[ RadSafe ] Re: uranium smoke is a teratogen

Dan W McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Tue May 6 01:45:51 CDT 2008

Dan W. McCarn, Geologist; 3118 Pebble Lake Drive; Sugar Land, TX 77479; USA; Home: +1-281-903-7667 
mccarn at unileoben.ac.at           HotGreenChile at gmail.com           UConcentrate at gmail.com

Dear Group:

<< U.S. Army work by M. Parkhurst, which say that uranium smoke dissolves into uranyl ions.>>

Pardon me, but isn't that what happens to most uranium (natural and otherwise), that it becomes a complexed uranyl species in meteoric / atmospheric conditions?  What happens to natural uranium species in oxidizing conditions? Exactly the same! As you might be aware, uranium can have quite high concentrations in groundwater.  When that water is consumed, what then?

The fact is that anyone who has ever had a glass of water is exposed to uranyl which is most likely complexed as an aqueous carbonate complex e.g. UO2(CO3)2-2 (dominant species from pH = 6.2 to 7.75) (see Doug Langmuir, 1978-1997).  Perhaps Fore should speciate it with a copy of PHREEQC? (Dave Parkhurst, USGS)

Since everyone on the planet has been exposed to natural concentrations of uranyl ions, constantly, day after day after day for their entire lives, how exactly is this so different from a brief, downwind exposure to smoke? And at what distance? Since the smoke should follow the behavior of a Gauss "puff", as opposed to a "plume", after a kilometer or so of diffusion the concentration is very low. Once the dust settles, infiltration of rainwater will move it deeper into the soil column along with all the other nicely-behaving, natural uranyl complexes.  Then we can consider it part of the English Garden calculation.

The point is that smoke: 
   1) is not persistent, 
   2) exposure times are brief, 
   3) concentrations are low and 
   4) natural sources of uranyl complexes dominate exposure in the long run.

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
Houston & Albuquerque (but soon to be Paris!)

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf Of Ben Fore
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 9:52 PM
To: radsafelist
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Re: uranium smoke is a teratogen

Steven Dapra wrote:

> 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....

There are plenty of papers, e.g., U.S. Army work by M. Parkhurst, which
say that uranium smoke dissolves into uranyl ions.  Do you need me to cite
those for you, too?

>... all of them that I have read are full of qualifiers....

So we have several papers, including three peer-reviewed literature reviews,
stating that uranyl is a teratogen, but they are "full" of unspecified
And how many papers say that uranyl isn't teratogenic or isn't a reproductive
toxicant?  Zero.

>...You cite two papers published in medical journals in Basra,
> Iraq.  .... Have you personally read either of these papers, and
> if so, have you read any of the literature cited in them?

Yes, I have read both of them.  You can find them both on the web by,
e.g., googling their titles.

Jim Muckerheide wrote:

> 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.

Which papers show beneficial effects of uranyl intake?  There aren't any.

James Salsman, as Ben Fore
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