MS-Word version

September 2003

Depleted Uranium Watch

Investigations of Environmental Impacts from the Deployment of Depleted Uranium Munitions

Dr. Hari Sharma

 

1.SUMMARY.

 

1.1. The abundance of uranium isotopes was determined in urine specimens collected from the Gulf War I (GWI) veterans from four countries, in 1998-9, by nuclear and mass spectrometric methods. The abundance of the isotopes and the total uranium in 24-hour urine specimens allowed the determination of the excretion rate of depleted uranium (DU) from the body [1]. In this study the isotopic abundance of U-235 has been determined by the delayed-neutrons emitted by some fission products (for example, I-137 a fission product that decays to Xe-136 with a half life of 24 seconds by emitting electron {beta particle}, neutron and gamma rays [2]). Such fission products are formed in the irradiation of fissile material like uranium-235, the only naturally occurring isotope, with thermal neutrons and thus permit the assay of U-235 only without any interference from any other elements. The amount of U-238, another naturally occurring isotope of uranium, has been determined by the well-known instrumental neutron activation analysis [3]. The capture of thermal neutron by U-238 leads to the formation of U-239 by the reaction, U-238(n,gamma)U-239. U-239 is assayed with the emission of its characteristic gamma rays (73-kev energy) to Np-239 [2]. The ratio, R, of [U-235]/[U-238] permits the evaluation of the fraction of DU and total DU in an aliquot of a specimen [4]. This task was accomplished in 1998.

 

1.2. This work had a set back during the month of July 1999, when, reasons unknown to us to date, the University of Waterloo denied office and laboratory spaces to Professor Emeritus Hari D. Sharma and confiscated urine specimens that were sorely needed for the determination of the biological half life. We firmly believe that uncontrolled release of radioactivity in the environment will eventually have deleterious consequences. We decided to continue the work against obstacles and with our meagre financial resources. However, with timely help from many well-meaning persons we did continue our work on this important problem. This study has reached the stage that it provides definitive answers to questions that have been lacking thus far, namely, suitability of deployment of DU-munitions that release radioactivity in the environment and whether it has long-range deleterious effects to the environment. This led Dan Fahey to write two reports titled "Don't Look Don't Find" and "Science or Science Fiction" [5,6]. We looked for DU in urine specimens from exposed veterans and civilians and found it, We confirmed our findings by determining DU in tissues from exposed civilians, thus leaving no doubt that DU found its way into civilians residing near the battlefield area through inhalation of DU oxide contaminated air.

 

1.3. We invite comments and questions on our report from interested heads of NATO countries and other organisations and individuals. We are apolitical and therefore we request scientists and people at large, to refrain from raising political questions. While some damage to the environment in Iraq might have been done, we must remember that we can still find answers to risk estimates from low-level exposure from internalised depleted uranium through inhalation of DU oxides-aerosols [DUOA]. If I may be bold enough to suggest that the protagonists should organise a very far-reaching study before they plan to use DU munitions again that may lead to dispersal of radioactivity. What follows now is an account of our contribution to clarify some issues that were related to the deployment of DU-munitions in the Gulf in 1991, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo, Serbia.

 


1.4. A dedicated computer controlled facility at the McMaster University Nuclear Reactor enables the irradiation of an aliquot of urine dried in a polyethylene bag in a clean fume hood, for a pre-set time. After another pre-set delay time, the irradiated specimen is assayed either for delayed neutrons with a dedicated neutron detector or for assaying gamma rays with a high resolution germanium detector and a pulse-height analyser for recording the spectrum. The two methods were previously used successfully in identifying work-related uranium in workers' tissues [Appendix I]. Eight standards were run for uranium analysis with each set of the specimens (Appendix II).

 

1.5. The analytical data that are presented in this report, were on the urine specimens that were collected during the 1998-9 period from the GWI veterans who were allegedly exposed to DU during the 1990-91 Gulf conflict, and sent to us for the determination of DU content. The clearance rate of DU from the veterans' bodies was thus evaluated to be 1 to 5 micrograms of DU per day during the 1998-9 period. The excretion rate of DU in residents of Basra, who resided there during the 1991-4 period, was found to be lower than that from the exposed veterans. Five specimens taken in 1999 from the residents of Baghdad during 1990 to 1994,revealed that only one showed the presence of DU while the other four had mostly natural uranium.

 

 1.6. It is evident that the clearance rate must be associated with a very slow rate of solubilization of depleted-uranium oxides aerosols (DUOA) in body fluids or from some body compartment where it is stored. The trans-location of DUOA may pass through many body compartments but the rate of excretion may be controlled from at least one component represented by a very long half life. It appears that ingestion of DUOA must have occurred through inhalation of the contaminated air; and that might have led to the accumulation of the DUOA in the lungs. The clearance rate of DUOA or at least one of the components of DUOA is associated with a very long biological half life. 

 

1.7. To test the accuracy and reliability of two methods (DNC and INAA) for the determination of DU in the specimens, another method using a surface ionisation mass spectrometer (SIMS) was followed for the determination of abundance of the uranium isotopes in the urine specimens [4,7]. The two sets of results agreed with each other within the errors. The DNC and INAA methods do not require dissolution of the specimens. However, the other method did require complete dissolution of ceramic type of uranium dioxide in the specimens. Results obtained from the use of ICP-MS did not agree with the results by the use of SIMS or the DNC and INAA methods. It was shown that only uranium (VI) compounds could be either solubilized in the body fluids or in tissues when treated with ultra pure nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. It appears that uranium compounds with the oxidation state of IV were not converted to oxidation state of VI. Nearly five hundred analyses with ICP-MS only showed the presence of NU in the specimens. Undissolved solids from the digestion of tissues showed the presence of DU as determined by the DNC and INAA methods.    

 


1.8. Total ingestion of DU by an active GWI veteran during the Gulf

conflict, through inhalation of DUOA, has been estimated to be about a few milligrams of DU-oxides. The ICRP model has been followed for estimation of radiation dose from the DU [8].

 

1.9. Tissue specimens of deceased residents who had resided in Basra from 1991 to 1994, were procured for testing the hypothesis to the effect that air was contaminated with the ceramic DU oxides aerosols for at least over a period of two years in the battlefield area and its vicinity. Lateral dispersion of the DU aerosols would lead to contamination of air in large urban areas near the battlefield. Therefore, it is expected that residents of Basra would have accumulated the aerosols through inhalation, in the alveolar tissues in the lungs and perhaps other organs before they were excreted from the body. The DU content in urine specimens received from two different localities of Basra was determined with SIMS. The results showed without any ambiguity the presence of DU in one specimen. Air samples did not show the presence of DUOA in air after the end of 1993.

 

1.10. It has been shown unambiguously that the deployment of DU-based munitions leads to contamination of air with aerosols of its ceramic oxides. Inhalation of contaminated air then leads to accumulation of highly insoluble particulate DU oxides in the lungs in milligram quantities. Even such deposition of ‘mildly’ radioactive isotope does inflict harm to human health by its attendant radiation insult under certain conditions. If the DU-based munitions have been deployed by the coalition forces during the Gulf War II, a set of DU determinations have been suggested in Chapter 8, to show conclusively that the DU munitions do not violate the dictates of the Geneva conventions. It was unfortunate no testing of environmental specimens was performed or no results of such tests made public soon after the cessation of GWI. However, it is now possible to conduct DU mapping in the entire country as well as in parts of the country where extensive use of DU-based munitions were deployed extensively during GWII.

 

1.11. A relatively simple and accurate methodology has been suggested for the determination of DU in environmental specimens.

According to Goldstein et al. delayed neutron counting and energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) methods are direct solid analytical techniques that are non-destructive, rapid and require no dissolution step [13]. We have used the activation methods for determining U-235 and U-238 contents. In the case of U-238, we estimated U-239 as the indicator nuclei and high-resolution gamma ray spectrometry. EDXRF analizes the total uranium which can be regarded almost equal to U-238 if the specimen has DU or NU or the mixture of DU and NU.  


                              

 

2. INTRODUCTION.

 

2.1. It is well known that over 20 per cent of the GW1 veterans have been suffering from symptoms that are part of the Gulf War syndrome [9]. During the conflict, the veterans were exposed to several causative agents; and among them, DUOA from DU-tipped missiles that were deployed for destroying battlefield tanks. Metallic DU bullet on striking an armoured vehicle catches fire and it burns to its oxide dust with release of large amount of heat that aids in penetrating the armour. The ceramic oxide-dust of micron or sub-micron size forms aerosols. Inhalation of DUOA would lead to accumulation of the highly insoluble oxide in the lungs. During the past five years we have endeavoured to determine the pathways of such oxide dust in the veterans and among the civilians for aiding in finding its toxicity in humans. Although it is well known that the oxide dust with its isotopic ratio, R = [U-235]/[U-238] as signature, enters the human body through inhalation, but hardly any attempts have been made so far to look for its pathways through body compartments with their respective biological half lives [10]. No systematic epidemiological studies have been conducted to show ‘cause and effect’ of DUOA inside the body or at least in one of the body compartments. Lack of knowledge of its pathways and respective parameters has prevented evaluation of radiation insult from inhalation of DUOA or its chemical toxicity. In this investigation, an attempt has been made to determine the presence of DU in urine and tissue specimens by reliable methods and therefore we suggest a likely scenario that might have resulted in the accumulation of DUOA in the lungs and in the thoracic lymph nodes.

 

2.2. Exposure to uranium is encountered by workers in mining, milling and refining of the desired compounds needed as nuclear fuel etc. There are three classes of compounds, namely, D, W and Y, designated by the ICRP for assessing its radiological toxicity [10]. The extent of human exposure to uranium is evaluated by determining its daily rate of excretion of total uranium and the isotopic ratio, R = [U-235]/[U-238] in 24-hour urine specimens. The two parameters are the excretion rates of DU and NU and the ratio, R, for evaluating DU fraction in urine that may also contain NU. Metabolic data for uranium suggested by ICRP [10], indicates that there is an intake of about 1.9 micrograms of uranium (mostly as NU) in food and water. That results in transfer of about one to two percent of the intake, from the gastrointestinal tract to the blood stream; and that is finally excreted through urine. The daily excretion rate among non-occupational subjects has been found to be ranging from 3 to 310 nanograms of NU per day [11]. It is expected that GWI veterans and civilians exposed to DU may have two different excretion rates for the mixture of DU and NU. Exposure to DUOA leads to accumulation of DU oxides in the lungs whereas NU enters the gastrointestinal tract as soluble compounds of uranium. The bio-kinetics of the two types is expected to be vastly different. It is essential that reliable methodology for the estimation of DU and NU must be followed for establishing the bio-kinetics of inhalational DU-oxide dust for assessing its toxicity.


