Humans and the Environment

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:06 pm

@ campitor, nope. I was doing some digging to get good links, but will need my PC to post it all, the phone won't work.

Uranium is about as common as tin, it is probably in the water you drink and most foods you eat. Everyone has urainium in their urine, all the time. It is very easy to measure in tiny traces. I am in no way surprised to hear it is soldier's urine, 10 years later.

DU is used in armor, (not usually left behind, our armored vehicles pretty much came out unscratched) and armor penetrators. This means armor piercing tank rounds, only really used on enemy tanks, ( tanks are still manually loaded, so the loader chooses the right kind of ammo) and the big offender is the A-10, close support aircraft. These use 30mm miniguns, and because they need to keep up a hypervelocity for tank busting, they use lots of DU.

DU is much heavier than lead. In a tank, this isn't an issue, in a plane, using DU means reduced payload. You would only use it if you are expecting to need to disable armored vehicles. This is one of the reasons that DU hasn't been used in the ME since 2003 (until for some damned reason it was used in Syria a few months ago, confirmed by the military 2 weeks ago)

DU is about 60% of the radioactivity of urainium ore, which as I said above, is already all over, common as tin. Adding in tons more in a desert isn't the disaster it is partayed to be.

As an example, ( I'll link later) Boeing uses hundreds of kilos of DU in their 747 as balast. They had a 747 hit an apartment, and burn, at temps high enough to burn DU. They only recovered 1/2 the DU. As I pointed out above, DU is easy to find and separate. Yet they couldn't find the missing 100 kilos or so. This was an urban setting, and there were survivors in the apartment, first responders exposed, and a huge corporation with deep pockets. And those people haven't shown increased risks from exposure.

I have links to various real-time logging giegor counter networks. This afternoon, Baghdad was showing 12 CPM on one, and 30 on the other. For reference, Colorado usually runs about 60 (rocks and high elevation) and Seattle runs about 12 (low elevation and sedimentary soils). Also a first person account of someone with one of those networks working with NGOs in Iraq.

But first I need to get home...

