answers (was Re: [ RadSafe ] James Salsman, DU, and peer-reviewed literature)

John R Johnson idias at
Tue Mar 7 09:18:53 CST 2006

Steven and other Radsafers

I have found that the WHO report on DU is useful reference. Details are at
[PDF] 1 Depleted uranium: sources, exposure and health effects
Page 1. 1 Depleted uranium: sources, exposure and health effects Executive
summary This scientific review on depleted uranium is ...

John R Johnson, Ph.D.
President, IDIAS, Inc
4535 West 9-Th Ave
Vancouver B. C.
V6R 2E2
(604) 222-9840
idias at
or most mornings
Consultant in Radiation Protection
4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver B. C.
V6R 2E2
(604) 222-1047 Ext. 6610
Fax: (604) 222-7309
johnsjr at

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at]On
Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: March 6, 2006 7:31 PM
To: radsafe at
Subject: Re: answers (was Re: [ RadSafe ] James Salsman, DU, and
peer-reviewed literature)

March 5

James Salsman wrote:

Thanks to Steven Dapra for his excellent questions.  [You are welcome.]

 > How many of the quotes you offered did you read from the primary
 > source material?

James Salsman:
Those that include URLs to full text I have read in full; of the
others, I have read the abstract of Kang, et al. (2000) and McDiarmid,
et al. (2006). As far as I can remember, these sources were all
suggested either by MEDLINE, the Science Citation Index searches, emails
from people, emails from stored searches, or references in other
articles. Citations to papers by Schott, Durakovic, and McDiarmid all
appear in some of the anti-DU literature I have seen, but the 2006
article I haven't seen cited anywhere but MEDLINE yet. Thank you for
your excellent summary. I wonder where the congenital malformations are
coming from if the chromosome abberations are as low as are suggested.

Steven Dapra:

         Since you have read seven of the papers, and the two abstracts,
how could you possibly come up with all those carefully manipulated
quotes?  And how did you manage to so cleverly extract those eight words
from Durakovic's review paper?  How did you do what you did with the Miller
et al. paper?  (The ninth one in your list.  [Journal of Inorganic

You wrote:  "Abstract: 'chemical generation of hydroxyl radicals by
depleted uranium in vitro exceeds radiolytic generation by one
million-fold....' "

I replied:  "There is no sentence in the Abstract that is in any way
similar to the one Salsman quotes, nor is there any sentence in the paper
that is similar to it. Salsman's quote appears to be a patchwork quilt of
two or three sentences from the Abstract."

         *How* did you manage to piece that together?  (Not that I want to
imitate you, I am only curious.)

         I don't know what "congenital malformations" or low chromosome
aberrations you are talking about.

 > How do any of these papers show criminal negligence?

James Salsman:
I am not an attorney. The legal questions of gross negligence include:
Should those who approved pyrophoric DU munitions have known, or should
they reasonably have been expected to know, that uranium is teratogenic,
at the time they approved of the munitions?
What regulations then governed the use of poisons?
Would a reasonable person have been expected to approve a weapon which
poisons civilians off of the battlefield, after the battle is over?
How many members of the civilian families of U.S. troops have been
injured by the teratogenicity of uranium combustion products?

Steven Dapra:

         You wrote, " . . . dozens of those who were supposed to have been
responsible have in fact been criminally negligent . . . ."

         If you are "not an attorney" how can you even claim that "dozens .
. . have IN FACT been criminally negligent"?  (Emphasis added.)  You have
convicted these "dozens" without so much as naming them, let alone having
them go through a trial, when a jury is supposed to hear the evidence,
consider the facts, and then decide if anyone is guilty of anything.  I am
not an attorney either, and I know about innocent until proven guilty.  You
have also switched from "criminal" negligence to "gross"
negligence.  What's with that?

         Are you suggesting that using uranium (DU) is wrong because it is
a suspected teratogen?  It is well established that live ammunition and
high explosive shells and bombs kill people outright.  Why not ban them
instead of bemoaning the presence of a possible teratogen? That doesn't
make a whole lot of sense, does it?

         Civilians have been killed on and off the battlefield, caught in
crossfires, and so forth since the beginning of warfare.  I think your
questions here are somewhat on the self-righteous side.  Soldiers and
civilians both get killed in wars.  I don't like it either, but it is an
unfortunate fact of life.

         The number of injured U.S. civilian families is unknown, and may
never be known.  Sheer conjecture about this is certainly no basis for
accusing anyone of criminal (or gross) negligence.

 > Can it be shown that enlistment rates have fallen as a result of
 > DU exposure?

James Salsman:
It is my opinion that, yes, this is easy to show. A poll of college
students from military families could be used to answer this question,
but I know of no such poll in existing literature. I note the rise
of such groups as "Leave My Child Alone," which did not exist during
the time of the first Gulf War, as far as I know.

Steven Dapra:

         You plainly implied that the use of DU weapons had a "resulting
effect on enlistment rates and thus national security."  A reasonable
person would construe your closing comments, and this phrase, as a
statement that the use of DU weapons had directly caused a decrease in
enlistments in the Armed Services.  The implication was that the decrease
had already happened, not that it would be "easy to show."  I have not
heard of Leave My Child Alone.  I know there are some groups that opposed
Service recruiters having access to high school children, and I imagine
LMCA is one of them.  More than likely this stems from a general opposition
to war, and in particular to the current war in Iraq.  I seriously doubt
that any group was formed to oppose Service recruiting solely because of
the use of DU weapons.  I am not a statistician, however I suspect it would
be impossible to prove that enlistments have fallen solely because of the
use of DU weapons.

Steven Dapra
sjd at

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