International Physicians Against DU
Piotr Bein, email@example.com,
“approved,” Depleted Uranium Weapons and Acute Post-War Health Effects
came out from the executive of the International Physicians for the Prevention
of Nuclear War (IPPNW) on February 19th, 2001. It deplores the
cover-ups by the governments concerned:
fact that military authorities in both the US and NATO advise their own soldiers
to take precautions when handling DU munitions and have prepared detailed
training manuals and videos to ensure troop safety [reference to US Army 1955
training video], while issuing blanket denials of health risks to the public,
strikes us as hypocritical at the very least, and reinforces our judgment that
these weapons should be withdrawn from service.
also condemns the use of DU weapons as being on the spectrum of
indiscriminate and inhumane, together with landmines, biological,
chemical and nuclear warfare. Landmines can be removed. Biological and chemical
weapons have not been used in Kosovo, except for NATO bombing of chemical plants
in nearby Serbia. Still, the refugees and KFOR soldiers were far away, and the
wind blew the poisonous clouds away from Kosovo. The low-intensity global
nuclear war has been around since the fallout particles from Hiroshima and
Nagasaki spread around the globe via the atmosphere. IPPNW and others have been
at it for decades, but the nuclear-military complex has had longer claws.
laudable, the IPPNW statement is open to criticism. IPPNW forgot about the basic
principle of their profession – the Hippocratic Oath from Greek antiquity:
the benefit of the sick, refraining from all wrongdoings and corruption...
is not much advocacy in the IPPNW statement on behalf of the soldiers and
civilians who are sick and dying of DU. I thought it would be the main point of
a document coming from concerned medical doctors. It is one thing to denounce an
obviously criminal weapon, but quite another to lean on dubious science to call
for further delays in curing the victims of DU. I wonder if the IPPNW membership
shares the views of the executive.
the 1999 war in the Balkans, NATO forces used about 11 tons of DU in missiles
that were fired into the former Yugoslavia,
opens the assessment tying into the current DU “controversy”. The
introductory “fact” about 11 tons is cited from the UK ministry of defence,
the alpha and omega about DU. Soon they would be merging with the ministry of
foods to make sure every child gets a spoonful of DU dust with morning cereal.
In the meantime, our kids
have concluded from NATO tables of
DU ammunition use in Kosovo that some 20 tons of DU must have been dumped there,
and calculated that even at 1 ppm (one-millionth part) content of deadly
“impurities” (as if “pure” DU were not bad enough!) this would mean DU
weapons have introduced 20 thousand milligrams of these “vitamins” into
Kosovo. A milligram is one-thousandth of a gram. A microscopic particle that can
kill a person in various ways weighs a tiny fraction of a milligram, perhaps
thousands of times less!
On the DU-Watch
list on February 19th, 2001, renowned anti-nuclear activist Dr.
Helen Caldicott wrote about the “impure” contents of DU in armour and
there is another transuranic element like plutonium and as deadly called
neptunium which is present in much higher concentrations [...] This material was
mixed with contaminants that came from the reprocessed uranium from military
reactors. The concentrations were as follows: uranium 236 – 188,000 parts per
billion, technetium 99 – 270,000 parts per billion, neptunium 237 – 19,600
ppb, plutonium 238 – 0.0055 ppb and plutonium 239 – 124 ppb, americium –
ppb is one part per billion, i.e. per one thousand million parts. Summing up, DU
contains transuranics in the amount of almost 500,000 parts per billion, or 500
parts per million (ppm). The British nuclear physicist Sir Brian Flowers had
grave concerns about plutonium in a 1976 UK Royal Commission report. Dr. Gordon
Edwards from Project Ploughshares wrote in Plutonium,
anyone? in the spring 1995 issue of The Ploughshares Monitor:
person inhaling a few micrograms of plutonium [...] is likely to develop a fatal
lung cancer 10 or 20 years after exposure, as some of the cells damaged by alpha
radiation begin to multiply uncontrollably.