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:38 am

ok, links to DU, as promised. ... terans.pdf This is a study of DU exposure by Canadians. Done by doctors, with some nice quotes.
Uranium has been part of our planet's crust since it was formed, and is present in
variable amounts in its rock, soil, air and water. Having entered our bodies via the air
that we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, its presence can be detected
in all humans. It does not play a metabolic role in the human body.
the use of DU as
ballast in airplanes. This has no impact at all on human health except for those
occasions when an airplane crashes and burns, and the DU burns as part of the
conflagration. This occurred outside Amsterdam in October 1992 when a Boeing 747-
258F cargo plane crashed into two apartment buildings short of the runway at Schiphol
airport (TRS 2002; Bijlsma et al. 2008). The crew and many people in the apartments
were killed by the crash and the resulting fire. Firefighters and police officers responded
immediately to fight the fire and rescue victims. Consequently, these workers were at
much higher risk to exposure to DU than people residing in the neighbourhood.
Subsequently the wreckage was moved to a hangar where it was inspected and
catalogued by workers. The plane carried 282 kg of DU as ballast but only 130 kg was
recovered (TRS 2002). It was assumed that the remainder was consumed in the fire
which created the possibility that uranium oxide particles could have been produced and
dispersed in dust and smoke, and subsequently inhaled or ingested. This concerned the
rescue and hangar workers and led to a study started in 2000 of the health effects of
their participation in the tragedy. A total of 2,499 workers participated and the results
showed that the exposed workers did not have significantly higher U concentrations
than the non-exposed comparison group, nor did they demonstrate any presence of DU
in their bodies (Bijlsma et al. 2008).
150 kg of DU burnt. And someone had to put out that fire. Those firefighters would have to be far more exposed than people driving on a highway that was sprayed by DU rounds (wrapped in lead) back in the 90's. As I said above, it was the A-10's that were dispersing the DU rounds. That means most of that was spent out in the middle of the desert, where the Republican guard was getting chased down. But there was that whole "highway of death" thing. We sent planes and choppers in to kill everything on the main highway at the start of Desert Storm, the goal being to shut down the highway as part of a strategy to crush the Iraqi army by eliminating their ability to resupply. If civilians are getting exposure to DU, this is the best place for it. DU is not nice stuff. But it's also not the source of invisible death rays, either. (Well, yes, it literally is the source of invisible death rays, if you have 4.4 billion years to wait for them...)
A 2002 study that examined uranium levels in the urine of Canadian Forces Veterans of
the Gulf and Balkans conflicts (Ough et al. 2002) concluded that their uranium level was
comparable to that of the Canadian civilian population exposed to normal and safe
background amounts of uranium. No DU was detected in the urine of any member of
the study group. Similar studies have been conducted by many NATO nations on their
respective military populations: UK; (UK DUOB 2007; Bland 2007); Germany (Oeh et al.
2007); US (Squibb and McDiarmid 2006; Dorsey 2009); France (Cazoulat et al. 2008);
Belgium (Hurtgen 2001); Italy (Ministero della Difesa 2002) and Sweden (Sandström
2001) and they have arrived at the same conclusions. The US studies are interesting in
that they include Veterans with historically high levels of documented inhalation
exposure and those with retained DU fragments. The only elevated levels of urinary U
were amongst those with retained fragments. All others had levels similar to those of the
general population.
With the exception of the US cohort of friendly fire soldiers from the Gulf War, the
Committee found no evidence of any allied soldiers having been directly and specifically
exposed to DU. With respect to Canadian military personnel, a few Canadian soldiers
may have been exposed to DU during the Camp Doha fire, but this has been estimated
to be at levels too low to produce adverse health effects. These soldiers would have
also been exposed to other inhalations during this fire, which makes the attribution of
any effect to DU specifically, very difficult. Large urinalyses studies designed to
retrospectively assess prior exposure to DU have reported levels that were comparable
to those of normal civilian populations.
This study also sums up all the similar studies done by all the other Gulf war Allies, and critiques them.
We have found, after assessing the mortality and cancer incidence cohort studies
conducted by several countries, that there is limited evidence, at the moment, to
suggest an association between being involved in the Gulf and Balkans conflicts, and
an increased risk of cancer or mortality. The comprehensive follow-up surveillance
program of US Gulf War Veterans with embedded DU fragments has not detected, after
18 years, any significant adverse health effects in this unique group that is chronically
exposed to DU
If embedded DU shrapnel isn't causing detectable problems, after 20+ years, I think we need more than just "increased cancer and birth defect rates" to trace the problems to DU exposure. Iraq had higher than normal rates prior to Desert Storm, and there is plenty of really unhealthy shit to be exposed to when your country hosts a war. So I would expect cancer and birth defects to increase. Lots of burning X, Y, and Z. Lots of dispersed X, Y, and Z. Poor health infrastructure. Sanctions cutting off medical supplies for a decade, decades of Saddam's decisions. The chemical weapons used on Kurds and during the Iran-Iraq war, burning oil fields... There are plenty of real, documented reasons for health problems in Iraq. DU just isn't a credible threat in that environment.

more links:
Real time Geiger-counters: 168 in Isreal, what's up there!?! ... pen-doors/
safecast keeps an open source radiation database. Seems awesome. Odd there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent for weather/climate data. I remember someone was trying to set something up with iphones, but haven't heard anything more in a while...

general radiation information:
The average radiologic profile of bananas is 3520 picocuries per kg, or roughly 520 picocuries per 150g banana.[3] The equivalent dose for 365 bananas (one per day for a year) is 3.6 millirems (36 μSv).
After the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the NRC detected radioactive iodine in local milk at levels of 20 picocuries/liter,[6] a dose much less than one would receive from ingesting a single banana. Thus a 12 fl oz glass of the slightly radioactive milk would have about 1/75th BED (banana equivalent dose).
A nice chart for simple visualization of radiation dosing: ... y_Xkcd.png

OK, I'm sure I have exhausted your patience and interest, but I think it needed to be said.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:33 am

@ Riggerjack

Thanks for posting the DU information and the links. I'll try to post my sources later - I need to go to work. The main criticisms I have seen, from individuals hired by the military to oversee DU risks and cleanup, is the military puts pressure on researchers to cherry pick data or discard data altogether that doesn't fit the DU-is-harmless narrative. According to them, DU becomes an aerosol when exploded and releases heavy metals and DU in micron sizes that easily pass the lung barrier. The sizes are so small that they pass in and out of cells easily and are not removed efficiently by the kidneys for the same reason. And since the DU particles are smaller, more surface area is exposed per dose which allows DU to release Alpha radiation more efficiently within the body.

