DOD will stop
transporting Depleted Uranium without a DOT “radioactive” warning placard being
displayed - Means the US Government now agrees that D.U. is highly dangerous,
proving activists right
By John Tiffany
Anti-depleted uranium (DU) activists, who have been fighting for
more than a year to prevent the renewal of a special “hazmat” exemption for the
deadly substance, scored a big win recently when the Department of
Transportation (DOT) announced its intent to let the special exemption lapse.
The exemption permits the movement of highly toxic, radioactive DU on the
highways without a DOT “radioactive” warning placard being displayed on the
The DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration announced plans to phase out the exemption over the next two
years, transitioning to full compliance with hazardous materials regulations.
The special exemption, technically known as DOT-E 9649, was first set up in 1986
and has been renewed on a biennial basis ever since.
The decision is
important because the military has consistently denied that DU is toxic or a
hazardous substance. The fact that the government now agrees with anti-DU
activists is a major step in validating the belief that DU is behind a number of
unexplained illnesses affecting U.S. soldiers and civilians in and around
battlefields and a series of birth defects afflicting their
The poisonous DU ammunition has been used in the ongoing Iraq
and Afghanistan wars. Shipments of the material occur daily throughout America,
on the highways, railways and waterways.
“The ruling against the
Department of Defense shows that political activists in the U.S. can educate
themselves and others on important technical issues and organize to petition
governmental agencies to enforce the law. Moms, dads, teachers and ordinary
people are speaking up about safety in our communities,” said Sunny Miller, of
Traprock Peace Center, one of the organizations opposed to the renewal of the
exemption. The lethal lifespan of depleted uranium is more than 1 billion
years. Not only has DU rendered large tracts of Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq,
Kuwait and parts of the United States uninhabitable forever, but also American
GIs have been hit in vast numbers with a repeat of the “Gulf War Illness” that
killed at least 12,000 Desert Storm veterans and disabled another 200,000
survivors, spouses and offspring.
Gulf War Illness is suspected to be
caused by DU. Meanwhile, GIs are outraged to learn that their veterans benefits
have been slashed during their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
to stop the renewal of DOT-E 9649 was initiated by four organizations: Ground
Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, of Poulsbo, Washington; Traprock Peace
Center, of Deerfield, Massachusetts; Military Toxics Project, of Lewiston,
Maine; and Nukewatch, of Luck, Wisconsin. Numerous other groups and individuals
joined in lobbying against the exemption.