07/24/03: According to the U.S. government and affiliated agencies, Depleted Uranium (DU) is a safe, cheap and effective material. The illnesses of our soldiers and any civilians, after a thorough investigation by the government regarding government actions, are all imagined, the lies of the those that support our enemies, the result of post traumatic stress syndrome, or are no more common than what would be encountered in the general public. The exact same story told to the soldiers returning from Vietnam with similar devastating effects from the government's unbridled use of dioxin in that country.
The government merely turned on the word processors, highlighted Vietnam, dioxin, trees, and defoliant, and hit the global replace to substitute Iraq, DU, tanks and weapon. Viola! Presto! Shezaam! The new intensive study was formulated, written, completed and the finding was the same. "Spin" anything not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. Ignore, classify or delete anything showing a possible correlation. Deny treatment, clean up and responsibility. Who knew? Who could have figured? After intensive review of all information that does not show the substance to be unsafe, the substance in question is undoubtably, unquestionably, irrefutably and undeniably SAFE!
On April 19, 2001, the U.S. government signs a global treaty to ban the existence of dioxin from the face of the earth. In the words of the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Christie Whitman, dioxin is responsible for cancer, central nervous system damage, immune system disruptions, and reproductive disorders. Bush stated, "These pollutants are linked to developmental defects, cancer and other grave problems in humans and animals." "The risks are great, and the need for action is clear." Dioxin was banned as a toxin, not only because of the effects, because of the substance's "persistence", that can lead to high concentrations and increased risk from continued exposure. In some instances dioxin may be able to survive for 30 years, usually, 10 to 15 years if not in direct sunlight. The time it takes for one half the amount of DU present to break down, the half life, is 4.5 BILLION years. Thats the good news. The bad news is that the elements into which it breaks down are more dangerous than the original element.
Are there 2 different dioxins with the same chemical structure, attributes and name? This is the same dioxin that our government, after intensive investigation of their actions, found to be safe and had no correlation to the "mental delusions" of our Vietnam veteran's illnesses. This is the same dioxin in which our Vietnam veterans swam, laid, breathed and then spawned mutated chromosomal abhorations of children that had no correlation to that exposure, according to our government's thorough evaluation. Yet, 17 years after our government proved it "safe" in the following study. They suddenly realized it needs to be banned from existence. How many years earlier could this banning have been done, had the government not falsified data, ignored relevant data and stonewalled any attempts to retrieve relevant information? Our government did this to deny culpability and compensation. The lives, health, people and the begetting of abominations of nature were of little or no concern when it came to self protection of themselves and a system that has become a plague. These actions are not based on America's principles, but, the actions of a government gone awry with power.
In 1984 an Air Force government study, The Health Effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam War Veterans, which announced a "reassuring" study that showed there were no ill health problems as compared to the normal veteran. This study was used to deny veterans compensation for legitimate claims and the government from legitimate liability. The author urges the reader to take the previous link to a fine article dealing with the study. The article shows how the cover-up was initiated, the falsified data, the unlikely retrieval of the true data and the subsequent lack of release of the true data to the media. The comparisons to the present day investigations are almost identical. The denial of danger, the difference in independent and government studies, a falsifying of government data and, finally, after the danger was shone, the denial of a correlation of the illness and cause of the illness to the veterans. It almost appears that there is a script for dealing with government atrocities committed on the soldiers and civilians that have been harmed or killed.
In the latest Department of Defense "Briefing on Depleted Uranium", because there is so much "misinformation out there", the public is told "facts" that defy basic logic, "spin" logic and outright lies.
DU, even without radioactivity, is a toxic element that is classified as a heavy metal. DU and natural Uranium (U), like lead, has no usage inside the body and is toxic. Uranium is assimilated in the body much like lead. U and DU will incorporate into the liver, bone and testes. Like all heavy metals, even without radiation it causes cancer. There is no doubt that alpha particles are the strongest cancer causing particles emitted by radiation. Small amounts of Uranium are everywhere in an approximate range of 1 part per million. Over millions of years, evolution has given beings the ability to withstand small amounts of toxins that are common. Evolution did not give us the ability to ingest more than the usual amounts. Even non-toxic, necessary substances, that are required for life, when given in a dosage of 5 to 10 times the normal amount, do not make your health better. Usually, it will just make you dead.
Dr. Doug Rokke, a nuclear health physicist that headed a group of 100 men to salvage equipment in Iraq after the 1991 war, is a strong advocate for the ban of DU in weaponry. Rokke has a myriad of illnesses related to that experience which include kidney and lung damage, brain lesions, chronic fatigue, body pain and skin lesions. After 11 years, thirty (30) percent of his crew is dead. Again the reader is urged to take the previous link to a fine article with many references showing the effects and conflicting governmental information.
