[ RadSafe ] uranium smoke is a teratogen

ROY HERREN royherren2005 at yahoo.com
Fri May 23 17:54:01 CDT 2008

> James/Ben are you asserting that only your postulated teratogenic
> effects of uranium could possible account for any increase in birth
> defects in Basra?

James/Ben response "Yes".

    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."- Arthur Conan Doyle

   Many well intentioned folks have assisted you in eliminating the impossible about your argument, the remains of what have been pointed out to you by these well intentioned folks, however improbable to you, is most likely the truth.
 Roy Herren 

----- Original Message ----
From: James Salsman <jsalsman at gmail.com>
To: radsafelist <radsafe at radlab.nl>; Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com>; ROY HERREN <royherren2005 at yahoo.com>; "Brennan, Mike (DOH)" <Mike.Brennan at doh.wa.gov>; Dan W McCarn <hotgreenchile at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 1:24:00 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] uranium smoke is a teratogen

Mike, Steve, Roy, and Dan, thank you for your messages.

Mike Brennan wrote, regarding reports of impossibly low uranium levels
and lead levels
four times more than allowed by the EPA for un-notified transport in
sand from Camp
Doha, Kuwait:

> Contrast for what?

The Camp Doha fire involved weapons with both uranium and lead in
them. If that is
where the lead came from (Kuwaiti sand is usually not that rich in
lead) then it is very
likely that uranium levels were above the background levels, not to mention the
levels reported to have been stated by the spokesman for the American Ecology
company in Idaho where the sand is now.

>> "There turned out to be more birth defects from anthrax vaccine than I
>> had been believing..."
> So, the error that comes to your mind is that you thought the American
> Military was Evil for one unsubstantiated reason, but you decided it was
> Evil for a different unsubstantiated reason?

While I agree that a 200% increase in birth defects in females is
certainly evil,
especially since it occurs off the battlefield and therefore is contrary to the
laws of war, uranium is not ruled out as the culprit because both the combat
and non-combat cohorts between whom the increase was measured were both
immunized against anthrax as part of an Army "no exceptions" policy.

In response to Steven Dapra, I wrote:

>> 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.
> I am not confusing anything, thank you very much.  I am also not
> going to get into some futile hair-splitting argument about "major" versus
> "significant."

If you don't want to use the terminology that the people studying the increase
use, then the discussion will be less valuable.

>>> 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.

Another mistake on my part; please substitute "of" for "than".

>>>> 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 is this supposed to mean?  First you talk about DU, then
> lead, now it's immunodeficiency.

Both uranium and lead exposure cause increased levels of chromosome
dicentricities and other aberrations.  However, lead doesn't burn or corrode
like uranium, so there is less of it soluble and less of it proportionally
entering drinking water supplies.

>> where do you think they get their drinking water from?
>... wells.  They don't wring it out of dirt.

In fact the rain water travels through dirt.  Aquifers have dissolved minerals
from above, not below.

>> I would far rather be a nut than be accused of supporting terrorists!
> If you, James/Ben, are suggesting that I support terrorists, or that
> anyone on RADSAFE supports terrorists, you are committing a gross
> slander.

I am not.  And it would be libel, not slander.  Perhaps you do not remember,
but another member of Radsafe said I was.  I hope everyone understands how
easy it is to feel touchy about these things.

> What are some of these alleged "numerous unanswered questions" that
> go back for a decade?

You almost asked two yourself, one which has been studied and will be
answered when Roy Guilmette publishes his data, I believe.

>  we first must know what that dose is....

That is one of the questions.  The other is how much damage different doses
do, which you refer to below.  It has not been studied on more than three
species of mammals.

>...  The reason I have not "bothered" to read Domingo is that IT IS

You are willing to put in hours arguing, but not interested in the subject
enough to put down $31.50 at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0890-6238(01)00181-2
or fill out an inter-library loan?

> James/Ben are you asserting that only your postulated teratogenic
> effects of uranium could possible account for any increase in birth
> defects in Basra?


> Can you admit to the possibility that there are somethings that one can't know?

Yes; I recommend the book, "On What We Know We Don't Know" by
Sylvian Bromberger (University of Chicago Press, 1992):

>> If you want to rule uranium out, isn't in your interest to call on your
>> colleagues, associates, and the scientific community at large to
>> quantify the precise amount of reproductive damage uranyl exposure does to
>> many different kinds of mammals at many different dosages?
> Doing this quantification would be difficult, extremely expensive,
> and would probably serve no purpose.

It would be less expensive than searching for new large hadrons.
Which has the potential to be more beneficial to human health?
The cost is in the $500,000 range.

Roy Herren wrote:

>... the "truth" about your hunch in unknowable.

Further empirical study can bring the 95% confidence interval above zero.

Dan McCarn wrote:

> I have no interest in driving the uranium thing forward at all.  There are
> too many other important factors that deserve objective review....

Which is consistent with science:  Examining all of the factors, or only
those which you feel are deserving of review?

>... the Romanian experience with birth defects.... Ditto Croatia.

What was the increase in those places?  Was the geographic distribution
even, lopsided, or consistent with point sources?

> I suspect that you will find little or no contribution by uranium at all in Iraq....
> No renal enzymes, no trace of DU, nothing in the general population

That would still be consistent with an acute exposure years ago.  Kidneys
heal after uranyl exposure.  White blood cells and germ cells do not.

> the fate and transport mechanisms that drive uranium that I've outlined
> and the very, very tiny contribution

Is that after accounting for the difference between a third of Iraq and the
~25,000 km^2 area that DU weapons were used in?

Even if it is, why are you opposed to emperical experiments which, if you
were correct, would prove you right?

>... 0) Geographic locations away from populations; 1) transfer to soil;
> 2) buildup; 3) transfer to plant; 4) Transfer to groundwater, 5) Transport
> and 6) transfer to animals / humans through a multi-pathway manner.

Wouldn't essentially all of of the soluble uranium be in the water table after
a few rains?  Except for that which was plowed under for agricultural use?

> Why aren't people living in higher radiation environments subject to these
> same effects?

Radiation has practically nothing to do with it.  The chemical toxicity of
uranium is a million times more hazardous than its radiation, per:
"...chemical generation of hydroxyl radicals was calculated to exceed the
radiolytic generation by one million-fold...."

> I also noticed in the Basrah paper no reference to any other potential known
> factors but only examined radiation: "presumably due to exposure of pregnant
> women to radiation which exceeds 3000 mrads[1]."

Is that figure due to the internal dose of alphas being greater than external?

> When I worked on the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization report, an
> enormous effort was taken to validate....

Do the people of Iraq deserve as much accuracy?

James Salsman, writing as Ben Fore


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