AW: [ RadSafe ] James Salsman, DU, and peer-reviewed literature

Rainer.Facius at Rainer.Facius at
Mon Mar 6 04:29:42 CST 2006


Thank you for the considerable efforts you have invested into this scrutinising survey of the claims for health effects from DU exposure.

Regarding the reference [3] I can add some pertinent information.

Anna Heimers, second author of [3], has published several papers on chromosome aberrations associated with occupational radiation exposures, including air crew. There too she reports "statistically significant increases". These papers have been criticized by other expert investigators which did not find such statistically significant increases in their studies of similar occupational exposure settings. Their criticism addresses the unusually low incidences of aberrations reported by A. Heimers for her control populations. Whereas most other investigators report a "background" value of approx. 1*10^-4 aberrant cells (dicentrics) for their control populations, those reported by A. Heimers are often significantly lower. This of course is apt to yield statistically significant increases due to too low a reference value. You might wish to check whether [3] reports control values significantly less than 1*10^-4 dics.

In addition, please note that the abstract of [3] (which is all I could read) expressis verbis invokes radiation as the putative cause. This would imply gigantic values for the relative biological effectiveness given the miniscule doses which can be assigned to this exposure and the consensus that health effects from DU - if there are any - must stem from uranium's or its compounds' chemical toxicity.

Thank you once more for your meritorious compilation and comments.

Best regards, Rainer

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Steven Dapra
Gesendet: Montag, 6. März 2006 04:32
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] James Salsman, DU, and peer-reviewed literature

March 5

To all:

         I have read the germane portions of eight of the nine papers Salsman offered, and some additional portions of those eight.  (The ninth one was not available to me.)  Below, in the order they appeared in Salsman's challenge e-mail, are listed the nine papers, exactly as he posted them on RADSAFE.  My comments follow each one. Do they constitute 'opposition to James Salsman's assertions' that, he says, are supported by the literature?


[3] 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, 
pp. 211-220: Abstract: 
"there was a statistically significant increase in the frequency of 
dicentric chromosomes (dic) and centric ring chromosomes (cR) in the 
veterans. group...."

         The quote is correct.

         This is a study of 16 British war veterans (Gulf War, Balkans, or 
both) who may have been exposed to DU.  At the end of their study, the 
authors write, "Due to the small size and heterogeneity of the study group 
our findings should be interpreted with due caution."  They continue, 
"However, the results raise some concern with respect to potential 
biological hazards from DU exposure."  They go on to recommend further and 
larger studies.


Steven Dapra
sjd at

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