[ RadSafe ] uranium smoke is a teratogen

Ben Fore BenjB4 at gmail.com
Wed May 21 03:26:36 CDT 2008


Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your message:

>> Erik Olsen [name spelling corrected] has written a series of four articles on the
>> same sand from Kuwait's Camp Doha DU munitions dump fire which Dr. Salbu
>> has been studying, which is now with the American Ecology disposal company
>> in Idaho:
>> http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/04/29/area_news/doc4816651072f72767559743.txt
> SD's comments:
> .... According to the second of Olsen's articles (April 15, 2008),
> "The shipment is safe, Hyslop said, because the concentration of uranium in
> the sand is so low  about 10 parts per trillion. That concentration  about
> 0.00000000001 percent  is about five to 10 times higher than the
> concentration of uranium found in concrete or wall board, he said."

Chad Hyslop said this nine days later:  "In one preliminary sample, the
concentration of lead in the sand was nearly four times higher than the EPA
standard that triggers a hazardous-material designation.... The sample
contained 19 milligrams of lead per liter...."
-- http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/04/25/area_news/doc48115f17af5cd759120435.txt

>> How do you explain the Kuwaitis? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16700386
> This paper was published in the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal,
> which is published by the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the WHO.
> The links for html and PDF versions are:
>   http://www.emro.who.int/publications/emhj/1104/article20.htm
>   http://www.emro.who.int/publications/emhj/1104/PDF/20.pdf
> "Profile of major congenital malformations in neonates in Al-Jahra region of Kuwait."
>   [by] Madi SA, Al-Naggar RL, Al-Awadi SA, Bastaki LA
>   Department of Pediatrics, Al-Jahra Hospital, Kuwait.
> [Abstract:] We investigated major congenital abnormalities in babies born in
> Al Jahra Hospital, Kuwait from January 2000 to December 2001. Of 7739 live and
> still births born over this period, 97 babies had major congenital malformations
> (12.5/1000 births): 49 (50.6%) babies had multiple system malformations,
> while 48 (49.4%) had single system anomalies. Of the 49 babies with
> multiple malformations, 21 (42.8%) had recognized syndromes, most of which
> were autosomal recessive and 17 had chromosomal aberrations. Isolated
> systems anomalies included central nervous system (12 cases),
> cardiovascular system (9 cases), skeletal system (7 cases) and
> gastrointestinal system (6 cases). Of the parents, 68% were consanguineous.
> Genetic factors were implicated in 79% of cases. Genetic services need to
> be provided as an effective means for the prevention of these
> disorders.  [end Abstract]
> SD's comments:
> The 97 babies constitute 1.25% of the studied births.  According
> to the Introduction to this paper, "Birth defects are a major clinical
> problem: 3% of all children born in any hospital, country or year will have
> a significant congenital abnormality and they represent 30% of all
> admissions in hospitals. The etiology of birth defects often remains
> unknown."  (citations omitted)

Steven, you are confusing "major" congenital abnormalities (which require
hospitalization) as reported in the Kuwaiti paper with "significant" (defects
which in most U.S. states must be reported to the parents) which number
far more. The U.S. Navy's Birth and Infant Health Registry, and Dr. Han Kang
of the Veterans Administration divide birth defects in to two categories:
"moderate to severe," which is the same as "significant to major," as the
terms are used above, and "minor," which covers all other detectable
birth defects.

Here is a web page from Virginia that explains the nomenclature:


Virginia total defects:  90/1820 = 4.9%
Virginia significant defects:  37/1820 = 2.0%
Virginia major defects:  17/1820 = 0.9%
Kuwait major defects:  97/7739 = 1.25%

Still, that 39% increase is a lot smaller than the 120% for male soldiers
and 200% increase for females seen in U.S. Gulf War combat vets compared
to soldiers serving at the same time that did not see combat (see page 10 of
http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/GulfWarNov03.pdf ).

>> See also http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18008151 -- immunodeficiencies
>> were not nearly as prevalent in Kuwait in 1990, and were are not talking
>> about anything transmissible (yet?)
> (Abstract posted at ncbi)
>   J. Clin. Immunol. 2008 Mar; 28(2):186-93.
> "Primary immunodeficiency disorders in kuwait: first report from kuwait
> national primary immunodeficiency registry (2004-2006)."
>   [by] Al-Herz, W.
> Allergy & Clinical Immunology Unit, Pediatrics Department, Al-Sabah
> Hospital, Kuwait city, Kuwait.
> ... Ninety-eight percent of the patients presented in childhood....

That figure is about 80% than the average in OECD countries.

> The prevalence of these disorders in children was 11.98 in 100,000
> children with an incidence of 10.06 in 100,000 children....

That's 20-45% more than in OECD countries.

> What is this supposed to prove?

They used not to have anywhere near that many immunodeficiency,
and they are getting so much in kids.

>> What fraction is soluble, and of that what fraction dissolves into uranyl
>> at pH range 1.0-9.0? I know that's a pretty wide range for uranium
>> chemistry, so if it's not a fair range, please say for lung, blood, and
>> stomach pH ranges.
>      Are you suggesting that Iraqis go around eating soil? -- eating dirt?

No, but where do you think they get their drinking water from?

>.... This 14 page PDF article says nothing about birth defects or about
> clinical trials.

I'm sorry, wrong URL.  Please see page 45-46 of this one:

>> If you really want to answer this question, you need to say what fraction
>> of effluent from point sources -- constrained within a much smaller area
>> than all of Iraq -- entered human lung or stomachs. If that is too hard,
>> how much flowed into potable water, and was what fraction of it?
> SD's comments:
>          This uptake has been going on for thousands of years....

I was referring to the point sources from uranium munitions fires.

>> More like 300,000 tons; you used only the Abrams tank sabot DU, and
>> ignored the 30 mm, 25 mm, and 20 mm penetrator bullets --
>>   [oops, wrong URL again]
>> -- some of which have more than 270 g of uranium core. Something like
>> 18% of that burned on impact, and most of the penetrators do fracture,
>> melt, or otherwise lose a lot of their mass from their kinetic energy, so
>> you have to assume an increased surface area for further erosion the next
>> time the rains come and wash away part of the metal's oxide coat.
>         James, you're a nut.  This report is about Yugoslavia and has
> nothing to do with Iraq....

I would far rather be a nut than be accused of supporting terrorists!
The URL I meant to refer to is (table 1 on page 13 of):

...and I meant to write 286,233 kg.  I admit my three order of magnitude error,
and Dan's estimate of the mass was reasonable; even high maybe.

However, Dan was using 437,072 km^2 -- a third of the area of Iraq, when the
DoD map -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:GWI_DU_map.gif -- suggests
closer to 25,000 km^2 was be affected.  (Kuwait's area is 17,818 km^2.)

James Salsman, writing as Ben Fore

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