[ RadSafe ] Fw: [du-list] Uranium's heavy-metal properties can make people sick

Roger Helbig rhelbig at california.com
Fri Jun 9 01:58:39 CDT 2006

This "researcher" is getting more press .. despite the fact that she has used compounds that are not found in nature to do her experiments and has not posited anyway of their being naturally created ..  This one made the Associated Press, not just some alternative paper.

Roger Helbig

--- Robert Rands <rrands at bigpond.net.au> wrote:

> To: <du-list at yahoogroups.com>
> From: "R Rands" <rrands at bigpond.net.au>
> Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 20:01:30 +1000
> Subject: [du-list] Uranium's heavy-metal properties
> can make people sick
> Note the quote:
> "People assume that if the uranium is not
> radioactive, it's harmless. We're 
> finding that's not the case,"
> Good research, incautious statement  -  don't throw
> the baby out with the 
> bathwater  - - -
> Arizona researcher: Depleted uranium can still make
> people sick
> The Associated Press
> Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.01.2006
> PHOENIX - Uranium's heavy-metal properties can make
> people sick, 
> independently of the element's radiation and radon
> gas, according to a 
> research project led by a Northern Arizona
> University biochemist.
> "People assume that if the uranium is not
> radioactive, it's harmless. We're 
> finding that's not the case," said NAU biochemist
> Diane Stearns.
> Heavy metals are metallic elements with high atomic
> weights, such as 
> mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead. If they get into
> the bloodstream, they 
> can bind with DNA particles to interrupt cellular
> communication and cause 
> diseases.
> The Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear
> Regulatory Commission 
> treat depleted, or "non-radioactive," uranium as a
> hazardous material, but 
> the Department of Defense continues to use it for
> anti-tank weapons, tank 
> armor and ammunition rounds.
> The department also has declined to clean it up from
> military sites.
> While the harmful effects of heavy metals such as
> mercury and lead are well 
> known, Stearns and her team are the first to
> identify this trait in uranium 
> and to show that when it binds with DNA, the cells
> acquire mutations.
> Stearns is optimistic the research could lead to new
> rules for handling 
> depleted uranium. It also could lead to tests for
> exposure to the 
> heavy-metal properties of uranium as well as the
> radiation and radon gas it 
> emits as it decays.
> The program, funded by the Native American Cancer
> Research Project, is also 
> having other effects.
> A number of Navajo researchers are working on
> Stearns' team, gaining 
> knowledge they can take back to the reservation.
> Widespread and largely unregulated uranium mining on
> the Navajo's vast 
> reservation from the 1940s through 1960 left the
> Navajos with a legacy of 
> disease and death.
> The reservation, which sprawls across northeastern
> Arizona and northwestern 
> New Mexico, has about 1,300 abandoned uranium mines.
> Blocks from the mines 
> have been used as building materials and groundwater
> has been contaminated 
> in some areas.
> Hertha Woody, a research assistant in Stearns'
> laboratory, believes her work 
> enables her to help other Navajos better understand
> the health hazards of 
> uranium and take precautions.
> "I want to stay in research and go back to the
> reservation to work," she 
> said. "There are so many issues there."
> Woody grew up in Shiprock, N.M., not far from a huge
> mound of uranium 
> tailings left by an abandoned mill.
> "I grew up seeing this pile, and I knew it could
> make people sick," Woody 
> said. "But I didn't know why."
> A federal cleanup is under way at Shiprock, where
> the air and groundwater 
> are being carefully monitored for contamination.
> http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/131730.php
> Comments on this story

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