catalyst” in both “nuclear and non-nuclear” ways. This means that
the uranium particle can affect human DNA and RNA because of both its
chemical and radiological properties. This is why internalized DU
particles cause “many, many diseases”, Fulk said.
Asked if this is how DU causes severe birth defects, Fulk said, “Yes”.
The military is aware of DU’s harmful effects on the human genetic
code. A 2001 study of DU’s effect on DNA done by Dr. Alexandra C.
Miller for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in
Bethesda, Maryland, indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1
million times more genetic damage than would be expected from its
radiation effect alone, Moret wrote.
Dr. Miller requested that questions be sent in writing and copied to
a military spokesman, but did tell AFP that it should be noted that
her studies showing that DU is “neoplastically transforming and
genotoxic” are based on in vitro cellular research. Studies have shown
that inhaled nano-particles are far more toxic than micro-sized particles
of the same basic chemical composition.
British toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard has reported that the
increased toxicity of the nano-particle is due to its size.
For example, when mice were exposed to virus-size particles of Teflon
(0.13 microns) in a Univ. of Rochester study, there were no ill
effects. But when mice were exposed to nano-particles of Teflon for
15 minutes, nearly all the mice died within 4 hours.
“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by
inhalation, and ingestion” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high
mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles
of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the
particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.
“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the
olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain
barrier, where they migrate all through the brain”, she wrote. “Many
Gulf Era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed
with brain tumors, brain damage, and impaired thought processes.
Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for
the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across
synapses in the brain. Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all
energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome,
Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Hodgkin’s disease”.
Also see: http://www.llrc.org/du/duframes.htm