microgram is one-millionth of a gram, that is, one milligram has one thousand
micrograms. Dr. Edwards also wrote:
A person who inhales just a few
milligrams of plutonium -- a barely visible speck -- will die in a matter of
months due to massive fibrosis of the lungs as delicate lung tissues, bombarded
by alpha radiation, develop scar tissue, choking off oxygen to the blood. Death
follows from a kind of internal asphyxiation.
if all “impure” specks of DU dust were ingested or inhaled, they alone could
kill millions of people. The longer the deadly particles will linger unchecked
for generations, the more chance that they would be taken in. Once inside
the body, they work diligently at destroying
cells and DNA.
expected IPPNW to raise a lauder alarm about transuranics than they did,
regardless whether 11 t or 20 t of DU were dumped in Yugoslavia.
struggled with the topic when it ascertained that 20% of the DU burns
spontaneously, creating a fine aerosol smoke of uranium oxide. A lower end
chosen from a wide range of possible conditions makes us suspicious of their
sources and research skills.
are equally certain that about 95% of DU radiation comes as alpha particles. DU
mass contains 99.8% of U-238 and 0.2% of U-235. There is also a tiny amount of
U-234, but so radioactive that it accounts for 14% of total radioactivity
emitted by DU. 85% comes from U-238 as alpha radiation, while U-235 contributes
only 1% of total activity. U-234 and U-235 emit powerful beta particles and
gamma electromagnetic radiation. Toxic effects aside, all figures change again
for the “special” US grade of DU.
let’s not expect rigorous science from medics in the New World, when
“humanitarian intervention” means bombing innocent humans, while spreading
DU dust to greet those whose return was bombed clear of monsters is called
“aid from the international community.”
propaganda apparently influenced IPPNW. They ascertain that, being alpha
particles, 95% of DU activity cannot penetrate the skin, while the remaining
”minute amount of beta and gamma radiation” could affect tissue if fine
particles of DU were inhaled or ingested. Did IPPNM hire amateurs to write this
assessment? Radiation from inside the body is lethal – alpha, beta and gamma.
departure from the science is not my main grievance against the IPPNW executive
committee. Perhaps after voting on the couch by tossing potato chips into the TV
in front of them, IPPNW confirms concerns about the potential health effects
of DU weapons. Though apparently the IPPNW anti-DU cat hisses at the use of
DU weapons and supports the calls for a ban, it quickly withdraws its claws,
urging caution in making categorical assertions or denials about health
effects until systematic, independent, peer-reviewed studies of depleted uranium
exposure have been conducted. Like their well-paid colleagues at NATO and
World Health Organization, IPPNW still see a “controversy” and call for more
money to do years-long “research” that in the end will only justify the
bureaucrats’ existence, and will do nothing to those victims who die in the
meantime or wait on a death row.
if unaware of previous collusion of UN, UNEP and WHO in US and NATO cover-ups of
the Persian Gulf and Balkan DU genocide (and of earlier fouling of our Planet
with nuclear contamination from “minor” accidents like the nuclear reactor
disasters), IPPNW recommends:
US government and NATO have an absolute obligation to provide independent,
unbiased researchers with the funding, data, and access required conducting such
studies. The World Health Organization has requested $2 million as an immediate
payment toward a four-year $20 million clinical study of DU health effects in
Iraq and the Balkans. The US and NATO have an obligation to promptly and
unconditionally fund the WHO's work in this area.
would surely fund it. This farce was likely sought by them: “independent”
WHO calls for a study, and eventually US-NATO “reluctantly” diverts $20
million from smart bombs marked “Iraq”. The results are predictable. If
US-NATO wished to discover the truth about their use of DU in low-intensity
nuclear wars in Iraq and the Balkans, they only needed to open own reports from
may have composed a conclusion of the upcoming four-year WHO “study” when
the peer-reviewed studies of health effects from natural uranium exposure are
weighted against the probability that DU exposure, in and of itself, is likely
to have caused an increase in leukemias or other cancers in the relatively short
time since it has been dispersed in the Balkans environment, the science is
controversial and the possibility cannot be ruled out.
