[ RadSafe ] Fwd: ruling out uranium vapor with x-rays

Dave Blaine dfblaine at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 06:16:33 CDT 2008


Thank you for your thoughtful reply

> DU (should there be health effects, which is not strongly in evidence)

Which part isn't strongly in evidence?

Genotoxicity?  Even those on who didn't include the genotoxic nature
of uranium in their reviews in from 1960 to 2003 now admit that uranium
is both genotoxic and causes congenital malformations at levels easily
likely in a typical battlefield exposure to uranium smoke in a DU fire fight.
Such exposures could increase the risk of birth defects several times
over, a decade down the road.

Do you think a typical battlefield inhalation scenario is unlikely to involve
clinical amounts of chemical toxicity?  The Army says that the chemical
generation of DNA-damaging hydroxyl ions is a million times that of its
radiological generation.  A million times more chemically toxic to DNA
than it is radiologically hazardous to DNA!

Germ cell accumulation?  For more than half a century there have been
published reports stating that both male and female rats fed 2%
uranium(VI) nitrate hexahydrate for only 24 hours have fewer litters and
fewer pups per litter (Maynard, et al. (1953) "Oral toxicity of uranium
compounds" in: Voegtlin and Hodge, eds., "Pharmacology and Toxicology
of Uranium Compounds" Vol. III (McGraw Hill) pp. 1121-1369.) A single day!

All of the epidemiologists and toxicologists who have written on the
matter in peer reviewed journals say that uranium exposure causes
birth defects.  Until four years ago, none of the persons charged with
judging the safety of DU munitions considered it one way or another.

Does anyone have any evidence to the contrary?

> So why the fixation with DU, rather than spending the same effort trying
> to stir up pressure to get China (and other, mostly former Eastern Block,
> countries) to stop selling AK-47 ammo?

There are already small arms nonproliferation programs with established
constituencies, fund raising, leadership, goals, and regular lobbying.
Two of the organizations I give money to, Amnesty International and the
Vietnam Veterans Association's Campaign for a Landmine Free World
have both been active in small arms nonproliferation efforts.

>> 2.  At what concentration of UO3 in the air do you consider it to no
>> longer be of concern?
> You didn't answer the question.  Give us a number, in mass or activity
> per unit volume.  Then we can discuss as to whether or not it is a
> reasonable number.

I can not answer because the effect of uranium smoke inhalation has
never been measured in an empirical study.  Why hasn't it?

James Salsman, as Dave Blaine

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