[ RadSafe ] Re: DU and cancer causation

jjcohen at prodigy.net jjcohen at prodigy.net
Mon Aug 14 13:17:31 CDT 2006

Bill et al,
    Perhaps I was too subtle. My point was; just as one case of non-effects
does not prove harmlessness, one case showing an effect does not prove a
cause and effect relationship --- no matter how tragic the effect. I only
wish they taught this concept in journalism schools.      Jerry Cohen

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Prestwich" <prestwic at mcmaster.ca>
To: <jjcohen at prodigy.net>
Cc: "Roger Helbig" <rhelbig at california.com>; "radsafelist"
<radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2006 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Re: DU and cancer causation

> There are plenty of examples of smokers who lived to a ripe old age-this
didn't prove smoking is harmless.
> Bill Prestwich
> Jerry Cohen wrote:
> > Debra Hastings relates a truly sad story suggesting that DU causes
cancer. I know of a gentleman who worked for 20 years in uranium processing
during which time he was exposed to DU on several occasions. He is now 85
years old and in excellent health for someone his age. Doesn't that prove DU
is harmless??
> >
> >
> >
> > Roger Helbig <rhelbig at california.com> wrote:
> >   A small very committed group of activists have gotten their message
out to the point where the mainstream media are asking questions,
> >
> > Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 6:54 AM
> > Subject: [DU Information List] are depleted uranium weapons sickening
U.S troops
> >
> > Are Depleted Uranium Weapons Sickening U.S. Troops? By Deborah Hastings
> > AP National Writer
> > August 10, 2006
> > NEW YORK (AP) - It takes at least 10 minutes and a large glass of orange
juice to wash down all the pills - morphine, methadone, a muscle relaxant,
an antidepressant, a stool softener. Viagra for sexual dysfunction. And
Valium for his nerves.
> >
> > Four hours later, Herbert Reed will swallow another 15 mg of morphine to
cut the pain clenching every part of his body. He will do it twice more
before the day is done.
> >
> > Since he left a bombed-out train depot in Iraq, his gums bleed. There is
more blood in his urine, and still more in his stool. Bright light hurts his
eyes. A tumor has been removed from his thyroid. Rashes erupt everywhere,
itching so badly they seem to live inside his skin. Migraines cleave his
skull. His joints ache, grating like door hinges in need of oil.
> >
> > There is something massively wrong with Herbert Reed, though no one is
sure what it is. He believes he knows the cause, but he cannot convince
anyone caring for him that the military's new favorite weapon has made him
terrifyingly sick.
> >
> > In the sprawling bureaucracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, he
has many caretakers. An internist, a neurologist, a pain-management
specialist, a psychologist, an orthopedic surgeon and a dermatologist.
> > He cannot function without his stupefying arsenal of medications, but
they exact a high price.
> >
> > "I'm just a zombie walking around," he says.
> >
> > Reed believes depleted uranium has contaminated him and his life. He now
walks point in a vitriolic war over the Pentagon's arsenal of it - thousands
of shells and hundreds of tanks coated with the metal that is radioactive,
chemically toxic, and nearly twice as dense as lead.
> >
> > A shell coated with depleted uranium pierces a tank like a hot knife
through butter, exploding on impact into a charring inferno. As tank armor,
it repels artillery assaults. It also leaves behind a fine radioactive dust
with a half-life of 4.5 billion years.
> >
> > Depleted uranium is the garbage left from producing enriched uranium for
nuclear weapons and energy plants. It is 60 percent as radioactive as
natural uranium. The U.S. has an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of it, sitting
in hazardous waste storage sites across the country. Meaning it is plentiful
and cheap as well as highly effective.
> >
> > Reed says he unknowingly breathed DU dust while living with his unit in
Samawah, Iraq. He was med-evaced out in July 2003, nearly unable to walk
because of lightning-strike pains from herniated discs in his spine. Then
began a strange series of symptoms he'd never experienced in his previously
healthy life.
> >
> > At Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C, he ran into a
buddy from his unit. And another, and another, and in the tedium of hospital
life between doctor visits and the dispensing of meds, they began to talk.
> >
> > "We all had migraines. We all felt sick," Reed says. "The doctors said,
'It's all in your head.' "
> >
> > Then the medic from their unit showed up. He too, was suffering. That
made eight sick soldiers from the 442nd Military Police, an Army National
Guard unit made up of mostly cops and correctional officers from the New
York area.
> >
> > But the medic knew something the others didn't.
> >
> > Dutch marines had taken over the abandoned train depot dubbed Camp
Smitty, which was surrounded by tank skeletons, unexploded ordnance and
shell casings. They'd brought radiation-detection devices.
> > The readings were so hot, the Dutch set up camp in the middle of the
desert rather than live in the station ruins.
> >
> > "We got on the Internet," Reed said, "and we started researching
depleted uranium."
> >
> > Then they contacted The New York Daily News, which paid for
sophisticated urine tests available only overseas.
> >
> > Then they hired a lawyer.
> > Reed, Gerard Matthew, Raymond Ramos, Hector Vega, Augustin Matos,
Anthony Yonnone, Jerry Ojeda and Anthony Phillip all have depleted uranium