Everything you posted, which I've read, makes sense and refutes a lot of what I've read. But some of the interviews and data that I absorbed prior to your post states the risks are completely different when DU is used as a kinetic weapon because of the changes it undergoes upon impact. Even if the radiation is harmless, the heavy metal residue left behind is not (their words not mine). You haven't exhausted my patience or interest - you've only increased it. I look forward to being better educated on the subject.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:09 pm

I wrote:
Worst case scenario: I walk out of my front door in the morning and avoid dirty oil slicked puddles left by unseasonable heavy rainfall in giant craters formed by crumbling asphalt infrastructure. Then I encounter screaming insane human in litter-strewn alley, so must change my path. I arrive at my destination, where I planned on exerting some life energy educating refugee-status children from over-populated or war-zone regions, and I am informed that there will be no school today due to 48 hour "boil your water" warning. Yeah, that might be my prediction, if that wasn't what really already happened to me this morning. So, I'm thinking situation could get even worse.

enigmaT120 replied: Wow. But you are working on making it better and I think you will make progress.
The average per capita income in the tiny city within much larger city I currently inhabit is around $10,000 and the population density is around 10,000 humans/square mile. The average per capita income in Michigan as a whole is around $30,000 and the population density is around 100 humans/square mile. The city of Detroit was first able to support a public library and a symphony orchestra in the late 19th century when it achieved a population of around 100,000 people inhabiting 142 square miles. The affluent suburb to which my BF transported me when I informed him that I had to boil my water has a per capita income of around $40,000 and a population density of around 1000 humans/square mile. The nearby rural county where we went canoeing and had the river almost completely to ourselves and experienced a bald eagle swooping right down over our heads has a population density of around 35 people/square mile.

I don't think if you took a poll and correlated tendency to identity as "environmentalist" and number of offspring you would detect a good deal of hypocrisy. As Riggerjack noted, it does have a lot to do with preferred aesthetic. Preferred aesthetic has a lot to do with human psychology. For instance, what quality is being promoted in both of the below images? Since it is my aesthetic preference to live in a world that supports libraries, symphonies, clean rivers and wildlife, my overall preferred population density for Michigan would be somewhat less than current level, so I am willing to only have 2 grandchildren (reduce population by 50% over 2 generations.)



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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:50 pm

Before I get accused of painting a rosey picture, (because radiation=death, anyone who says otherwise is just covering up for corporations/government/alien overlords, whatever...)

Here is a link to a site that completely disagrees with me:
Each atomic transformation produces another radioactive chemical: first, uranium 238 produces thorium 234, (which has a half life of 24.1 days), then the thorium 234 decays to protactinium 234 (which has a half life of 6.75 hours), and then protactinium decays to uranium 234 (which has a half life of 2.47E+5 or 247,000 years). The first two decay radioisotopes together with the U 238 count for almost all of the radioactivity in the depleted uranium. Even after an industrial process which separates out the uranium 238 has taken place, it will continue to produce these other radionuclides. Within 3 to 6 months they will all be present in equilibrium balance. Therefore one must consider the array of radionuclides, not just uranium 238, when trying to understand what happened when veterans inhaled depleted uranium in the Gulf War.
All true. DU has even more U238 than U ore or refined U. and look, you don't just have to worry about U238 with DU, you have to worry about all those other radioactive elements in the chain. But consider:

Decay of uranium-238 alone
The 1.000 gram of uranium contains 0.993 gram of uranium-238.

Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.47 billion years. Let's convert that to seconds:

(4.47 x 109 years) x (365.25 days/year) x (24 hours/day) x (60 minutes/hour) x (60 seconds/minute) = 1.411 x 1017 seconds

The get the mean lifetime of a radioactive isotope, designated τ (Greek letter tau), divide the half-life by the natural logarithm of 2:

mean lifetime τ = half-life / ln(2) = (1.411 x 1017 seconds) / 0.6931 = 2.035 x 1017 seconds

The decay rate, designated λ (Greek letter lambda), is the fraction of the total mass that decays in one unit of time. It is equal to the inverse of the mean lifetime:

decay rate λ = 1/τ = 1 / (2.035 x 1017 seconds) = 4.914 x 10-18 per second

This is the fraction of the uranium-238 that decays in one second, so a mass of 0.993 gram of uranium decays at a rate of 0.993 x 4.914 x 10-18 = 4.88 x 10-18 gram per second. To convert this decay rate from grams per second to atoms per second, you use the atomic mass of uranium-238, 238 grams per mole, and the Avogadro constant, 6.022 x 1023 atoms per mole:

