Explaining How Depleted Uranium Is Killing
Civilians, Soldiers, Land
Depleted uranium weapons, and the untold misery
they wreak on mankind, are taboo subjects in the mainstream media. This
exclusive report should break the media embargo imposed on the American people.
Despite being a grossly under-reported subject in
the mainstream, 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 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 letters to a British radiation biologist, Dr.
Chris Busby, about how nanometer size particles—less than one-tenth of a micron
and smaller—of DU 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 writings were 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 DU 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
Honeywell denies DU 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 official secret.
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,” he said.
Moret’s letters 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,
Calif. 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
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 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 U.S. media to maintain their
cover-up. 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-conspirator.”
U.S. GOVERNMENT KNOWS
The U.S. government has known for at least 20
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 Department 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.
DU 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, Md., indicates that DU’s chemical instability causes 1 million times
more genetic damage than would be expected from its radiation effect alone,
Dr. Miller requested that questions be sent in
writing and copied to a military spokesman. She 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 University 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.”