is already preparing for the “study”. American Forces Press Service wrote on
February 23rd, 2001, that Pentagon remained “very concerned that
“some” former and present soldiers “believe they've become ill because of
their service in the war,” and advised them to “immediately” contact
government-sponsored outreach programs. The Canadian government statistics
bureau is about to violate privacy rules by conducting surveys of Gulf and
Balkan syndromes on orders from the department of defence.
military press announcement was a call to war. Angus Parker of the National Gulf
Veterans and Families Association responded:
PR and PSYOPS. We do not believe we are ill due to the vaccines and NAPS (PB)
administered without informed consent during the Gulf war, WE KNOW! [...]
Certainly don't go to the military to have your health assessed, that's the
action of a fool. Just carry on funding and partaking in none government
research until this problem is solved. Then bring down your elected government
with the strength of their own denial and victimisation of loyal soldiers. Sons
and daughters of America. Time for veterans to lead and do what we do best,
refers to “a recent editorial” in British Medical Journal, BMJ,
which concluded that the argument for uranium being the cause of leukaemia in
peacekeeping forces is thin, notwithstanding the short latencies implied, even
by the standards of haematological malignancies. It is science worthy of
some professors at the Royal Society
and their followers concerned about losing their urbanite “lifestyle” on a
commuter train from Cambridge to London. Any decent research paper, textbook,
and oncologist say leukemia starts about 2 years after nuclear exposure.
“Kosovo leukemia” in Y2K was actually irradiation cases from Bosnia and the
most acute and sensitive cases from Kosovo.
condemnation is not limited to the calcitrant British science. The Clinton-Blair
connection shines through when the IPPNW goes on:
With regard to non-cancer illnesses, "no single candidate hazard...serves
as its unifying explanation, depleted uranium included" . To point to
these other exposures as possible contributors to post-war health problems is
not to exonerate DU weapons in the absence of independent clinical study of the
populations that were actually exposed.
magic  is the same “recent editorial” titled Depleted uranium and
public health: Fifty years' study of occupational exposure provides little
evidence of cancer in BMJ of 20th January 2001. The author
is Dr. McDiarmid; the same one who couldn’t figure the DU-malignant disease
connection for a decade, although the US government supplied her with lab
rabbits stuffed with DU shrapnel – the Gulf War veterans themselves. Dr. Doug
Rokke testified before the UK Parliament that Dr. McDiarmid refused to treat him
and ignored him, although he is a US Gulf War veteran contaminated with DU.
really happens to veterans
with DU shrapnel? Jerry Wheat discovered by coincidence that the shrapnel he
took out of his body and war gear was radioactive. His father, a nuclear
technician, tested them. Wheat lost weight, got stomach, joint and head pains
immediately after his armoured vehicle was hit by mistake by American DU fire.
The day after he brought his war gear into his home, his son went to hospital
with respiratory problems. Another son, born in 1991, has strange blisters on
his hands. Wheat’s spouse gave premature birth to another child after 1991.
More recently, Wheat had a surgery to remove a tumor in his shoulder where the
DU shrapnel lodged itself in 1991. According to Drs McDiarmids of this world,
the Wheats’ ailments must have been post-combat trauma symptoms of the
combatant and his family.
much as I used to dislike communist propaganda and dispatches from the Soviet Pravda,
this publication became one of the few voices of reason, certainly preferable to
NATO spin. Pravda reported
on February 22nd, 2001, that the father of Hugo Paulino, who died after
serving in Kosovo, was dissatisfied with the answer from the Portuguese military
for the death of his son. Portuguese army chief, General Barrento, accused him
of aiding the Serbs by requesting more tests and exams! Nevertheless, the father
contracted independent who determined that there was something eventually
created in the theatre of operations whose toxicity caused his death.
reports from the military hospital, where he died, never made any mention of
toxic DU and the results of the autopsy were only made available months after,
due to the insistence of the soldier’s father. He declared he has nothing to
lose, because he already lost his son.
(copyleft: reproduce and acknowledge the source)