 

 

 

 

 

3. METHODS FOR DETERMINING DU IN URINE SPECIMENS FROM GWI VETERANS AND RESULTS

 

3.1. An aliquot of urine was drawn from a well-stirred 24-hour urine specimen from a GWI veteran exposed to DU during the Gulf conflict. The aliquot of a urine specimen was transferred to a dedicated polyethylene bag and was allowed to evaporate to dryness in a clean fumehood. The bag with the dried specimen was folded and put in a polyethylene capsule for irradiation by using a computer-controlled facility that has been in operation for this purpose for over thirty years at the McMaster University Nuclear Reactor. The specimen can be irradiated several times and U-235 content assayed each time for either delayed-neutron counting (DNC method) or U-238 by gamma-ray spectroscopy (INAA methodology[3]). Ms. Alice Pidruczny, Manager, Analytical Services, carried out the irradiation of the capsules and subsequent assay by the DNC method or the INAA method. Her typical report is presented as Appendix II. At no time did we indicate the content of the capsule to her. In other words, the irradiation and subsequent assay was performed at arm's length. The results are presented in Table 1.

 

3.2. Results from irradiations performed at the McMaster University Nuclear Reactor for the determination of U-235 and U-238 by the DNC and INAA methods respectively are expressed in microgram per liter. U-235(NU) depicts all uranium evaluated by dividing U-235 content with 0.00725, as determined in the specimen by the DNC method. It must be noted that urine specimens are likely to have both kinds of uranium, i.e., NU with R = 0.00725 and depleted uranium with R = 0.002015. It has been shown that 79 to 97 per cent of specimens of environmental concerns contain NU and no DU [15]. In other words, uranium from laboratory wares and from chemicals in the specimens is likely to be NU and not DU or EU. Special care was, however, taken to minimise the possibility of uranium entering from environmental sources.  The specimens were handled in a clean fumehood and in treated laboratory wares (Appendix III).

 


                              

        


                       TABLE 1.

       U-235 and U-238 content in urine specimens

                   from the UK veterans       

 

 Ser.   No.

 

Volume      mL

 

U-235(NU) by the DNC# method       microgram

 

U-238 by the INAA method,^   microgram

 

Uranium content/L*  NU#     DU#

 

  1.

 

  74      80

 

  0.04    0.07

 

 0.03  0.12

 

  0.2  <0.2

 

 0.2  <0.2

 

0.47    2.7 1.19   <2.5

 

  2.

 

  76    

 

 <0.02

 

 0.02

 

  0.3

 

 0.17

 

0.2     0.3

 

  3.

 

  87      77

 

 <0.02    0.04

 

 0.02  0.07

 

  0.3  <0.2

 

 <0.2  <0.2

 

0.17    2.3 0.71    2.1

 

  4.

 

  73

 

 <0.2

 

 0.05

 

  0.2

 

 <0.2

 

0.42    2.1

 

  5.

 

  86

 

  0.02

 

 0.03

 

  0.6

 

  0.2

 

0.29    4.6

 

  6.

 

  79

 

 <0.02

 

<0.02

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

  7.

 

  76      76

 

<0.020

  0.10

 

<0.02  0.09

 

 <0.2   0.4

 

 <0.2   0.5

 

    IND    1.25    5.9

 

  8.

 

  75

 

 <0.02

 

<0.02

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

  9.

 

  88      77

 

  0.03   <0.02

 

 0.04

 0.05

 

  0.2  <0.2

 

  0.2  <0.2

 

0.4    2.27     IND

 

 10.

 

  75      81

 

 <0.02    0.14

 

<0.02  0.07

 

  0.2   0.2

 

 <0.2  <0.2

 

    IND    1.3    1.9

 

 11.   

 

  84      75

 

 <0.02    0.04

 

<0.02  0.02

 

 <0.2   0.2

 

 <0.2   0.3

 

    IND    0.4    3.3

 

 12.

 

  81

 

 <0.02 

 

 0.08

 

  0.2

 

 <0.2

 

0.5    1.8

 

 13.

 

  78

 

  0.04

 

<0.02

 

  0.2

 

  0.5

 

0.3    4.3

 

 14.

 

  71      78

 

 <0.02    0.11

 

<0.02  0.06

 

 <0.2  <0.2

 

 <0.2  <0.2

 

    IND        IND

 

 15.

 

  78      75

 

 <0.02    0.05

 

 0.02  0.05

 

 <0.2  <0.2

 

 <0.2  <0.2

 

    IND        IND

 

 16.

 

  82

 

  0.07

 

<0.02

 

  0.2

 

 <0.2

 

0.5    1.83

 

 17.

 

  81

 

  0.06

 

 0.11

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    Mix

 

 18.

 

  75

 

 <0.02

 

<0.02

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

 19.

 

  78

 

  0.10

 

 0.10

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 20.

 

  68

 

 <0.02

 

 0.07

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

 IND-Mix

 

 21

 

  80

 

  0.05

 

 0.08

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

 IND-Mix

 

 22.

 

  79 

 

  0.07 

 

 0.11

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

1.1    2.5

 

 23.

 

  75

 

 <0.02

 

 0.17

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

    IND

 

 24.

 

  77

 

  0.03

 

 0.03

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

 25.

 

  79

 

  0.11

 

 0.08

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    Mix

 

 26.

 

  80

 

 <0.02

 

 0.06

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

 27.

 

  80

 

  0.13

 

 0.16

 

  0.2

 

 <0.2

 

1.8    3.1

 

 28.

 

  78

 

 <0.02

 

 0.12

 

 <0.2

 

 <0.2

 

    IND

 

 29.

 

  78

 

 <0.02

 

 0.12

 

 <0.2

 

 

 

   

DU --depleted uranium found in the specimen. [U-235]NU -- total natural uranium evaluated by dividing [U-235] found in a specimen with 0.00725 = [U-235]/[U-238]. In column 3 and 4,[U-235]/0.00725 is reported where brackets [ ] indicate the quantity (in this case U-235) in microgram. IND:- not possible to determine because either [U-235] or [U-238] is below the detection limit and hence R for uranium in the specimen could not be determined with the required precision. Mix:- predicts a mixture of DU and NU. * NU stands for natural uranium ([U235]/0.00725]) per litre and DU stands for depleted uranium content in one litre of specimen, derived from the R = [U-235]/[U-238] for the specimen. Both in NU and DU, the abundance of U-238 ranges between 99.245 to 99.8 per cent. It can be assumed that total uranium is almost equal to [U-238]. < sign denotes less than. Concentration of uranium isotope is depicted by [U-238] as microgram(s) of uranium in a specified volume.

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                          TABLE II.

        DU AND/OR NU CONTENT PER LITER FOUND IN URINE

              SPECIMENS FROM GULF WAR VETERANS.

 

Ser No.

 

Remarks

 

[U-235]  nanograms

 

Errors  ng

 

[U-238] or U microgram

 

Errors microg

 

 1.

 

Most of uranium is DU & NU neg.

 

 3.4      8.6

 

1.4    1.3

 

   2.703     <2.500

 

1.912 1.769

 

 2.

 

Mostly DU -~90%

 

 1.4   

 

1.3

 

   3.289

 

 1.97

 

 3.

 

1. Mostly DU   2. U-238 not accurate

 

 1.23     5.12

 

 

1.2    1.3

 

   2.299   IND <2.597

 

 1.626  1.838

 

 4.

 

Mostly DU, NU-N

 

 3.0  

 

1.4   

 

   2.055

 

 1.959

 

 5.

 

Mostly DU, NU-N

 

 2.1

 

1.2   

 

   4.65

 

 1.645

 

 6.

 

IND

 

<1.83

 

1.3

 

  <2.53

 

 1.79

 

 7.

 

 

1st. IND, 2nd. DU

 

 1.9      6.9

 

1.3    1.3  

 

  <2.63       5.921  

 

 1.86  1.86

 

 8.

 

IND

 

 1.9

 

1.2

 

  <2.67

 

 1.89

 

 9.

  

 

1. DU  2.U-238 not k.a.

 

 2.9  

 2.8

 

1.2   1.3

 

   2.273     <2.597

 

 1.61  1.83

 

10.

 

1. Needs better   measurements

 

 1.9      9.4

 

1.4

1.3

 

   2.000      1.852

 

 1.89  1.75

 

11.

 

1. IND

2. DU

 

 1.7      2.9

 

1.2    1.4   

 

  <2.38       3.333

 

 1.68  1.889

 

12.

 

1. DU

 

 4.0   

 

1.3   

 

   1.852

 

 1.75

 

13.

 

1. DU

 

 2.3

 

1.3   

 

   4.321

 

 

 

Ser No.

