[ RadSafe ] Re: uranium smoke is a teratogen

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Sun May 4 11:36:13 CDT 2008

May 4, 2008


         We have already been through part of this on RADSAFE on March 6, 
2006.  First, let's take the new material.

         You cite to Maynard et al. (1953).  This is about "Oral toxicity 
of uranium compounds," and is a study in which rats were fed uranium (VI) 
nitrate hexahydrate and then produced fewer litters and smaller 
litters.  It was not about birth defects in the offspring.  The study was 
not about inhaling uranium combustion products, hence the study has no 
bearing on DU smoke.

         You cite two papers published in medical journals in Basra, 
Iraq.  Neither of the small portions you quote from these papers says 
anything about the cohorts' having exposed to uranium combustion 
products.  There may have been some increase in birth defects in the Iraqi 
cohort, however you appear to be unaware of the fact that correlation does 
not mean causation.  Have you personally read either of these papers, and 
if so, have you read any of the literature cited in them?

         The papers from March 2006 are Arfsten, Domingo, and 
Hindin.  Arfsten studied exposure to natural uranium, and Domingo studied 
uranium exposure.  (I am relying on your [Salsman's] quote of Domingo.  I 
was unable to locate this paper.)  Hindin's paper was a review paper, and 
if you read it you will find that it is well-larded with qualifiers, 
including the section that specifically addresses DU teratogenesis.  Hindin 
doesn't mention smoke or combustion --- these two words do not appear in 
the paper.  She mentions DU aerosols, however aerosols are fine particles, 
and are not necessarily the result of combustion.

         You claimed, James, to have presented "peer-reviewed publications 
which show that uranium combustion products are teratogens."  None of the 
publications you invoked are about U combustion products, and all of them 
that I have read are full of qualifiers about what the effects of DU may 
be.  All the cited literature is worthless for what you are trying to prove.

Steven Dapra

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On May 3, 2008, James Salsman wrote:


Thank you for your renewed request for the peer-reviewed publications which 
show that uranium combustion products are teratogens.

1. 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. Summary: Both male and female rats fed 2% 
uranium(VI) nitrate hexahydrate for only 24 hours and then reproducing at 
their earliest opportunity afterwards have fewer litters and fewer pups per 
litter. Rats gestate in only 20-22 days, compared to nine months for humans 
-- meaning that the uranyl contamination in the rats' bodies had only a 
small fraction of the time to attack the germ cell chromosomes.

2. Al-Sadoon, et al. (1999) "Depleted uranium and health of people in 
Basrah: epidemilogical evidence." Medical Journal of Basrah University 
17(1-2) Included to show that birth defects in Basrans began increasing 
about the same time that they did in U.S. and U.K. troops.

3. Arfsten, D.P., et al. (2001) "A review of the effects of uranium and 
depleted uranium exposure on reproduction and fetal development," 
Toxicology and Industrial Health, vol. 17, pp. 180-91. Summary contains: "A 
number of studies have shown that natural uranium is a reproductive 
toxicant...." (U.S. Navy Toxicology Detachment)

4. Domingo, J.L. (2001) "Reproductive and developmental toxicity of natural 
and depleted uranium: a review," Reproductive Toxicology, vol. 15, pp. 
603-9. Abstract: "Decreased fertility, embryo/fetal toxicity including 
teratogenicity, and reduced growth of the offspring have been observed 
following uranium exposure at different gestation

5. Hindin, R., et al. (2005) "Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: 
A review from an epidemiological perspective," Environmental Health, vol. 
4, pp. 17. Conclusion: "the human epidemiological evidence is consistent 
with increased risk of birth defects in
offspring of persons exposed to DU."

6. Fathallah, Z.F. (2007) "Effects of socioeconomic factors on the 
incidence and pattern of oro-facial cleft." Basrah Journal of Surgery, 
March, 13, 2007 Excerpt: "in Basrah the increase in incidence within a 
short time can not be explained by just increase of world wide incidence, 
but rather increase infiltration of harmful environmental factors, 
especially DU"

James Salsman, as Ben Fore

-----  END  -----

More information about the RadSafe mailing list