(4.88 x 10-18 gram / second) x (1.0 mole / 238 grams) x (6.022 x 1023 atoms / mole) = 1.23 x 104 atoms/second

This is 12,300 atoms/second or 12,300 becquerels (12.3 kBq)
For reference, an average smoke detector for domestic use contains about 0.29 micrograms of Am-241 (in the form of americium dioxide), so its activity is around 37,000 Bq (or about 1 µCi). So, really, it's not the radioactivity of U238 we need to worry about. It is the toxicity.

from: ... metal.html
Because most thorium salts are excreted via urine, a high urine thorium level indicates exposure and probably increased body burden of this element. Thorium is considered mildly toxic for two reasons, low-level radioactivity and slight biochemical toxicity.
Protactinium is homogeneously dispersed in most natural materials and in water, but at much lower concentrations on the order of one part per trillion, that corresponds to the radioactivity of 0.1 picocuries (pCi)/g. There is about 500 times more protactinium in sandy soil particles than in water, even the water present in the same sample of soil. Much higher ratios of 2,000 and above are measured in loam soils and clays, such as bentonite.[24][27]
As protactinium is present in small amounts in most natural products and materials, it is ingested with food or water and inhaled with air. Only about 0.05% of ingested protactinium is absorbed into the blood and the remainder is excreted. From the blood, about 40% of the protactinium deposits in the bones, about 15% goes to the liver, 2% to the kidneys, and the rest leaves the body. The biological half-life of protactinium is about 50 years in the bones, whereas in other organs the kinetics has a fast and slow component. So in the liver 70% of protactinium have a half-life of 10 days and 30% remain for 60 days. The corresponding values for kidneys are 20% (10 days) and 80% (60 days). In all these organs, protactinium promotes cancer via its radioactivity.[24][53] The maximum safe dose of Pa in the human body is 0.03 µCi (1.1 kBq), which corresponds to 0.5 micrograms of 231Pa. This isotope is 2.5×108 times more toxic than hydrocyanic acid.[62] The maximum allowed concentrations of 231Pa in the air in Germany is 3×10−4 Bq/m3.[53]
I think we can all agree, U238, Thorium 234, and protactinium 234 are all things you do not want to brush your teeth with. It's ALL toxic. But as with all toxins, the dose makes the poison. If you injest or inhale U238 in quantities small enough that the U238 doesn't kill you, the miniscule amounts of Th234 and Pa234 are too small to measure, within the sample of U238 (thus far less likely to interact in any way with tissues), and there for a short time. To even raise the issue is clear evidence of an intent to "muddy the waters".

And it is this that bothers me. Using "science-iness", rather than science. The truth is we really don't know how bad any of this really is. It takes a crackpot to declare it to be good for us (but of course that's been tried...) but when you have websites dedicated to obscuring the already less than intuitive science of radioactivity, that's where my hackles get raised. I don't like being lied to.

I don't have any irons in this fire. I don't work in these fields. In fact, I only got interested when I was surfing, looking at using foam insulation as forms for gunite, and ran into a nuclear engineer's blog about how he built his pool, and then clicked a link to "how toxic is plutonium". Then more clicks, as I saw there was a whole line of BS I'd swallowed from a kid onward. If being lied to is the kind of thing that bothers you, here's that first link:
One man, Dr. Bernard Cohen, went so far as to volunteer to eat as much plutonium as Ralph Nader would caffeine in an attempt to demonstrate the folly of the severe toxicity claims.

Mr. Nader refused the challenge.
The more I find out about Nader, the more I regret voting for him.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:27 pm

According to them, DU becomes an aerosol when exploded and releases heavy metals and DU in micron sizes that easily pass the lung barrier. The sizes are so small that they pass in and out of cells easily and are not removed efficiently by the kidneys for the same reason. And since the DU particles are smaller, more surface area is exposed per dose which allows DU to release Alpha radiation more efficiently within the body.