 

Remarks

 

[U-235]  nanograms

 

Errors  +/-ng

 

[U-238]    micrograms

 

 

Errors+/-mig

 

14

 

1. IND          2. IND  Pr. DU+

 

2.0      7.9

 

1.4    1.3

 

  <2.82      <2.564

 

 1.993  1.814

 

15

 

IND Needs U-238 content with b.a

 

1.4      4.8

 

1.3    1.4

 

  <2.56      <2.667

 

 1.81  1.89

 

16

 

DU

 

3.3

 

1.3

 

   1.829

 

 1.73

 

17

 

DU+

 

7.6

 

1.3

 

  <2.469

 

 1.75

 

18

 

DU

 

1.9

 

1.4

 

   2.667

 

 1.887

 

19

 

M.L. DU Needs Ut

 

9.3

 

1.3

 

  <2.564

 

 1.81

 

20

 

M.L. DU Needs Ut

 

4.0

 

1.5  

 

  <2.941

 

 2.081

 

21

 

DU+ Needs Ut

 

5.9

 

1.3

 

  <2.500

 

 1.77

 

22

 

DU + NU R=0.0033

 

8.3

 

1.3

 

   2.532

 

 1.79

 

23

 

NU+DU R=~0.004

 

8.7

 

1.4

 

  <2.667

 

 1.889

 

24

 

DU+ Needs Ut

 

2.8

 

1.3

 

  <2.597

 

 1.84

 

25

 

NU likely

 

8.7

 

1.3

 

  <2.532

 

 1.79

 

26

 

DU+NU Needs Ut

 

3.2

 

1.3

 

  <2.500

 

 1.77

 

27

 

DU+NU R=0042

 

13.2 

 

1.3   

 

   3.125

 

 1.77

 

28

 

DU+ Needs Ut

 

2.7 

 

1.3

 

  <2.439

 

 1.726

 

29

 

DU+NU Needs Ut

 

6.0

 

1.3

 

  <2.564

 

 1.814

< = less than; DU in this study stands for depleted uranium with R=0.002015; NU = natural uranium with R=0.00725. Ut=total uranium or almost = U-238. M.L.= most likely. R=[U-235]/[U-238], b.a. = better accuracy desired, k.a = known accurately. The abundance of U-235 in depleted uranium = DU*0.002 microgram or 2*DU nanograms where the amount of DU is in micrograms. If U-235 is greater than 2.015*DU nano gram, it represents a mixture of DU and NU. Fraction of DU ~ (0.00725 - R)/(0.00725 - 0.2015).


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3.3. The concentration of U-235 given in Table II can be evaluated from the amount given in Table 1, in microgram in a certain volume, V, of urine specimen in litre = U-235(N)/(137.8*V), where U(N) is expressed as if U-235 content is present in natural uranium. Our report was sent to Mr. Shaun Rusling, Chairman, The National Gulf War Veterans and Families Association, 4 Maspin Close, Kingswood, Hull, HU7 3EF, U.K. We were advised that the report was forwarded to the U.K. Ministry of Defence.

 

3.4. The isotopic abundance in atom percent for uranium isotopes in DU that was deployed in the Gulf War I and in NU are given below (14,15):-

                         

                    U-234      U-235      U-236      U-238

Depleted Uranium    0.0008     0.2015     0.0030     99.7947

Natural Uranium     0.0055     0.720      0.00       99.2745

Commercially        0.00083    0.2219     0.0000102  99.635

available Uranium*- 0.00224    0.3468     0.02148    99.788

*Ref.[15]. Range of abundance in commercially available compounds.

 

Based on the above data one can deduce the fraction of DU in a mixture of DU and NU in a specimen by determining R = [U-235]/[U-238]. DU is a generic term. It has no fixed isotopic abundance. The isotopic abundance of U-235 has to be less than 0.725. It is essential to have the abundance data of DU deployed.

 

3.5. Let fraction of uranium be X, in total uranium, T, that is DU, then      X/T = (n5 - n8R)/[(d8 - n8)R + n5 - d5],

where n5 and n8 = 0.0072 and 0.992745 are the respective abundance of U-235 and U-238 in natural uranium,(see above),

d5 and d8 are the respective abundance of U-235 and U-238 in the DU

fraction, and R = the ratio of U-235/U-238 in the mixture of DU and

NU present in a specimen. With the assumption n8 and d8 are almost equal to 1, the expression for the DU fraction, X/T = (0.00725 - R)/(0.00725 - 0.002015).

 


                          TABLE III.

         DU and NU Fractions for R values in specimens

 

R = [U-235]/[U-238]

 

DU Fraction, X/T

 

NU Fraction = 1-X/T

 

0.002015

 

100 per cent

 

  0.0 per cent

 

0.003

 

 81.18

 

 18.82

 

0.004

 

 62.08

 

 37.92

 

0.005

 

 42.98

 

 57.02

 

0.006

 

 23.88

 

 76.12

 

0.007

 

  4.3

 

 95.7

 

0.00725

 

  0.0

 

  0.0

 

 


3.6. According to Dang et al., the average daily excretion rate in the general population may vary from 3 to 300 nanograms of NU per day [11]. This is a small amount compared to the daily excretion rate of 1 to 5 micrograms of DU per day by the GWI veterans. It is expected that ingestion of DU through intake of DU compounds from the environment would result in the presence of both DU and NU with R of the mixture between 0.00725 and R (<0.00725) of the DU compounds.  

 

3.7. It should also be noted from table II that the uranium content in some specimens was found to be below the detection limits and therefore it has not been possible to evaluate the depleted uranium fraction in such specimens. However, the DNC and INAA methods can provide results with lower limits of detection and better accuracy by either increasing the volume of urine specimen for irradiation and/or by carrying out repeated irradiation of each specimen at weekly intervals. Dang et al., [11] have suggested that the detection limit of U-238 by the INAA method can be reduced to 20 parts per billion (ppb) by introducing pre-irradiation and post irradiation steps. Uranium can be removed from a urine sample with calcium phosphate and then irradiated with neutron flux of 10^[13] per second for one day. Np-239, thus produced from the irradiation of U-238, can be separated from irradiated calcium phosphate by an anion exchange resin. Np-239 can then be assayed by gamma-ray spectrometry, using a high-resolution germanium detector.

 

3.8. A more sensitive method was desired for evaluating depleted uranium content from total uranium determined by the analytical methods. We decided to determine the [U-235]/[U-238] ratio by using

surface or thermal ionisation mass spectrometry. We are indebted to

Dr. Patricia Horan, who was at the Memorial University in the year 1999, in St.John's, Newfoundland for undertaking the determination of isotopic abundance of U-234, U-235, U-236 and U-238 in 25 urine specimens from the Gulf War veterans. The first batch of the specimens sent to her, were found to contain too much of organics. An aliquot of one of the specimens apparently exploded on a rhenium filament inside the mass spectrometer. A second batch of 25 specimens was then prepared using the same glassware that had been treated with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Prior to this, uranium was leached from the glassware with 1-M phosphoric acid according to a procedure suggested by Medley et al [12]. It can be seen from Table III that Dr. Horan determined the ratios [U-235]/[U-238] and [U-236]/[U-238] among other ratios for uranium isotopes in 18 specimens. She also determined total uranium in 11 specimens. 

 


3.9. Dr. P.Horan's Report “Uranium Analysis, Urine Samples from Gulf War Veterans”, is available with us for any one to peruse. Of course specimens with codes were sent to her for analysis and no names were given. In her e-mail to me she stated that she did not wish to take any responsibility for the results quoted in her report. Even the volume of urine or the nationality of the veterans was not known to her.  According to us she was within her rights to do so. The specimens were treated with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide by us in our laboratories. I believe that the experimental measurements associated with the determination of isotopic abundance were performed in a professional way. I have also since re-tested both reagents and water as blanks, for uranium content by using an inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). Mrs. Pamela Collins at the McMaster University conducted experimental work associated with ICP-MS at arm's length with little knowledge where the specimens originated from. Mrs. Collins determined isotopic abundance, following a procedure suggested by Ejnik et al.,(16) in more than 300 synthetic urine and human urine specimens by using an ICP-MS Elan 6100. Dr. G. Spier also tried to measure the abundance of uranium isotopes by using an ICP-MS with little success. He also utilized specific anion exchange resin for separating uranium from the specimens that were treated with conc. nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide; and then followed by elution of uranium from the resin. Unfortunately, we could not attain reproducibility or the desired accuracy. We, therefore, after analysing a large number of specimens, abandoned the use of ICP-MS for determining R in urine specimens.

 

3.10. There is only one complete result from the UK veterans' specimens and another one from Canadian veterans among eleven complete results reported by Dr. Horan. The abundance of uranium isotopes were determined in eighteen specimens and total uranium content was determined by her in eleven specimens. Other results pertain to veterans from other countries and Iraqi civilians.

 

3.11. We endeavoured to measure the DU content by four methodologies but we have only two results where we can compare them. It can, however, be seen that DU is present in microgram

quantities in urine specimens from the GWI veterans who were in the battlefield area.

 

3.12. It is interesting to note that we were not aware of the presence of U-236 in DU in 1999 when most of the urine specimens were received. However, L. Dietz, now a retired senior scientist from the Knoll Laboratory in Schenectady, NY, USA and who worked for many years there with DU, provided the isotopic analysis of DU that was deployed in Gulf War I  (14).

 


3.13. Uranium hexafluoride also had a mixture of uranium from spent fuel that had the man-made isotope of uranium, U-236 and NU depleted in U-235. In an operating nuclear reactor, U-236 is formed by the U-235(n,gamma)U-236 reaction apart from the U-235(n,fission) reaction.  Uranium, separated and purified by removing fission products and trans-uranic elements from the spent fuel elements that had unreacted U-235, was converted to uranium hexafluoride for enrichment in U-235. In the diffusion plants, most likely, U-236 hexafluoride would be expected in both streams, i.e., EU stream and the DU one. However, the presence of U-236 PROVIDES US A KEY RESULT FOR IDENTIFYING THE SOURCE of DU and another method for determining DU in a specimen. The ratio, [U-236]/[U-238], was found to be within the range expected from a mixture of DU and NU. Presence of MASS PEAK AT 236 DOES CONFIRM THE PRESENCE OF DU IN THE URINE SPECIMENS. CARE MUST BE EXERCISED THAT PEAK AT MASS NUMBER 236 IS FROM ONE OF THE ISOTOPES OF URANIUM AND NOT FROM ANY OTHER CONTAMINANTS. The half life of U-236 is 2.34E[07] years and it decays with the emission of alpha particles of about 4.57 MeV. Consequently, its radiological toxicity can be compared with that of U-234 present in NU and to some extent in DU in terms of the alpha-particle energies and the half life. U-236 is less toxic by two orders of magnitude when compared to U-234 found in NU. 

 

3.14. Pure NU has no U-236 in it but both EU and DU streams have U-236. The abundance of U-236 is found to be as much as 30 parts per million (0.000030) in DU-munitions [14]. Measurement of U-236 in a mixture of NU and DU can be very helpful in determining the fraction of DU in a mixture of NU and DU. However, one needs a dedicated mass spectrometer for the determination of isotopic abundance of uranium in the specimens.

 

3.15. The DU content can also be determined by alpha-particle spectroscopy. We are, at present looking into the feasibility of using a low-background liquid scintillation spectrometer. Mono-energetic alpha particles of 4.19 MeV energy from U-238 and of 4.78 MeV energy from U-234 can be identified in the spectrum. The peaks of the two groups of alpha particles from NU have equal heights whereas peak from the 4.19 MeV alpha particles is seven times higher than that from U-234 in DU deployed in GWI.