in their urine, according to tests done in December 2003. For months during
that time, they bounced between Walter Reed and New Jersey's Fort Dix
medical center, seeking relief that never came.
> >
> > The analyses were done in Germany, by a Frankfurt professor who
developed a depleted uranium test with Randall Parrish, a professor of
isotope geology at the University of Leicester in Britain.
> >
> > The veterans, using their positive results as evidence, have sued the
U.S. Army, claiming officials knew the hazards of depleted uranium, but
concealed the risks.
> >
> > The Department of Defense says depleted uranium is powerful and safe,
and not that worrisome.
> >
> > Four of the highest-registering samples from Frankfurt were sent to the
VA. Those results were negative, Reed said. "Their test just isn't as
sophisticated," he said. "And when we first asked to be tested, they told us
there wasn't one. They've lied to us all along."
> >
> > The VA's testing methodology is safe and accurate, the agency says. More
than 2,100 soldiers from the current war have asked to be tested; only eight
had DU in their urine, the VA said.
> >
> > The term depleted uranium is linguistically radioactive. Simply uttering
the words can prompt a strong reaction. Heads shake, eyes roll, opinions are
yelled from all sides.
> >
> > "The Department of Defense takes the position that you can eat it for
breakfast and it poses no threat at all," said Steve Robinson of the
National Gulf War Resource Center, which helps veterans with various
problems, including navigating the labyrinth of VA health care. "Then you
have far-left groups that ... declare it a crime against humanity."
> >
> > Several countries use it as weaponry, including Britain, which fired it
during the 2003 Iraq invasion.
> >
> > An estimated 286 tons of DU munitions were fired by the U.S. in Iraq and
Kuwait in 1991. An estimated 130 tons were shot toppling Saddam Hussein.
> >
> > Depleted uranium can enter the human body by inhalation, the most
dangerous method; by ingesting contaminated food or eating with contaminated
hands; by getting dust or debris in an open wound, or by being struck by
shrapnel, which often is not removed because doing so would be more
dangerous than leaving it.
> >
> > Inhaled, it can lodge in the lungs. As with imbedded shrapnel, this is
doubly dangerous - not only are the particles themselves physically
destructive, they emit radiation.
> >
> > A moderate voice on the divisive DU spectrum belongs to Dan Fahey, a
doctoral student at the University of California at Berkeley, who has
studied the issue for years and also served in the Gulf War before leaving
the military as a conscientious objector.
> >
> > "I've been working on this since '93 and I've just given up hope," he
said. "I've spoken to successive federal committees and elected officials
... who then side with the Pentagon. Nothing changes."
> >
> > At the other end are a collection of conspiracy-theorists and Internet
proselytizers who say using such weapons constitute genocide. Two of the
most vocal opponents recently suggested that a depleted-uranium missile, not
a hijacked jetliner, struck the Pentagon in 2001.
> >
> > "The bottom line is it's more hazardous than the Pentagon admits," Fahey
said, "but it's not as hazardous as the hard-line activist groups say it is.
And there's a real dearth of information about how DU affects humans."
> >
> > Reed and the seven brothers from his unit hate what has happened to
them, and they speak of it at public seminars and in politicians' offices.
It is something no VA doctor can explain; something that leaves them feeling
like so many spent shell rounds, kicked to the side of battle.
> >
> > But for every outspoken soldier like them, there are silent veterans
like Raphael Naboa, an Army artillery scout who served 11 months in the
northern Sunni Triangle, only to come home and fall apart.
> >
> > Some days he feels fine. "Some days I can't get out of bed," he said
from his home in Colorado.
> >
> > Now 29, he's had growths removed from his brain. He has suffered a small
stroke - one morning he was shaving, having put down the razor to rinse his
face. In that moment, he blacked out and pitched over.
> >
> > "Just as quickly as I lost consciousness, I regained it," he said.
"Except I couldn't move the right side of my body."
> >
> > After about 15 minutes, the paralysis ebbed.
> >
> > He has mentioned depleted uranium to his VA doctors, who say he suffers
from a series of "non-related conditions." He knows he was exposed to DU.
> >
> > "A lot of guys went trophy-hunting, grabbing bayonets, helmets, stuff
that was in the vehicles that were destroyed by depleted uranium. My guys
were rooting around in it. I was trying to get them out of the vehicles."
> >
> > No one in the military talked to him about depleted uranium, he said.
His knowledge, like Reed's, is self-taught from the Internet.
> >
> > Unlike Reed, he has not gone to war over it. He doesn't feel up to the
fight. There is no known cure for what ails him, and so no possible victory
in battle.
> >
> > He'd really just like to feel normal again. And he knows of others who
feel the same.
> >
> > "I was an artillery scout, these are folks who are in pretty good shape.
Your Rangers, your Special Forces guys, they're in as good as shape as a
professional athlete," he said. "Then we come back and we're all sick."
> >
> > They feel like men who once were warriors and now are old before their
time, with no hope for relief from a multitude of miseries that has no name.
> > © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
> >
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