Everything you posted, which I've read, makes sense and refutes a lot of what I've read. But some of the interviews and data that I absorbed prior to your post states the risks are completely different when DU is used as a kinetic weapon because of the changes it undergoes upon impact.
U238 is TOXIC. from the Canadian study I linked to:
Toxicological Effects of DU
As noted earlier, whereas U is more radioactive than DU, there is no difference between
them chemically. Like other heavy metals such as lead, mercury and plutonium, U is
chemically toxic (Roth et al. 2001) and consequently, so is DU. All three isotopes that
comprise U and DU are equally toxic from a chemical perspective (McDiarmid 2012).
Whether DU is inhaled or ingested, most ends up being excreted in urine and in feces.
As mentioned earlier, the rapidity with which this occurs is dependent largely on the
solubility of the compounds involved. The kidney is the organ most at risk for damage
because of its role in clearing the U from the blood and excreting it. In the process of
doing this, the U accumulates in the epithelium of the renal tubules which, within a few
days of heavy exposure, causes the epithelial cells to die and the tubular walls to
atrophy. There are also glomerular changes. These changes lead to a decrease in the
reabsorption of glucose, sodium and amino acids into the blood resulting in increased
glucose levels in the urine and in proteinuria (TRS 2002; IOM 2008). The severity of
damage depends on the U level. A single inhalation of 8 mg of soluble U is regarded as
the threshold level for transient kidney toxicity, that is, these changes are totally
reversible; permanent damage can be caused by 40 mg. (Roth et al. 2001). There is still
much to be learned about the link between levels of U in the urine and clinical
symptoms despite the fact that many animal studies have been conducted to better
understand the mechanisms of kidney injury that U can cause.
Kidney toxicity at 40 mg. The math I used in my previous post was 1000mg. I honestly don't know how big a dose is necessary to achieve a 40 mg dose at the kidney, the study goes into a great deal of detail about the metabolic processing, if you are interested.

Huge amounts of DU fired, google A10 video for what that looks like. Most rounds hit sand. Each round is encased in lead. If it hit sand, the lead went with the DU, and it is probably still there. If it hit a hard target, the lead peels back like it was butter, the DU penetrates, superheating and burning along the way. Burnt DU is not fun, but if you are in that vehicle, long term toxicity is the least of your worries.

There was an ammo fire, some friendly fire incidents, etc. We have a population exposed to burning DU to study. It is being studied. And yeah, I can see the heavy handed general trying to put his thumb on the scale (but that might just be my prejudice against field grade officers). But most of this work is done by DOE scientists, not military, and the VA reports to an entirely different chain of command. Honestly, there aren't enough cases of DU exposure to make a blip on the VA budget, even at 100% disability for all of em. PTSD is a far bigger budget concern.

I expect, like lead, U238 toxcity is tied to particle size. A chunk, sitting in your hand, is no big deal. I have handled 20mm minigun DU rounds. they are heavy, but not that heavy. Burning, in an enclosed environment, it's going to be a real problem. Sitting in the sand 60km away? that's only a PR problem.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:13 pm


Thanks for posting your latest info. You've given me plenty to read and it's been very educational. I agree with your final assessment regarding the true danger of DU. I'm just posting some of my info, with links, to wrap up my part of this discussion.

The kidney toxicity for U is 40mg. According to this report (The Toxicity of Depleted Uranium -, the lethal does is 14mg per kilogram depending on chemical composition, so a 160lb male (72.57kg) would need to ingest 1.01grams of U. This reports also states "Once absorbed, uranium is widely distributed throughout the body. Bone acts as a reservoir for the metal and once environmental uranium exposure has stopped it will be released from the bone for months or years to come."

Wikipedia ( ... Ammunition) lists DU content by weight for the following projectile calibers: 20mm (180g), 25mm (200g), 30mm (280g) - used in A10 Warthog, 105mm (3.5kg), and 120mm (4.5kg) - used in M1A1 Tank. The toxicity report also states that DU in kinetic weapons will aerosol into particles 0.2 - 15 microns in diameter upon explosion. The EPA states that anything smaller than 10 microns will get deep into the lungs. ( ... -pm-basics). The Canadian Occupational Health states that anything less that 5 microns will get into the deepest recesses of the lungs ( According to this UNEP report ( only 10-35% of the bullet, with a maximum of 70%, is converted into an aerosol and can spread according to wind direction. And Nellis Air Force Range shows that DU can be found 100m from impact of target. If we use the smallest aerosol percentage (10%), the smallest caliber DU projectile (20mm) will create a minimum of 18g of aerosol and the M1A1 round will produce 450grams of aerosol.