 

3.16. Results on the determination of DU fraction by TIMS or SIMS and by the DNC and INAA methods agree within the error limits. It is apparent that the exposed population whether it be veterans or civilians were found to be excreting DU through urine in microgram(micg) quantities as shown in table IV.

 


                           TABLE IV

ISOTOPIC RATIOS OF URANIUM ISOTOPES IN URINE SPECIMENS (SIMS).

 

Ser. No.

& (code)

 

[U-235]/ [U-238]

 

[U-236] /[U-238]

 

DU fraction

 

DU(micg/L) content

 

Remarks

 

1.(IraqV)^

 

0.005327

 

0.000149

 

0.366

 

1.3418

 

Exp. NA.

 

2.(IraqV)^

 

0.007022

 

0.000093

 

0.0434

 

Low 0.081

 

Ditto

 

3.(Ir.CBr)@

 

0.006421

 

0.000043

 

0.158

 

0.1468

 

Ditto

 

4.(Ir.CBr)@

 

0.007781

 

0.000067

 

None

 

None

 

same as

 

5.(Ir.CBr)@

 

0.006750

 

0.000030

 

0.0952

 

0.4155

 

 

 

6.(B.V.)#

 

0.004323

 

0.000063

 

0.5575

 

0.7348

 

 

 

7.(C.V.)$

 

0.004366

 

0.000058

 

0.5493

 

N.A.

 

 

 

8.(C.V.)$

 

0.004981

 

0.000123

 

0.4322

 

0.5941

 

 

 

9.(Ir.CD)*

 

0.006204

 

0.000042

 

0.1992

 

 

 

 

 

10.(Ir.CD)*

 

0.007586

 

0.000028

 

ML NU

 

 

 

 

 

11.(Ir.CD)*

 

0.007171

 

0.000021

 

NU

 

 

 

 

 

12.(Ir.CD)*

 

0.003889

 

0.000022

 

0.6402

 

 

 

 

 

13.(Ir.CD)

 

0.007106

 

0.000026

 

NU

 

Negl.

 

 

 

14.(US)

 

0.006453

 

0.000081

 

0.1518

 

0.2517

 

See para

 

15.(US)

 

0.004351

 

0.000130

 

0.5522

 

0.9244

 

 

 

16.(US)

 

0.005222

 

0.000092

 

0.3863

 

0.8441

 

 

 

17.(US)

 

0.002837

 

0.000042

 

0.8406

 

 

 

 

 

18.(US)

 

0.004136

 

0.000072

 

0.5931

 

 

 

 

code:- (Ir.V)^Iraqi GWI veteran., (Ir.CD)* civilian from Baghdad.,

(Ir.CBr)@  Civilian from Basra., (B.V.) British veteran.,(US) Veteran from the USA. Exposure data not available for Iraqi veterans and civilians.

------------------------------------------------------------------

 

3.17. It can be seen that the U-235 content can be determined by the DNC method by irradiation with neutrons at the McMaster University Swimming pool Reactor, with the help of the computer-controlled facilities, repeatedly to attain better accuracy. The detection limit for U-235 is 145 picograms. Total uranium that is almost equal to the U-238 content, can also be determined by fluorometry as well. These two methods can provide sufficient information for the evaluation of DU in human specimens as well as in environmental specimens like soil, water and air. It will be shown that DU oxide could accumulate in the lungs of civilians. Presence of DU has been confirmed in the civilian population that resided in Basra during the 1991-4 period. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE MILITARY PERSONNEL FROM ALL COUNTRIES THAT TOOK PART IN GULF WAR II AND THE IRAQI CIVILIANS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN HARMED BY THE DEPLOYMENT OF DU-MUNITIONS DURING AND AFTER THE CESSATION OF THE HOSTILITIES. IT IS; THEREFORE, INCUMBENT ON THE INVADING FORCES TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE DICTATES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN VIOLATED.  

 

 

 

 

 


4. PARAMETERS FOR THE EVALUATION OF RADIATION DOSE FROM INGESTED DU.

 

4.1. In the Royal Society Report, "The Health Hazards of Depleted uranium Munitions Part 1", the radiation dose has been estimated based on different scenarios applicable to deployment of DU-munitions during the GWI [17]. It has not been possible to answer in the negative, under all scenarios, that the radiological hazard to the veterans and to the civilians after the cessation of hostilities is minimal. It is concluded in the report that based on 'their' estimates of intakes of DU, except in extreme circumstances any extra risk of developing fatal cancers as a result of radiation from internal exposure to DU arising from battlefield conditions are likely to be small compared to general risk of dying from cancer over a normal life. Overall conclusions that are drawn in the report, amount to very low hazard from ingestion of DU to veterans exposed to DU-oxides dust in the battlefield area. The greatest exposures will apply to a small fraction of soldiers during the conflict, for example, those who survive in vehicles struck by a DU penetrator. The life time risk of death from lung cancer is unlikely to exceed twice that in general population. This statement appears to be in contradiction to the test data compiled by the US Department of Defense (DoD) [18]. Under the above conditions, it is stated that DU will present radiological hazard from DU-oxides inhaled within fifteen minutes. Our own report, we believe, by very conservative risk estimates derived from analytical data of urine specimens from GWI veterans, give much higher fraction of soldiers exposed to DUOA-contaminated air, and will be or are suffering from radiation related illnesses.                                                                            4.2. Many reports evaluate risk factors from dispersal scenarios of DU rather than from quantification of exposure from causative agents. Thus, it is not possible to examine the "cause and effect" by properly designed epidemiological studies. The Royal Society report does recommend better quantification of DU and its oxides as aerosols. Some of the recommended studies may never be performed such as long-term in vivo studies of the dissolution of DU oxides. There is an urgent need to gather test data to determine the concentration of DUOA in air and soil after the end of the recent conflict.

 

4.3. There is a general agreement that DU on impact with an armour plate catches fire to form its oxides. As long as there is sufficient oxygen to support combustion, it keeps burning with the evolution of enormous amount of heat. The bullet pierces the armour and keeps producing finely divided DU-oxide dust. The dust disperses as aerosols in air. The particle size of the dust is in the micron and sub-micron ranges. Inhalation of the aerosols leads to deposition of the oxides in the lungs. It is appropriate to test whether indeed a veteran present in the battle field area would have been exposed to DU deployed in Gulf War I during the 1990-1 period.

 


4.4. The Rand report is a compilation of work that relates to the health effects in uranium miners [19]. It is now important to find better ways of estimating uranium in workers. Estimating the extent of contamination of workers by urine analysis and having a very high level for investigational purposes are only good for D class of uranium compounds. Conclusions based on the past experiences with miners, appear to be that the radiation hazard to soldiers who took part in GWI was minimal. The soldiers were also exposed to highly insoluble uranium compound, namely, uranium-dioxide dust.

 

4.5. Our literature survey indicated that there were three other papers that were not included in the above reports. The findings in those papers provided data in support for our proposed scenario wherein the DU bullet strike a hard surface and catches fire and burns into fine oxide dust. More than 50 per cent of the dust forms aerosols. DU oxides appear to be present in air for a period of almost three years [20]. Soil samples were taken from 12 sites for determining the isotopic compositions and total uranium. Three sites were located in Kuwait city and Jahra, three on the beach and the rest were from the desert including four sites chosen in the Gulf war battlefield. We summarise the result of analysis of samples collected in each location in Table 5. An Interim summary on the state of the environment summarises total uranium and isotope uranium results in 22 soil samples in Kuwait for operation southern watch 1998 [21]. 21 samples showed the presence of NU in the range of 0.26 to 1.34 microgram per gram of soil and one sample showed 33 microgram of almost pure DU with R= 0.00216.

 

                            Table 5.

   Uranium content in soil samples (ref.20 and Appendix IV)*

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Collection Sample Nos.   Uranium Conc. U-235/U-238 DU content

Location       in        refers to Average             

            Table 1     micrograms/g    Ratio, R  Remarks                  of the paper     of soil

   ----------------------------------------------------------

Kuwait City   5, 7 & 8      0.54^+/-0.15    0.007     Most likely  and Jahra                                                 all NU

 

Beach area    1 & 3         0.48^+/-0.08    0.006(2)  DU fraction                                                           0.24

                4           1.55 +/-0.29    0.007(1)  Most likely                                                            NU

 

Battlefield   9,10 & 12     0.35^+/-0.12    0.006     DU fraction   area                                                    0.24

                            0.38 +/-0.12*   0.006

                 11         1.85 +/-0.68    0.006

* weighted average. ^ Arithmetic average.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4.6. According to our scenario, any one, either a veteran or a civilian, who happened to be present in the battlefield area or in its vicinity during the 1991 to 1993 period, would have ingested DU-oxide aerosols (DUOA) through inhalation. The DU aerosols are known to travel long distances in air. Dietz (private communication) found the presence of DU some 40 kilometers away from the laboratory [14]. This is a very important point that has been ignored. Contamination of air with DUOA can spread over a much wider area depending on meteorological conditions during the period. Recently, UNEP found DU in air in two areas in the Balkans (Pijackovica and Cape Arza), where DU munitions were presumably used. Air sampling at the two sites, conducted more than two years later, revealed the presence of DU [22]. However, other sites only showed the presence of NU. This shows that under some conditions DU contamination can be present for a long period.  

 

4.7. The Battelle Northwest Pacific Laboratories report DE8500978, PNL-5415,"Potential Behaviour of Depleted Uranium Penetrators under Shipping and Bulk Storage Conditions" compiled by J.Nissima, M.A. Parkhurst, R.I. Sherpelz and D.E. Hadlock, March 1985  compiled for DoD, stated that the DU-based munitions upon ignition, burn almost to one hundred per cent ceramic form of oxides[23]. The solubilization rate data of the ceramic oxides, in simulated lung fluid given in the Bettelle report, was replotted by L. Dietz. He found that the rate of solubilization can be represented by the solubilization half life of 3.852+/-0.075 years or 1407+/-27 days. This is a very significant result in the sense that it permits the evaluation of the radiological toxicity of DU. This will be apparent later.

