uranium chemical toxicities (was Re: [ RadSafe ] IAEA DACs)
james at bovik.org
Mon Feb 13 15:09:49 CST 2006
> The issue of the "reproductive, developmental, immunological or
> neurotoxicities" of uranium is one that has been discussed at length
> on this list. As yet there hasn't been any evidence that the wider
> community (even the wider antinuclear/anti-DU) accept that uranium
> has any reproductive, developmental, immunological or neurotoxicity.
On the contrary, such evidence is published in the peer-reviewed
medical literature, including by U.S. military agencies:
1. Reproductive toxicity
Arfsten, D.P.; K.R. Still; G.D. Ritchie (2001) "A review of the effects
of uranium and depleted uranium exposure on reproduction and fetal
development," Toxicology and Industrial Health, vol. 17, pp. 180-91:
(Authors' affiliation: Naval Health Research Center Detachment -
Toxicology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) Summary: "A number of
studies have shown that natural uranium is a reproductive toxicant...."
Hindin, R.; D. Brugge; B. Panikkar (2005) "Teratogenicity of depleted
uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective,"
Environmental Health, vol. 4, pp. 17. "Conclusion: In aggregate the
human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of
birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU."
2. Developmental toxicity
Domingo, J.L. (2001) "Reproductive and developmental toxicity of
natural and depleted uranium: a review," Reproductive Toxicology, vol.
15, pp. 603-9. Abstract: "Decreased fertility, embryo/fetal toxicity
including teratogenicity, and reduced growth of the offspring have
been observed following uranium exposure at different gestation periods."
Durakovic A. (1999) "Medical effects of internal contamination with
uranium," Croatian Medical Journal, vol. 40, pp. 49-66. Abstract:
"well documented evidence of reproductive and developmental toxicity...."
3. Immunological toxicity
McDiarmid, M.A., et al. (2006) "Biological monitoring and surveillance
results of Gulf War I veterans exposed to depleted uranium," in
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol.
79, pp. 11-21. Abstract: "genotoxicity measures continue to show
subtle, mixed results...."
Schröder, H.; A. Heimers; R. Frentzel-Beyme; A. Schott; W. Hoffmann
(2003) "Chromosome aberration analysis in peripheral lymphocytes of Gulf
war and Balkans war veterans," Radiation Protection Dosimetry, vol. 103,
Abstract: "there was a statistically significant increase in the
frequency of dicentric chromosomes (dic) and centric ring chromosomes
(cR) in the veterans. group...."
Miller, A.C.; M. Stewart; K. Brooks; L. Shi; N. Page (2003) "Depleted
uranium-catalyzed oxidative DNA damage: absence of significant alpha
particle decay," Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, vol. 91, pp. 246-252:
Abstract: "chemical generation of hydroxyl radicals by depleted uranium
in vitro exceeds radiolytic generation by one million-fold...."
Briner, W. and J. Murray (2005) "Effects of short-term and long-term
depleted uranium exposure on open-field behavior and brain lipid
oxidation in rats," Neurotoxicology and Teratology, vol. 27, pp. 135-44:
Abstract: "DU is a toxin that crosses the blood-brain barrier, producing
behavioral changes in male rats and lipid oxidation regardless of gender
in as little as 2 weeks...."
Monleau, M.; C. Bussy; P. Lestaevel; P. Houpert; F. Paquet; V. Chazel
(2005) "Bioaccumulation and behavioural effects of depleted uranium in
rats exposed to repeated inhalations," Neuroscience Letters, vol. 390,
pp. 31-6. Abstract: "depleted uranium is able to enter the brain after
exposure to repeated inhalation, producing behavioral changes."
5. Uranyl oxide gas vapor is an aerial combustion product of uranium
Monomeric (monomolecular) uranium trioxide gas is produced by the
oxidation of U3O8 at temperatures above 1000° Celsius. Uranium combustion
in air produces U3O8 particles as 75% of all particulate products
(Gilchrist et al. 1979) at uranium's atmospheric burning temperature of
between 2200 and 2800 Kelvin (Mouradian et al. 1963), which cool through
the 1000 to 2000 Kelvin range, reacting with O2 to produce monomeric UO3
gas vapor (Ackermann et al. 1960.) This reaction is "not infrequently
ignored" (Gmelin vol. U-C1, p. 98.)
In solid form, uranium trioxide will decompose at above 150° C, by
releasing O2, decreasing the proportion of oxygen to eventually render
uranium dioxide under conditions of large surface area and high sustained
heat. Individual UO3 gas vapor molecules will not decompose because
uranium monoxide is electrovalently impossible. UO3(g) molecules will
adhere to surfaces, precipitating out of air as nanometer-scale particles
and film. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2004.04.001]
R.J. Ackermann, et al., "Free Energies of Formation of Gaseous Uranium,
Molybdenum, and Tungsten Trioxides," Journal of Physical Chemistry,
vol. 64 (1960) pp. 350-355.
Mouradian and Baker (1963) "Burning Temperatures of Uranium and Zirconium
in Air," Nuclear Science and Engineering, 15, 388-394.
Gmelin Handbook of Inorganic Chemistry, 8th ed., English translation,
vol. U-C1 (1977), page 98.
«Gmelin Handbuch der anorganischen Chemiek» 8th ed., vol. U-C2, pp.
Gilchrist, R.L., J.A. Glissmyer, and J. Mishima (1979) "Characterization
of Airborne Uranium from Test Firings of XM774 Ammunition," Technical
report no. PNL-2944, Richland, WA: Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory,
-- and finally, therefore:
6. Isotope ratio urine studies which depend on particulate uranium
aerosol remaining un-dissolved in the lung will not correctly measure
total inhalation exposure.
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