This study regarding cytoplasmic irradiation ( records a bystander effect for cells that haven’t been directly irradiated : “Radiation-induced bystander effects are defined as the induction of biological effects in cells that are not directly traversed by a charged particle, but have received signals from these irradiated cells. Early investigations of the radiation-induced bystander effect measured the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) in populations of cells exposed to very low fluencies of alpha particles. In CHO cells irradiated with low doses of alpha particles where less than 1% of the nuclei were estimated to have been traversed by a particle, an increase in sister chromatid exchanges was observed in over 30% of the cells. 17)In other words, either cytoplasmic damages or signals received from an extracellular component may have modulated the observed genotoxic response. Results from experiments using microbeam provide evidence that the bystander effects can be demonstrated using a variety of endpoints of biological damage, including micronucleus induction, cell lethality, gene expression and oncogenic transformation in various human and rodent cell lines. 18-26) se relationship. It has been shown, for example, that irradiation of 10% of a confluent human hamster hybrid (AL) cell population with a single alpha particle per nucleus results in a mutant yield similar to that observed when all of the cells in the population are irradiated. 26) A similar observation has also been made using primary human bronchial epithelial cells and incorporating G2 phase premature chromosome condensation as an endpoint. 3)” So perhaps even a small dose of ingested radiation can have a multiplicative effect.

PS - I talked to some of my military buddies about this and they tend to agree that DU is harmless unless you start inhaling the dust or get shot with it. They think the problem with Gulf Vets isn't the DU but all the burn pits. Their anecdotal stories say anyone near those burn pits were the ones that got sick.

Take care..

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:33 pm

OK, so U is detected 100m from impact in test ranges. That is no real surprise, U is very easy to detect. But it isn't going anywhere, it isn't doing anything, and if you don't walk around sniffing the ground, you shouldn't have any negative effects. M1A1s had better ways of dealing with targets that weren't armored. They wouldn't have used many AP rounds. Only against Republican guard tanks. With a 105 you don't need AP rounds to destroy armored cars and trucks.

A 30MM round won't penetrate tank armor, but will throw tracks and punch thru running gear, external fuel tanks, etc. A10s shot up tanks when they saw them, and called for an Apache to come back to that site with missiles.

So your initial post of 1200 tons of DU ammunition used, set off my BS alerts. But then I thought of my time, and the way my unit operated, and had to back down on that. First, while I am sure 1200 tons would be about right for the DU ammo brought along, It probably wasn't nearly all fired, what was fired would be a round that may weight a few pounds, but only contain a few ounces of DU. A lot of that was probably buried along the side of the road when word got around about decon procedures to get equipment and supplies shipped back to the states. A lot of it is "off the books" in some Marine supply warehouse, that's where our Stingers went... So while 1200 tons sounds wrong, I could see a line item of inventories that reflects it. ... Map_v2.svg As you can see, the ground war in the first gulf war, when there were armored targets, happened in Kuwait, and south Iraq. Here's the abstract from your link:
Iraq is suffering from depleted uranium (DU) pollution in many regions and the effects of this may harm public health through poisoning and increased incidence of various cancers and birth defects. DU is a known carcinogenic agent. About 1200 tonnes of ammunition were dropped on Iraq during the Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003. As a result, contamination occurred in more than 350 sites in Iraq. Currently, Iraqis are facing about 140,000 cases of cancer, with 7000 to 8000 new ones registered each year. In Baghdad cancer incidences per 100,000 population have increased, just as they have also increased in Basra. The overall incidence of breast and lung cancer, Leukaemia and Lymphoma, has doubled even tripled. The situation in Mosul city is similar to other regions. Before the Gulf Wars Mosul had a higher rate of cancer, but the rate of cancer has further increased since the Gulf Wars.
So, if DU was the problem, it could be an influence in Basrah, but Baghdad? Mosul City in the North? Just looking at where the fighting happened, and looking at a map should be enough to see how little one could have to do with the other. Remember those burning oil fields? How the Iraqis set fire to all those oil wells, and then set mines to kill the firefighters? So much smoke it was hard to tell day from night, as most light just came from the fires. It took forever to put that out. If there were an environmental cause to cancers in Basrah, you really need to have an axe to grind to look past that. Honestly, if DU were anywhere near as bad as that report claimed, it would be obvious and absolutely clear in Kuwait, where most of that armored fighting happened.

My main point is, don't get shot at by DU. For that matter, try avoiding getting shot at. However, if you do get shot at by DU, leave the area. It won't follow you, it will be dispersed quickly, what remains in the area Isn't a problem unless you go back and stir it up, pick up pieces, take them home to use for amateur DIY dental work, etc. The dispersed U will quickly just lead to a slightly higher background count, but still lower than that of Colorado.

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