America's Big Dirty Secret: Depleted Uranium Weapons

Has the US government used DU weapons with full knowledge of its devastating health effects? Enlightening Quotes about DU

The following quotes were compiled by Dan Fahey, Director of the National Gulf War Resource Centre:

"Aerosol DU exposures to soldiers on the battlefield could be significant with potential radiological and toxicological effects" (Science and Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Kinetic EnergyPenetrator Environment and Health Considerations, July 1990 Vol. 1, 4-5: (included as Appendix D in US Army Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command report Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July 1990).

Depleted Uranium is a "low level alpha radiation emitter which is linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage."(SAIC, July 1990, Vol 1, 2-2)

"Short term effects of high doses can result in death, while long term effects of low doses have been implicated in cancer." (SAIC, July 1990, Vol 1, 4-12)

"Personnel in or near (less than approximately 50 meters) an armored vehicle at the time these vehicles were struck by depleted uranium munitions could receive significant internal DU exposures (i.e. those in excess of allowable standards)." (Statement of Col. Eric Daxon, Radiation Protection Staff Officer, US Army Medical Command, summarizing the results of a December 1989 report from the Ballistic Research Laboratory, Radiological Contamination From Impacted Abrams Heavy Armor. Fliszar. et. al., Col. Daxon's statement was made in a July 19, 1996 letter to Dan Fahey, Swords to Plowshares).

"There has been and continues to be a concern regarding the impact of DU on the environment. Therefore, if no one makes a case for the effectiveness of DU on the battlefield, DU rounds may become politically unacceptable and thus, be deleted from the arsenal....I believe we should keep this sensitive issue at mind when reports are written." (LTC M.V. Ziehmn, Los Alamos National Laboratory memorandum, March 1, 1991).

"US service personnel also could have been exposed to DU if they inhaled or ingested DU dust particles during incidental contact with vehicles destroyed by DU munitions, or if they lived or worked in areas contaminated with DU dust from accidental munitions fires. Thus, unnecessary exposure of many individuals could have occured." (Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (PAC), Final Report, December 1996, p.99)

"Army officals believe that DU protective methods can be ignored during battle and other life-threatening situations because DU-related health risks are greatly outweighed by the risks of combat." (US General Accounting Office, Operation Desert Storm: Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal With Depleted Uranium Contamination, GAO/NSAID-93-90, January 1993, p.4).

"Depleted uranium is more of a problem than we thought when it was developed. But it was developed according to standards and was thought through very carefully. It turned out perhaps to be wrong." (Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to President Bush, from a British documentary titled "Riding the Storm," which aired on ITN TV, CH. 4, in the United Kingdom on January 3, 1996).


 

 

 

 

"Depleted uranium is more of a problem than we thought when it was developed. But it was developed according to standards and was thought through very carefully. It turned out perhaps to be wrong." Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to President Bush, Sr.