[ RadSafe ] Re: uranium smoke is a teratogen

Jim Muckerheide rad_sci_health at comcast.net
Mon May 5 12:14:53 CDT 2008

Note that the Maynard '53 paper is a post facto report on work done during
the war on the Manhattan Project. At lower doses exposed groups had no
effect and beneficial effects, e.g., papers by Miriam Finkel and others.

on 5/4/08 12:36 PM, Steven Dapra at sjd at swcp.com wrote:

> May 4, 2008
> James:
>          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:
> Steve,
> 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
> periods."
> 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

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