 

4.8. A Canadian report IAEA-SM-276/5, entitled "Canadian Uranium Fuel (Uranium dioxide) Fabrication Study:I Intake, Retention and

Excretion Monitoring Results, II Comparison of Results with Metabolic Models", by M.R. Avadhanula et al., from the Atomic Energy Control Board, the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and the Radiation Protection Division of Health and Welfare of Canada [23], indicated that the clearance rate of uranium dioxide can be represented by two short components (half lives 3 and 280 days) and two long components (half lives 800 and 3500 days) [24]. Since the excretion rate was monitored 8-11 years after the alleged exposure to the DU-oxides aerosol (DUOA), the aerosols with short biological half lives (3 or 280 or 800 days) must have been excreted from the body by now. We adopt the biological half life for the DU-oxide dust component present in the body eight years after the exposure, as low as the solubilization half life (3.852 years) or the longest as (3500 days). We present the evaluation of the radiation dose using the above two long components only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                              

5. INGESTION OF DU AS DUOA THROUGH INHALATION DURING GULF WAR I AND ITS SUBSEQUENT EXCRETION FROM THE BODY.

 

5.1. We have considered the ingestion of DUOA through inhalation only during GWI. It is now well known that a total of 320 metric tons of DU was deployed during GWI. Twenty six per cent of the DU-munitions (0.26*320 = 83.2 tons) found their targets and probably seventy four per cent are probably lying in the desert sand as DU metal attached to un-exploded munitions. It has been reported that DU upon hitting its hard target burns to its oxides releasing enormous amount of heat; thereby forming at least 50 per cent of DU oxides in the inhalational particle size range (micron or sub micron size). The finely divided DU-oxide dust attaches itself to aerosols or forms aerosols which we refer to as depleted uranium oxides aerosols (DUOA). We assume that DUOA was present in air in the battlefield area over a period of two to three years. Bou-Raabi's results [see table IV in the paper [15] on air monitoring indicate that air was contaminated with 0.34 nanogram/m3 (/m3=per cubic meter of air) with R = 0.005, during the months of July and in August 1993,R increased to 0.006. The DU fraction during July 1993 was evaluated as 0.43 and the NU = 0.57. During the months of December 1993 and January 1994, the R was 0.007 with DU fraction as less than 0.05. It is assumed that the concentration of the DU contaminant in air, decreased slowly with time (from 146 nanograms per cubic meter during the month of February 1991 to ~7 nanograms per cubic meter, in January 1994).                                            

 

5.2. It is appropriate to evaluate DU content in soil in the battle field area of about 2400 square kilometres from data reported by

Bou-Raabi [20]. Four samples of top soil were taken for analysis over the area, each of 100 square centimetre (cm2) and three cm. depth. The density of sand is assumed to be 1.43 grams/cm3. Sample No. 9, 10 and 12 conform to the above specifications but sample No. 11 differs. The weighted average of the amount of uranium content was found to be 0.38 microgram per gram of sand. R value was constant in all the four samples as 0.006. The DU fraction is 0.24 in the samples. The total amount of DU in the 300 cubic cm. is found to be 0.38*300*1.43*0.24 = 39 micrograms. It can be seen that the total fall-out over 2400sq.km =

2400*1000meters/km*1000meter/km*100cm/meter*100cm/meter = 2.4E[13]. The total amount of DU in the battle field area = 2.4 E[13]*39E[-6]/100sq.cm = 9,360,000 grams or 9.36 metric tons. The uniformity of the concentration of DU in soil makes us believe that the fall-out of DU occurred as DUOA from air to soil took place slowly. In other words, the concentration of DUOA during the 1990-1 period was the highest and with gradual fall-out it reduced to a negligible value in the winter of 1993-4. There may have been lateral dispersion and some DU contaminated soil may be there below 3 centimetre depth. The initial amount of DU in air as DUOA was considerably higher than the calculated value of 9.36 tons perhaps two or three or four times this value. Re-suspension of DUOA from soil with R=0.006 cannot lead to contamination of air with DUOA with R = 0.006.

 


5.3. From the Depleted Uranium Case Narrative reports [18], about 41 mtons of DU oxides (ceramic type) might have formed and about 20 mtons formed DUOA that mixed with air over the battlefield area of 2400 sq.km. uniformly over 500 meter from the ground level, leading to contamination of air with DUOA over the entire volume of air. From anecdotal accounts, we understood that soot from oil fires formed a blanket over the battlefield area. With these assumptions we can evaluate the concentration of DU in air =

20mtons*1E[12]micrograms/mton/(2400sq.km.*1000m/km*1000m/km*500m) = 17 micrograms/cubic meter.

 

5.4. A person on active duty inhales 33 cubic meters of air per day. It can be seen a person can accumulate 0.5 milligrams of DUOA per day in his/her lungs. It can also be seen that over 90-day period IT IS FEASIBLE FOR A PERSON TO ACCUMULATE OVER 20 MILLIGRAMS OF DUOA IN THE ALVEOLAR TISSUES IN THE LUNGS. IF THE ABOVE ASSUMPTIONS NEED TO BE VERIFIED, ONE CAN DESIGN A TEST PROTOCOL TO JUSTIFY IT BASED ON ANALYTICAL DATA WHETHER DU-BASED MUNITIONS MEET THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS OR NOT TO DEPLOY IT. TUNGSTEN HAS BEEN SUGGESTED AS A GOOD SUBSTITUTE. THERE IS STRONG CASE FOR CONDUCTING IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATIONS AT THE PRESENT TIME. IT IS OUR VIEW THAT IF THE COALITION (US AND UK) INVADING FORCES DID DEPLOY ONE OR TWO THOUSAND TONS OF DU DURING GWII, THERE ARE GOING TO BE A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF DELAYED CASUALTIES. THE HEADS OF NATO COUNTRIES WERE WARNED BY US VIDE MY LETTER DATED JULY ??, 1999 (SEE APPENDIX V) AND WE INCLUDE A REPLY RECEIVED FROM MR. MARK NEWMAN OF UK MINISTRY OF DEFENSE. WE HAVE VERIFIED OUR RESULTS ON DU CONTENT IN URINE SPECIMENS FROM GWI VETERANS FROM FOUR COUNTRIES BY FOLLOWING TWO METHODOLOGIES. DU IN URINE WITH ITS SIGNATURE MUST ORIGINATE FROM VETERANS' BODY. 97 PER CENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIMENS CONTAIN NATURAL URANIUM AS REPORTED BY GOLDSTEIN, RODRIGUEZ AND LUZAN [7]. WE HAVE LOOKED FOR SOURCES OF DU CONTAMINATIONS BUT WE HAVE FAILED TO FIND ITS ENTRY INTO THE SPECIMENS DURING WET COMBUSTION OR OXIDATION BY NITRIC ACID AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (SEE APPENDIX III). BLANKS OF ALL MATERIALS THAT HAVE BEEN USED FOR CONVERTING SPECIMENS INTO SOLUTION FOR ANALYSES DID NOT SHOW THE PRESENCE OF DU. IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE CIVILIAN POPULATION IN IRAQ AND THE VETERANS ARE AWAITING AN EPIDEMIC OF CANCERS. THE PRESENCE OF DU IN LYMPH NODES WITH ABOUT TEN TIMES THE CONCENTRATION PRESENT IN LUNGS DOES AFFECT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. THAT MAY TURN OUT TO BE A BIGGER CATASTROPHE. FOR THE SAKE OF THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF IRAQ AND THE MEMBERS OF THE INVADING FORCES, IT IS OUR SINCERE HOPE THAT THE ABOVE IS NOT TRUE. WE DREAD THE AFTER EFFECTS OF THE WAR. WE SHOULD DEVOTE ALL EFFORTS TO MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF THE PRESENCE OF DU-OXIDE DUST.  

 


5.5. Our analytical data on urine specimens from GWI veterans indicated that the clearance rate of DU was between one to five micrograms per day. More precise analytical data on DU content in urine specimens can be obtained by applying a little more care and pre-concentration and post-irradiation radiochemical separation steps. We now attempt to calculate the radiation dose based on this

proposed scenario. Following the ICRP model and assuming the biological half life for the contaminant is the same as the solubilization half life of 1407 days, we shall evaluate the amount of DU inhaled by a veteran during his active duty during the 1990-1 period, in the next chapter.

 

 

 


6. EVALUATION OF RADIATION DOSE FROM INHALATIONAL DUOA.

 

6.1. The clearance rate, R, of DU in microgram through urine, per day is determined as a function of time over a few years. A is the total amount of inhalational DU and k = 0.693/biological half life or = 0.693/1407days = 0.000492 day-1 or equal to 0.63/solubilizing half life. A plot to logR vs. time can be resolved in terms of components i, as Ai with each Ri with its respective biological half life [8,25]. 

         or R = R1 + R2 + -- + Ri = k1A1 + k2A2   ---

The clearance rate of DU per day was determined by estimating DU content in 24-hour urine specimens received from some DU-exposed veterans during the 1998-9 period or about 8 years after exposure to DU-oxide dust. There was cessation of work for a year or two till alternate facilities were organised. We had hoped to confirm our earlier analytical data as well as augment with other data on fresh urine specimens collected from the exposed veterans on an annual basis. These additional measurements would have provided a fairly good estimate of the biological half life or lives for one or many components. If it is assumed that DUOA can only be removed from the lungs by solubilization, the excretion rate is then inversely proportional to the amount of DUOA in the lungs. The initial excretion rate at t=0 (at the time of exposure) is given by  

      Ro = Rexp[kt]

where Ro = the clearance rate at the time of exposure to DU  during the 1990-1 period for the component that had a biological half life as the solubilization half life of ceramic DU oxides in simulated lung fluid,

     

       t = time elapsed between the exposure and measurement of R.  For example, at t = 8.5 years (during the 1998-9 period)

 

      Ro = 4.614 micrograms and

      Ao = 1.4*1407days*4.614 micrograms         

         = 9.1 milligrams for R = 1 microgram per day determined during the 1998-9 period.

 

6.2. It can now be seen that the value of excretion rate of 1 to 5 microgram per day in 1998-9 period is compatible with the amount of formation of DUOA and its concentration as a contaminant in air over the battle field area during the Gulf conflict that lasted about 90 days. Two sets of data namely the excretion rate through urine and the amount of inhalational DUOA gave almost the same value despite many reasonable approximations that include the biological half life same as solubilization half life as deduced from the data presented in the Bettelle report[23]. Some of the approximation can now be confirmed by determining the DU content in the environment in the aftermath of the present conflict in Iraq.


