AW: [ RadSafe ] Re: Proposed Rebuttal to the Laura Weldon Article inbold Text

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Wed Jan 23 15:03:32 CST 2008


I have appreciated most of your messages in the past, but I can only
appreciate a part of what you write now - the rest I have to refuse. 

Yes, I agree, that most, if not all of the illnesses, birth defects and
deaths are not related to DU. There might be some reasonable truth in the
causes you list as possible causes. 

But I totally disagree with your opinion which you add later on: "harms the
pride in service of our soldiers, provides fodder for irresponsible
politicians"..... " They are hurting our military and our Veterans and I
don't like it." 

I am Austrian, our soldiers are not in Iraq ("our soldiers"). No pride of
"our" soldiers is harmed because they are not there - as is true for
approximately 90 % or more of the nations where RADSAFE participants come
from. The number of soldiers from other countries than the USA is declining
rapidly. I do not comment on "irresponsible politicians", make your own
guess. Nobody is hurting the Austrian (my) military and since we did not
take part in this military engagement, which was not endorsed by the UN and
is a kind of a private (illegal) war of the USA and some other countries,
which are backing the US decisions since long because of financial and
political benefits, your comment is more than unappropriate. While the first
part is perfectly suited for RADSAFE the second, political part is in my
opinion totally off topic. Please accept that RADSAFE is an international
discussion forum and not a US military one.

Still looking forward to your contributions, taking into account the above
said and especially the internationality of RADSAFE.


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

"Military personnel and civilians who have been exposed to DU have linked
the toxin to illness, birth defects and death. "
. Doing so is not scientific, is not responsible, gives comfort to our
enemies, provides unwarranted stress to our soldiers and their families,
sends truly ill soldiers and their families down false paths for
explanations and compensation, harms the pride in service of our soldiers,
provides fodder for irresponsible politicians, and wastes resources better
spent on real issues.
I have no gripe against anyone who is against the war in Iraq or who is
against the use DU munitions. My gripe is with those who make false
allegations about DU for their own hidden and not so hidden agendas. They
are hurting our military and our Veterans and I don't like it.
Bob Cherry, PhD, CHP
Colonel, US Army (retired)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Roger Helbig <rhelbig at> 
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:46 am 
Subject: Proposed Rebuttal to the Laura Weldon Article in bold Text 
To: Bob Cherry <bobcherry at>, roy herren <royherren at>,
Holloway3 at, Karen Bartelt <kbar1000 at>, Steven Dapra
<sjd at>, Dr Raabe <ograabe at> 
Cc: "'Finster, Mary E.'" <mfinster at> 