Since it usually takes years for a cancer to grow to a size to be detectable, and since it usually takes years for a cell to turn cancerous, the most likely place to see the early effects of chromosomal damage is in the offspring of those affected by a toxic agent. Unable to find the study by the Veterans Administration which showed a 67% birth defect rate for the Gulf War (GW) veterans in Jackson, Mississippi, the author did find the whitewashed, "adjusted" official follow up report for the "Veterans Health Administration System-Wide Training Program, sponsored by the Employee Education System in cooperation with the Office of Employee Education and the Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards, Department of Veterans Affairs".
Two of the "studies" are addressed in this article. The first is a study of all 695,562 personnel involved in Operation Desert Storm. The government obtained that number by including over 300,000 veterans that may have been in the operation for only 1 day. Previous deployed numbers have been in the range of 320,000 to 365,000. Of those 350,000 that were truly likely to get DU exposure, there were many in support of active troops that would get no or very little exposure to DU oxides. Based on structuring of army, 2.5 support troops are required for every active troop. And surely, not every active troop, would be exposed to DU oxides. Pilots and crew for example would get virtually no exposure to DU oxides. Based on these numbers, it is likely that the numbers of troops that could actually become exposed to DU oxides would be around 100,000 to 200,000. Coincidentally, this is about the number with Gulf War Syndrome. Adding hundreds of thousands of non exposed veterans to a study that measures occurences that are, at least, as infrequent as 1 in every 100 births will severely dilute the results to the point of being useless. This study diluted the results by 300% to 700%. If the 100,000 reservists not included in this study were soldiers that had DU oxide exposure, the dilution rate would be significantly higher. Even with the diluting of the exposed individuals, it was found that females had a significantly increased rate of birth defect children. It is more likely that females infected with DU would have more significant problems with birth defects, because the radiation and physical toxicity would still be in the mother during development. But, after "adjustment", there was no evidence of increased birth defects.
The second study, from December 1993 through May 1994, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Jackson, Mississippi, the Mississippi State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control was conducted because of alarming reports of markedly increased birth defects of Iraq stationed National Guard troops as reported by the papers in Jackson, Mississippi. Three government agencies in concert checking on the government. The results of this study were, predictably, "No Evidence of Increased Birth Defects and Health Problems among Children Born to Persian Gulf War Veterans in Mississippi". This is a lie. 28 veterans had left the service and "could not be contacted". Those that were most likely to have effects, possibly illness had caused them to leave, were not in the study. Even in the 90% that remained healthy enough or stayed in the National Guard service, there was dramatic evidence of severe birth defects in the records examined. 13 pregnancies were not included in the study with no reason given. Three (3) of the fifty four (54) births were judged to have severe birth defects. Based on the government study that included hundreds of thousands that would not have been exposed to DU and could show no effects from exposure to DU, the severe birth defect rate was 1.85% for both groups. This limited Mississippi study proved a 300% increase in birth defects over the average military person. This would be consistent with the Kang Study which proved a 200% to 300% increase in birth defects of GW veterans. In this group of 54 there was also a child with pulmonary stenosis, this is a medically severe defect. However, it was "judged to be hemodynamically insignificant" and was placed in mild birth defects. If this case would have been included, there would have been a 400% increase in birth defects in that group. If the single umbilical artery, which occurs in less than 1% of births and is associated or the cause of other severe defects, had been included in severe defects, there would have been a 500% increase in birth defects. This was not included because it was judged to be "without associated abnormalities".
They justified the conclusion of "no evidence of birth defects" by somehow deciding that a normal severe birth defect rate for this group would have been a high of 7.4%. Despite the diluted study which proved a rate of 1.85% severe birth defect rate and the March of Dimes birth defect rate of 3.6% for all birth defects, including minor defects and birthmarks, these "researchers" decided that 7.5% would be required to show any proof of increased defects. Now there is a fine example of wasted tax dollars, bias of the studies and the integrity of these researchers. The proof of radiation defects is not the same defect repeated, but, the randomness of different defects. This was noted in the study, but, was hidden under "no evidence of birth defects" title and expectation of at least an 8% severe defect birth rate in order to show any significant abnormality.
Miscarriages were not evaluated by medical investigation in this or any study. The first 3 months of pregnancy are when most of the abhorations would be spontaneously aborted. Many are just thought of as "late" cycles. The author believes that this is an area in which significant data can be obtained rather quickly. It is extremely important that blood clots, that appear to have tissue in them, from "late" (weeks, not days) cycles and miscarriages be brought to medical investigation. All veterans that have had potential exposure should, or should inform their significant others to, bring these specimens to their physicians and request medical information regarding the possible miscarriage. These specimens can be collected in any clean jar, common rubbing alcohol poured into the jar to a depth sufficient to cover the specimen will preserve the specimen and give vital insights into the extent of the actual effects of this known toxic and mutagenic substance.
Ed Ward, MD