 

6.3. According to ICRP model, the radiation dose in Gray (Gy) can be quantified by the total energy in joule deposited by a radiation

source in one kilogram of tissues in an organ [26]. Weighting factors for the type of radiation and for tissues lead to the evaluation of radiation dose in Sievert (Sv). The rate of emission of alpha particles of 4.19-MeV energy from U-238 plus the rate of emission of alpha particles of 4.78-MeV energy from U-234 can be evaluated by the following equation[2]:-

       dN/dt = Number of alpha particles emitted per minute = Number of U-238 nuclei*0.693/half life in minutes of U-238 = weight of U-238 in grams*Avogadro's number/atomic weight of U-238 (6.02E[23])*0.693/4.46E[09]years*5.2596E[05]min./yr.

If 10 milligrams of U-238 are present in the lungs (total weight of the lungs = 1 kg), the rate of deposition of radiation energy in the lungs from 10 mg of DU = (7472*4.19 + 1200*4.78)*1.602E[-13]J/Mev = 5.935E[-09] joule/min or = 0.0044 J/yr.

Total amount of dose deposited over a period of 50 years = 1.4*1407days/365.25days/yr*0.0044 J/kg = 0.0238 Gy.

Quality factor of alpha particles = 20

Radiation dose deposited = 0.476 Sv . or 47.6 REMS over the entire life. This is the organ dose and it should be multiplied with tissue weighting factor of 0.12.

 

6.4. There are other factors that have not been taken into considerations for evaluating radiation dose and attending predicted risk factors in terms of probability of dying from fatal cancer. The progeny (daughter and the grand daughter), Th-234 and

Pa-234, of U-238 are present in secular equilibrium with the parent U-238. We have not included the energy dissipated by beta (electron) particles from the progeny of U-238 in the lungs. It is suggested that particulate matter, highly insoluble radioisotope such as uranium dioxide may be localized in a tissue rather than the entire lungs. According to UNSCEAR report (1972)[25], the tissue dose may result in oncogenesis near the imbedded particulate radioisotope. Following the ICRP model one can evaluate the radiation dose from a picocurie of (2.22 alpha particles per minute) alpha particles from 2.6 micrograms of DU as shown below. The range of 4.19-MeV and 4.78-MeV alpha particles does not exceed 1 gram of tissues.

Radiation dose per year = 2.22*5.2596E[05]min./year*4.308MeV* 1.602E[-6]erg/MeV/100ergs/RAD = 8.058 RADS/year or = 161 REMS/year (Quality Factor = 20 for alpha particles). It is our view that the biological half life can range from 4 to 10 years for a highly insoluble compound of uranium. This, of course, is the worst-case scenario if we take the biological half life of 10 years. Integration of dose over fifty years, the tissue dose can range from 900 REMS to 2100 REMS. For lungs, the weighting factor is adopted as 0.12. Radiation biology is in its infancy. Care must be exercised so that exposure to radiation does not harm the general population. Lastly, there are suggestions that the ICRP model is not adequate to evaluate risk estimates for low-level chronic exposure to ingested radioisotopes like DUOA [27]. Inhalation of DUOA in the lungs represents a low-level source of radiation source for which ECRR [28] has suggested modification of the ICRP model. According to ECRR, the risk estimates are enhanced in the region of 0.01 Sv. to 0.1 Sv over the risk estimates predicted by the linear or the threshold hypothesis.

 

6.5. Expectant mothers contaminated with DUOA also provide a source of DUOA to the unborn child at the fetal stage. There is evidence to indicate that fetus is harmed by exposure to very low level of radiation. In this regard one can quote the evidence presented by Alice Stewart [29.30]. Children born to expectant mothers that had diagnostic x-ray exposures during pregnancy,were more likely to suffer from childhood leukaemia than those who did not. Her work led to revision of exposure levels to radiation in the work place for expectant mothers. It has been shown that trans-uranic radioisotopes can be transferred to fetus through the placenta [31]. There have been many reports in the media that there has been enhancement of birth defects among children born to mothers residing in Basra. No direct evidence has been sought so far for transfer of DU to the fetus and thus causing damage to the fetus.

 

6.6. A scenario that DU on impact with hard target burns briskly with the evolution of finely divided dust that forms aerosols (DUOA) that results in DU becoming a contaminant in air, has been proposed. Inhalation of DUOA results in the accumulation of DUOA in the alveolar tissues in the lungs. The long biological half life explains the inhalation of DU oxides as DUOA, can lead to deposition of sufficient radiation insult in the body. 

 

6.7. Thus, it can be seen that the risk factors can be as low as 0.5 per cent or as high as 80 per cent because DUOA is particulate matter that can be imbedded in tissue for a long period. Tissue dose reaches the level that can result in oncogenesis. One needs to keep a careful watch of morbidity data particularly of residents of Basra and now Baghdad and other inhabited areas near the battle field zone.

 

6.8. For testing the validity of our calculations, we decided to get tissues of various organs from deceased persons who resided in Basra from 1990 to 1994. We received tissues taken from 40 deceased persons. Their age ranged from 12 to 45 years, through some medical practitioners in Basra. The tissues, preserved in formalin, were received through a courier service. The results are summarized in brief, below. The tissues were received by us in five packages containing numerous types of tissues from the deceased persons although we requested to have tissues from lymph nodes, lungs, kidneys and liver etc. We had considerable difficulty in identifying each one of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

                         Table No. VI

 

 

Specimen   DNC method       INAA            ICP-MS       Fraction

         Average of four    Ave of 4      Ave            DU*  DU^           U = U-235/0.00725               U-238  U-235  R from

        _________________    _________   _____  _____  DNC &                        parts per million       % abundances  INAA

             ______________________      ____________  __________ IIA           0.02               0.04    99.26  0.72   0.68  0.72

IVA          <0.02               0.03    99.25  0.71  >0.46  0.71

VIIIA        <0.05               0.11    99.24  0.72  >0.75  0.83

XA            0.05               0.07    99.26  0.71   0.39  0.75

XIIA         <0.02               0.04    99.21  0.74  >0.68  0.88

XIV          <0.02               0.05    99.24  0.71  >0.83  0.85

XVI           0.02               0.03    99.24  0.75   0.46  0.88

XIX          <0.02               0.05    99.24  0.73  >0.83  0.73

XXII          0.02               0.06    99.25  0.76   0.92  0.81

_________________________________________________________________

*Fraction of DU = (0.00725 - R)/(0.00725 - 0.00205).

^Total uranium determined by the INAA method - U-238 from NU as determined in the dissolved uranium from tissues by the ICP-MS = Amount of DU in the tissues. DU fraction = Amount of DU in the tissue/the total uranium. This method was improved upon by taking a larger sample of tissues. It can be seen that the U-235 and the U-238 contents in the tissues by the DNC and the INAA methods yielded as ~90 per cent DU and 10 per cent NU in the tissues and only natural uranium was found in the tissues by using the ICP-MS. This is somewhat remarkable that total uranium can be determined by any other method and NU can be estimated by the use of ICP-MS. We can deduce from our data on uranium content in tissues from deceased residents of Basra that there is at least 8 times the amount of uranium in their body compared to the amount reported in the ICRP Standard Man. Moreover, we believe the biological half life is much longer than 500 days (ICRP suggested value for highly insoluble uranium compounds (10). 

 

                           Table VII

Specimen    [U-235]      [U-238]      Natural uranium(ICP-MS)

             DNC(ppb)    INAA(ppb)    U-238      [U-235]/[U-238]

A (Blank)    <DL         <DL          <DL           ND

B (Tissue)   <0.087      35+/-16*     4.9+/-0.03#  0.0079

  (kidney)

C (Tissue)   <12         <19          5.07+/-0.06  0.0069

  (liver)

*Represents total uranium and R = 0.0025. # Represents NU with R = 0.0079 +/-0.0006.

 

6.9. Uranium content was determined by us in the early eighties in three deceased uranium workers. Two of them worked in diffusion plants -- one on the DU stream and the other on the EU stream. The third person was a health physicist in a plant where enriched uranium was handled. They all died from cancer. Their medical records and cause of death along with uranium content in various tissues are summarized in Table VIII. The tissues were sent by respective Coroners from hospital settings with chain of custody, at the behest of the respective lawyers.

                       

 

                        Table VIII

              Medical and Work history of     

                 three uranium workers 

Worker                X              Y                 Z

                 

Year of Birth       1921            1927?          Not Avaible

        Death       1980            1984           1981

Cause of     Metastatic adeno       Cancer         Carcinoma of

Death        carcinoma                             the tongue

 

Nature of    Worked as a control   In uranium      Employed at   work         operator in buildings Enrichment      Feed Material

             C310 & C315 meant for plant(building) Center in

             product and tailing   1410 in the K25 Fernald, OH

             withdrawl.            facility at Oak

                                   Ridge, TN.

End Product  DU & EU               94% EU          Handling of EU

Employment   1952 - 1971           1947-1961.      1952-1981

Medical      Stomach ulcer (1954)  Surgeries for   Sore tongue in

History      Gestretomy (1961)     stomach ulcers  July 1980.Sore              Unusual skin compl-   (1968)& (1975), related to

             aints.Overgrowth of   lung tumor(74)  malignancy &

             cartilegous tissues   bladder tumor(  )subsequent  

             and several attacks   lung tumor (79) growth on the

             of pneumonia.                         neck.      