> New Test Finds Depleted Uranium 20 Years After Exposure 
> by Laura Weldon 
> (NewsTarget) Depleted uranium (DU) has been found in the urine of 
> Gulf War 
> vets as long as 20 years after exposure. A highly sensitive test 
> has been 
> developed which can detect DU even when previous screening has proven 
> negative. This test may assist with unresolved health claims. 
> Dr Parrish did not test veterans - he tested employees at a 
> smelter in 
> Colonie, NY. He may have hypothesized that he had tested 
> veterans, but to 
> start with the Gulf War was 16 not 20 years ago. 
> We are all exposed to minuscule amounts of uranium every day. But 
> it would 
> take over five tons of rock and soil to come up with a teaspoon of the 
> isotopic proportions of natural uranium. In contrast, the DU used 
> by the 
> military <> is "depleted" 
> by only 
> one percent of the total uranium. It remains highly concentrated. 
> First part is OK, but the 5 tons of rock and soil part and 
> teaspoon has 
> nothing to do with DU. The second sentence makes no sense. DU 
> is not 
> depleted of uranium, it is uranium that has had the fissionable 
> isotopesremoved. Unlike natural uranium, it is also pure uranium 
> metal, not a mix 
> of uranium isotopes and decy products. The amount of DU that a 
> soldiermight have encountered is very comparable to the amount 
> that they consume on 
> a miniscule daily basis. Ms Weldon implies that you would need to 
> eat 5 
> tons of rock and dirt daily to get a comparable amount of uranium; 
> that is 
> misleading. 
> Any form of uranium becomes exceedingly dangerous when burned, 
> which is 
> exactly what happens when DU is used in weapons systems. The tiny 
> particlesare aerosolized and can be inhaled into the lungs. These 
> soluble DU 
> compounds then enter the bloodstream and from there reach bones 
> and organs. 
> This DU can remain, literally radiating the body from within, for 
> years. In 
> the past, exposed individuals were often not checked for inhaled 
> DU or were 
> not tested with equipment that could differentiate the isotopes 
> 235 and 236 
> characteristic of DU. 
> The first sentence is not scientifically sound. Uranium becomes 
> uraniumoxide when burned. The uranium in your own backyard is 
> already some form of 
> uranium oxide or a uranium salt created from uranium oxide. 
> Uranium is 
> never found as free metallic uranium in nature. It oxidizes too 
> easily.Iron is never found in free metallic form either. Most 
> metals oxidize 
> rapidly. Gold and Platinum are the exceptions. 
> DU oxide is still pretty much insoluble. Being oxidized does not make 
> soluble. The Uranium 235 isotope is removed from natural uranium 
> to create 
> relatively pure Uranium 238 (DU) - U 235 is not an isotope 
> characteristic of 
> DU. 
> Recently a University of Leicester geologist, Professor Randall R. 
> Parrish,and his research team, developed a highly sensitive means 
> of detecting DU in 
> urine using mass spectrometry. These results enabled Parrish to 
> reassessdata on DU exposure. He notes that findings of DU in the 
> urine of 1991 Gulf 
> War <> vets is uncommon, 
> but if the 
> exposure was significant it can be detected. Such a test can 
> relieve the 
> concerns of some veterans and validate the claims of others. 
> Parrish also 
> sees a need to study people who live near DU munitions facilities 
> and people 
> in DU contaminated areas of Iraq 
> <> . 
> The above may be accurate and straight out of a University of 
> Leicester PR 
> release 
> Armor-piercing shells made of depleted 
> <> uranium were 
> first used 
> during the Gulf War in 1991 as U.S. and Allied troops rousted 
> Iraqi forces 
> from Kuwait. DU was used again in 1995, this time in NATO air 
> strikes over 
> Bosnia. And now DU is heavily used in Iraq. There, DU is used not 
> only in 
> anti-tank weapons but also in guided missiles and aerial bombs. 
> The first sentence is accurate. The second sentence is mainly 
> inaccurate.DU is NOT heavily used in Iraq. DU is only used in 
> anti-tank weapons, 
> specifically kinetic energy penetrator rounds for 120mm M1A1 Tank 
> main gun, 
> 25 mm Chain Gun on Bradley Fighting Vehicle and 30mm GAU-8 A-10 
> Warthog and 
> Harrier Gatling Gun. DU is not used in either guided missiles or 
> aerialbombs. They are part of the anti-DU myth from the anti-DU 
> crusade. There 
> are no enemy tanks in Iraq right now and have not been any since 
> 2003, so it 
> is extremely unlikely that DU has been used since 2003. The only 
> currentuse of DU is most likely in armor on some M1A1 Abrams Tanks. 
> DU is utilized for armor piercing munitions due to its very high 
> density.Since DU is 1.7 times more dense than lead, this provides 
> increasedpenetration. 
> This is an accurate statement. 
> The radiation emitted by DU persists for thousands of years. 
> This is misleading. Uranium 238 has an extremely long half life, 4.5 
> billion years. That is because half of all the uranium ever 
> created in the 
> Earth's crust is still there 4.5 billion years later. The fact 
> that it has 
> a 4.5 billion year half life is an indication of the extreme 
> stability of 
> the isotope. Dangerous radioisotopes, on the other hand, have 
> extremelyshort half lives, minutes, hours, days, weeks, not 4.5 
> billion years. An 
> example of such a dangerous isotope is Polonium 210 which has a 
> half-life of 
> 21 days. 
> Military personnel and civilians who have been exposed to DU have 
> linked the 
> toxin to illness, birth defects and death. 
> Anti-depleted uranium crusaders, beginning with Saddam Hussein's 
> regimewanting out from under the UN Sanctions that ended the Gulf 
> War convincing 
> peace activists at a 1998 conference in Iraq, planted these ideas that 
> continually circle the net. Substantial testing has been made of 
> people and 
> animals. No one is known to have died; there are no confirmed 
> birth defects 
> or illness. There are a small number of claims, but none have 
> really been 
> supported and scientific evidence of substantial experimentation 
> does not 
> support these claims. 
> The U.S. Federal Code Title 50 Chapter 40 2302 defines weapons of mass 
> destruction as follows: 1) The term "weapon of mass destruction" 
> means any 
> weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause 
> death or 
> serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through 
> the release, 
> dissemination, or impact of: 
> (A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors 
> (B) a disease organism 
> (C) radiation or radioactivity 
> By these standards, DU meets two of three definitions as a weapon 
> of mass 
> destruction. 
> By these standards, DU does not meet any of these definitions. DU 
> is not 
> intended to cause death or serious injury to anyone other than the 
> immediatetargeted tank crew and some of these men have survived. 
> 36 American 
> soldiers that were in armored vehicles hit by "friendly fire" 
> still are 
> alive and have been tracked for the DU that they still bear in 
> their bodies 
> since the Gulf War. Not a single one of these soldiers has died, 
> had a 
> child with birth defects, or been made sick by the DU shrapnel 
> inside their 
> bodies for the past 17 years. 
> DU has never caused death or serious body injury to a significant 
> number of 
> people - this is the part of the article that is pure anti-DU 
> propaganda - 
> the source is most likely a San Francisco peace activist lawyer 
> Karen Parker 
> who thinks that she makes international law and has had a 
> significant effect 
> in putting false information about DU and WMD on the net and out 
> into the 
> world. TargetNews should not follow suit. 
> About the author 
> Laura Weldon is a writer with a book called Free Range Learning 
> coming out 
> in 2008. She lives on an organic farm and believes in bliss. 
> _____ 
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