Exposure to  Uranium hexafluoride  UF6             EU & DU

 

                                                                                              Table VIII                                           Uranium Isotopic Content in Tissue Specimens

                   Worker X              Worker Y

Uranium Isoto-   U-235*  U-238   U-235* U-238       U-238+       pic content in   DNC             DNC    INAA(U-239) INAA(Np-239)   tissues          -----------------------------------------------                     U in microgram/g or parts per million (ppm)

                      ____________________________________      

 

Bones I-I        0.3      0.8     0.036+/-0.004,  <0.3          

Bones II-II     <0.01#    0.1     0.040+/-0.004.  <0.2

      I-I       <0.02#    0.2

      II-II     <0.02#    0.2

 

Lungs I                           0.027+/-0.013,  <0.16;  <0.22^

Lungs II                          0.13 +/-0.018,  <0.13;  <0.039

Kidneys I                         0.020+/-0.006,  <0.4;

kidneys II                        0.036+/-0.005,  <0.2;

Liver                             0.025+/-0.006,  <0.25;

Lymph nodes                       0.24 +/-0.04 ,  <0.2 ;  <0.06

Type of uranium:-DU,with R=0.0027  EU with U in the lymph nodes


                 nearly the same   with R= 0.035. Lymph nodes                       R as found in DU  have higher U content about 2                    deployed in GWI   to 10 times higher than in the                                     tissues and with tissues from

                                   kidneys and liver also having                                      higher amounts (Table 8).      

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                  Table VIII (contd.)

          Uranium Content in Tissue Specimens from Worker Z.

           _________________________________________________ Specimen      Uranium content microgram/gram        Alpha activity                                                      mBq/kg

              ________________      __________      _________

                 DNC methoda        INAA (U-238 

                 through NU         thru. U-239

Bone(Sternum)  0.027+/-0.01b                        0.33 (0.05)#

Bone(neck)     0.022+/-0.01b                        0.27 (0.05)#

Kidney(wet-Ox) 0.024+/-0.01c                        0.29 (0.005)#

Kidney(F-D)    0.034+/-0.004c                      

Blank          0.001                                nil

Lungs(wet-Ox)  1.105+/-0.02c         0.98+/-0.5     13.4 (0.015)#                                                       Enriched   Lungs(F-D)     0.870+/-0.004c        1.09+/-0.1       Slightly

                                                      Depleted

_____________________________________________________________

aTotal uranium = U-235/0.00725.,b              c        #(alpha activity in Standard man [31].                              

 

6.10. It can be seen from the table that worker X, whose case was designated by the Department of Energy as the first martyr of the atomic age. He was exposed to uranyl fluoride UO2F2 and hydrofluoric acid produced by the hydrolysis of UF6 in presence of water, during his duties in the diffusion plant. He had excessive amount of uranium (0.8 microgram of DU per gram of bone) in soft bone tissues and much lower amount in hard bone tissues (0.02 microgram per gram of bone tissues). Nevertheless, uranium content in the skeletal mass was nearly 3 to 100 times more than what has been reported in the literature (Table 8). We did not receive any other body tissues from worker x. It is unlikely that the skeletal mass contained a maximum of 4 milligrams of depleted uranium. During the last nine years before he died, he was not exposed to uranium compounds from his work environment. The clearance rate of uranium in soft bones must have a component with a very long biological halflife. There is a great deal of inhomogeniety in the distribution of uranium in skeletal mass. Tissue dose in soft bone may indeed be very high in relation to total skeletal dose. This results in very high radiation insult to some tissues and much lower insult to others. It is difficult to assess risk estimates without complete data on internalised uranium in various body compartments.

 


6.11. Worker Y worked in the product withdrawl section of the plant where enriched uranium hexafluoride with enrichment up to 94% in U-235 was collected. It appears that exposure to total uranium hexafluoride was from a mixture of depleted and enriched uranium hexafluorides. In his case bone tissues contained about a maximum of four times higher amount of U-235 than in a standard man (R could not be determined). However, total uranium in the skeletal mass could be less than 300 microgram. Kidney tissues of the worker had about the same uranium content (25 nanogram per gram of tissues). Uranium with U-235 as > 3 per cent was not uniformly distributed in the lungs. Two tissue-specimens from the lungs showed a very wide variation (0.027 to 0.13 microgram per gram of tissues. The lymph nodes contained the highest amount among the tissues that were analysed. It is certain that some particulate insoluble compounds of enriched uranium must have entered his lymph nodes through inhalation. We estimate the total amount of uranium to be less than a milligram of enriched uranium.

 

6.12. Worker Z, according to our information worked as a Health Physicist in the plant. He had a supervisory role to ensure that no worker handled radioactivity in a way so that the prescribed maximum permissible limits were not exceeded. It was a puzzle to us how worker Z could have ingested uranium in his body. Highest concentration of uranium was found in the lungs. Measurements of alpha activity in the tissues also indicated that there was at least some EU inside his lungs. We believe that he must have been engaged in duties connected with accidents associated with burning of all types of uranium. EU, NU and DU were indeed handled in the plant. Some comments about the analytical data are in order. Uranium content in bone tissues and tissues from the kidneys were slightly higher than the normal amount found in the "ICRP" standard man. However, his lungs had about one milligram of uranium with r = 0.0072. He left the plant one year before he died from cancer (tongue and neck). Intake of soluble type of uranium compounds should have been flushed out during one year. Ingestion of insoluble type of compounds through gastro-intestinal track (GIT) should not lead to accumulation of uranium in the lungs. It appears that particulate radioactive uranium compound might have imbedded in his tongue for a long period. The lung tissues did show alpha activity much higher than expected from the same amount of NU. Additional alpha activity might have been from U-234 in EU. What follows below is a copy of a report of examination of the alveolar tissues in the lungs from his body exhumed nine years after his burial."The lung tissues were sectioned and several slides of the sections of the tissues were examined under a microscope. Three slides were randomly selected for a detailed microscopic examination. The slides revealed clumps (clusters) of particles of 7 to 12 micrometers (microns) in walls of tissues of the air ways leading to alveoli lines. The size of particles in the clumps ranged from 0.5 to 1.25 microns. In a field of view of 0.4 millimeter (mm) or 400 microns diameter, the number of clumps ranged from 2 to 14 with an average of six clumps in field of view. It can be surmised that there is a great deal of heterogeneity with respect to location of clumps in the tissues of the air ways." The particulate matter appeared to us as ceramic uranium dioxide. It is hard to believe that any other uranium compound will fit this description.”

 

6.13. It is believed that the uranium content in thoracic lymph nodes is approximately ten times higher than it is in the lungs. The radiation insult in the lymph nodes will be consequently ten


times the dose evaluated for the lungs. This has serious consequences with respect to the immune system. Radiological toxicity and indeed the entire area of assessment of risk estimates from low-level chronic exposure from internalised radioisotopes needs re-visiting.

 

6.14. The above narrative has been presented here because we feel very apprehensive that inhalation of the highly insoluble uranium dioxide will enhance morbidity and mortality when and where ever DU munitions are used in conflicts. If indeed they are shown to be as lethal as we believe they are, it is incumbent on the only super power to show that they do not leave such a huge radiation insult to the environment in Iraq that will linger on for years to come. We suggest that the Super power should conduct a program similar to the one set in motion at the end of World War II in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The A-bomb survivor data provided results that are considered the back bone of safety standards for safe handling of radioactivity for the last fifty years. The knowledge gained after 1945 through national and international committees for setting standards has helped in reducing morbidity and mortality of workers in the area of ionising radiation. Having spent our meagre resources, and lacking data concerning the deployment of DU munitions in GWII, we can only suggest that epidemiological studies should be conducted in a transparent manner. The detailed reports for the three workers are given in Appendix I to illustrate the difficulties in assessing the toxicity. We also recommend that no radioactive munitions be deployed in conflicts.

 

 

                        Metabolic Data (ICRP) [Ref.10]

                                     Standard Man                         

                                           micrograms     ppm*

                   Total Uranium (75 kg)       90         0.0012

                   Skeletal tissues (7kg)      59         0.008

                   Kidneys (300 grams)          7         0.023

                   Average Daily Intake         1.9      

                   See Ref. 32 for organ mass.                                 

 

 

7.  PROPOSED INVESTIGATIONS.

 

7.1. It can be concluded from the analytical data gained by the well-tested methods, the DNC and INAA methods for the determination of U-235 and U-238 respectively, that there was DU present in 24-hour specimens of urine taken from the veterans from four countries. Uranium oxides were found in deceased civilians who resided in Basra during the 1990-94 period. The concentration of DU was much higher in specimens from veterans than that taken from civilians.

 

7.2. In my letter to the Heads of NATO countries, our concerns about the deployment of DU-munitions were communicated to the effect that the DU aerosols in large quantities may bring about a


very large number of delayed casualties to the civilian population (see Appendix V). Indeed, DU in many ways need to be identified as weapon of mass destruction as mentioned in one of the replies to my letter from an Officer of the Ministry of Defence. It is indeed surprising to find that there has been no mention of any study concerning the determination of the biological halflife for inhalational ceramic DU-oxides dust.

 

7.3. Now Gulf War II is over. It is essential to start as soon as possible, without further delay to determine the concentration of DU in air and in soil in areas (including cities in Iraq) where ever DU has been deployed. It is alleged that as much as 1000 to 2000 mtons of DU might have been deployed during the GWII. In fact, we feel that there are conjectures about the amount of DU deployed during the second Gulf conflict that range from 25 mtons to 2000 mtons. If the Coalition forces did use 2000 mtons of DU during the second conflict, a major catastrophe is in store for the Iraqi people.

 

7.4. For the sake of humanity and for determining the suitability of deployment of DU in future conflicts, a concerted effort must be made to assess the radiological and chemical toxicities from using such huge amounts of DU. We present in the last table, equivalences in terms of total alpha activity from 2000 mtons of DU and energy


of alpha particles deposited in the unit mass of tissues, for well-known radioisotopes like Radium-226, Plutonium-239. It can be seen that presence of DU-oxides aerosols certainly does not meet  even the spirit of the Geneva conventions. If 500 mtons of DU-aerosols survive for over two years in air as contaminants as they did in Kuwait, the use of DU-munitions must be classified as weapon of mass destruction. Is this proof enough that your own invading soldiers are suffering from mysterious illnesses?  Has anyone considered the fate of Iraqi population if 2000 mtons of DU in the DU-munitions have been deployed?  This work must be commenced at the earliest after it has been ascertained the amount of DU used and the success rate in hitting its targets. A rough material balance must show that the amount deposited through fall-out on the soil plus the amount present in air is roughly equal to the amount of DU-based munitions that found their targets. If no DU is found in air and if there is no deposition of DU through fall-out on the soil, it may not be necessary to conduct any further analyses.  24-hour urine specimens must be collected from a study group consisting of DU-exposed veterans and civilians for analysis. For simplicity, creatinine levels might provide the normalizing factor. If one adopts this procedure, it is not necessary to have 24-hour urine specimens from the veterans and the civilians. All effort must be made to determine the biological half life of DUOA from the lungs. In short, all the analytical data should be collected for the evaluation of the risk factors for the veterans and the civilians. The exposed veterans should endeavour to provide, whenever and where ever possible, the availability of tissue specimens for compiling analytical data. It will help in determining pathways of highly insoluble fine dust through the body before it is excreted from the body. A wide-ranging epidemiological study should be launched after carefully drawing an acceptable protocol. This study will help in determining the causative agent(s) for the symptoms of Gulf war syndrome. A tested methodology for the determination of DU oxides of ceramic type in environmental specimens should be followed. Dang et al. have suggested that the INAA method can be improved by at least a factor of 10 by chemical separation of Np-239 with calcium phosphate [11]. The two methods (DNC and INAA) can be rapid and cost effective for the determination of U-235 and U-238 in environmental specimens that include urine, soil specimens, filters for air-monitoring.


 

                             Table 9

Equivalent mass of some radioisotopes in terms of alpha activity

                       from 2000 mtons of DU.

 

 

Radioisotope

 

Activity/gram

 

Total mass of the isotope (grams)

 

Total alpha activity

 

U-238

 

14,900/sec

 

2,000,000,000

 

2.98E[13]

 

Pu-239

 

2.3E[09]/sec

 

10.32 kilo-grams

 

2.37E[13]

 

Ra-226

 

3.7E[10]/sec

 

800 grams

 

2.7E[13]*

*Alpha activity from progeny  not included.

 

 

 

8. Conclusions.

 

8.1. After exploring various methodologies for determining the amount of depleted uranium in environmental specimens, we recommend

U-235 content can be estimated by the DNC method and U-238 content by the INAA method using Np-239 as the indicator isotope. These two measurements permit us to determine DU and NU fractions and the DU content in the specimens. This will also permit evaluation of radiation insult to the environment in Iraq. If the radiation insult is found to be excessive, Mitigation methodologies may be explored to reduce the insult as soon as possible.

 

8.2. The suggested measurements of DU content in air, in soil should be made wherever DU munitions have been deployed in Iraq.

 

8.3. The GWII veterans may be tested periodically by measuring the DU content in their respective urine sample.

 


8.4. Children are more susceptible to radiation and therefore special consideration may be given to shield them from ingesting particulate matter containing DU. Our analysis of the situation as it exist today, we have little knowledge as to the amount of DU that has been dispersed in the form of oxide dust. In case excessive amount of DU has been deployed during this year, it is incumbant on the countries to clean the entire country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Acknowledgements.

 

We are grateful to the veterans who willingly provided 24-hour urine specimens and to the University authorities for providing space for conducting this work up to July 1999. Their attitude toward this study changed suddenly and forced us to stop all work by confiscating specimens etc. for no valid reasons. We are extremely grateful to Dr. Beatrice Boctor for arranging to get the desired specimens for this study and for providing moral support. Mrs. Pamela Collins unselfishly devoted her time in finding appropriate methodology for isotopic analysis of uranium isotopes in environmental specimens. Without her help, this work presented in this report would not have been performed. Ms. Alice Pidruczny initially provided help in the eighties in identifying the type of uranium in body tissues and thus helped in establishing the DNC method for the determination of U-235 and the INAA method for the determination of U-238. She provided valuable information for the determination of abundance of U-235 and U-238. Lastly, we managed to re-start the study after eviction from the University without any outside financial support but with our strong belief that dispersal of radioactivity in the environment will eventually results in harming bio-life including human beings. Consequently, such dispersal must be avoided at all cost. Our sincere gratitude

to Dr. G. Spier for providing his expertise in analytical chemistry willingly without any renumeration.

 

 

 

 

10. References.

 

(1) Shleien, B., L.A. Slaback and B.K. Birky, Handbook of Health Physics and Radiological Health, Publishers, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A., Working Safely with Uranium, pp 720 – 726.  

(2) N.E. Holden, Table of the Isotopes, Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 78th Edition, 11-41 to 11-146 (1997-98).

 

(3) Gerhart Friedlander, Joseph W. Kennedy, Edward. S.Macias and Julian M. Miller, Nuclear and Radiochemistry, John Wiley & Sons, New York, Chichester, Brisbane, Toronto, 3rd. Edition, pp 424-427.

 

(4) Diets, L., Isotopic Measurements of Depleted Uranium by Mass Spectrometry. Private Communication 1999.

 

(5) Fahey, D., The Military Toxic Project, Don’t Look Don’t Find,

Gulf War Veterans, the US Government and Depleted Uranium 1990 –2000.

 

(6) Fahey, D., Science or Science Fiction? Facts, Myths and Propaganda, In the Debate over Depleted Uranium Weapons. An Essay.

 

(7) Diets, L., and H.C. Hendrickson,in Selected Measurement methods for Plutonium and Uranium in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Compiled and edited by R.A. Jones, Method 2.502, Mass Spectrometric Isotopic Analysis of Uranium and Plutonium using the V type Surface-Ionization Filament.

 

(8) International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). 1994. Human Respiratory Tract Model for Radiological Protection. ICRP Publication No. 66. Anals of the ICRP 24(1-3) Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

 

(9) United States General Accounting Office, GAO, March 2000, Gulf War Illnesses, Understanding of Health Effects From Deleted Uranium, Evolving but Safety Training Needed, GAO/NSLAD-00-70.

 

(10) International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). 1975. Report of the Task Group on Reference Man. ICRP Publication 23. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

 

(11) Dang, H.S., V.R. Pullat, K.C. Pillay, Determining the Normal Concentration of Uranium in Urine and Application of the Data to Its Biokinetics, Health Physics, 62, 1992, pp 562-556.

 

(12) Madley, D.W., R.L.Kathren, and A.G. Miller, Diurnal Urinary Volume and Uranium Output in Uranium Workers and Unexposed Controls. Health Physics, 1994. 67, pp 122-130.

 

(13) Goldstein, S.J., J.M. Rodriguez, and N. Luzan, Measurement and Application of Uranium Isotopes for Human and Environmental Monitoring, Health Physics, 72, 1997, pp 10-18.

 

(14) Diets, L., Isotopic Measurements of Depleted Uranium by Mass Spectrometry, Private Communication, 1999-2002.

 

(15) Richter, S., A. Alonso, R. Wellum, and P.D.P. Taylor, The Isotopic Composition of Commercially Available Uranium Chemical Reagent, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 14, 1999, pp 889-891.

 

(16) Ejnik, J.W., A.J. Carmichael, M.M. Hamilton, M. McMiarmid, K. Squibb, P.Boyd and W. Tardiff, Determination of the Isotopic Composition of Uranium in Urine by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Health Physics, 2000, 78, pp 143-146.

 

(17) The Royal Society, The Health Hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions, Part 1, Policy Document 6/01, May 2001.

 

(18) Fahey, D., Case Narrative, Depleted Uranium (DU) Exposures,

Military Toxic Group, The National Gulf War Resource Center Inc., Report 23 quoted on pp 15, Summation of ARDEC Test Data Pertaining to the Oxidation of DU During Battlefield Conditions, US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC); March 8, 1991;p 2.

 

(19) Harley, N., E.C. Foulkes, L.H. Hilborne, A. Hudson, and C.R. Anthony, A Review of the Scientific Literature as Pertains to the Gulf War Illnesses, Volume 7, Depleted Uranium, Rand Corporation National Defence Institute, Washington, DC.

 

(20) Bou-Rabee, F., Estimating the Concentration of Uranium in Some Environmental samples after the 1991 Gulf War, Appl. Radiat. Isot.,

46, 1995, pp217-220.

 

(21) Operation Southern Watch, Interim Soil Report, Total Uranium and Isotope Uranium Results, CHPPMProject No. 47-EM-8111-98.

 

(22) United Nations Environmental Programme, Depleted Uranium in Serbia and Montenegro, Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, 2001. United Nations Enviromental Programme Scientific Mission to Serbia and Montenegro, October 27, 2001 to November 5, 2001.

 


(23) Nishima, J., M.A. Parkhurst, R.I. Shelpelz, and D.E. Hadlock, Potential Behaviour of Depleted Uranium Penetrators under Shipping and Bulk Storage Condition, Bettelle Northwest Pacific Laboratories, Report DE8500978 PNL-5415, March 1985.

 

(24) Avadhanula, M.R., R.M. Chatterji, P.J. Horvath, M.P. Measures and H. Stoker, Atomic Energy Control Board, C. Pomroy, Radiation Protection Bureau, Dept. of National Health and Welfare, J.R. Johnson and D.W. Dunford, Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk river.  Canadian Uranium Fuel (uranium dioxide) Fabrcation Study:I. Intake, Retention and Excretion Monitoring Results II Comparison of Results with Metabolic Models, The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)-SM-276/5.

 

(25) UNSCEAR 1972 (United Nations Scientific Committee on the effects of Atomic Radiation) Ionizing Radiation : Levels and Effects. Volume I, pp 50-95.

 

(26) UNSCEAR 1982 (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) Ionizing Radiation: Sources and Biological Effects. Pp 10 and 13-16.

 

(27) 2003 Recommendations of the ECRR, The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes, Edited by Chris Busby, Published on behalf of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, Green Audit, 2003.

 

(28) Stewart, A.M., Radiogenic Cancers of Childhood, Radiation Biology of the Fetal and Juvenile Mammal, Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Hanford Biology Symposium at Richland, WA, pp 681-691. May 5 – 8,1969, sponsored by Bettelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Laboratory and the US Atomic Energy Commission, Edited by Melvin R. Sikov and D. Dennis Mahlum. Dec, 1969.

 

(29) Sternglass, E.J., Evidence for Low-level Radiation Effects on the Human Embryo and Fetus. Ibid., pp 691-717.

 

(30) Moskalev, J.L., L.A. Buldakov, A.M. Lyaginskaya, E.P. Ovacharenko and T.M. Egorova, ibid., Experimental Study of Racionuclide Transfer Through the Placenta and their Biological Action on the Fetus, pp 153-160.

 

(31) UNSCEAR 1988 (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of the Atomic Radiation). Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation

 

(32) Cember, H., Inroduction to Health Physics, 2nd. Edition, Appendix III, The Standard Man: Mass and Effective radius of organs of the Adult Human Body.

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