[ RadSafe ] uranium smoke is a teratogen

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Tue May 27 10:49:27 CDT 2008

I am done with this discussion, having demonstrated to my satisfaction
that what others said about James/Ben is indeed correct.  Last comments:

(1) The NEWS ARTICLE reported exceedingly low uranium levels, far below
the levels that the person quoted was talking about.  You chose to
interpret this as some kind of Government Conspiracy, rather than
entertain the possibility that the reporter, who quite possibly majored
in journalism so he didn't have to take math or science course in
college, made a mistake.

(2) Even if both lead and uranium were present in the fire, that gives
not the slightest clue as to what their relative abundance in the sand
after the fire would be.  One is not a predictor of the other.  Also
note that the "more thorough" the clean up was, the more
non-contaminated material would be included in the shipment, and the
lower the concentrations would be.  Be all that as it may, the upshot of
all this is that you will consider ANYTHING as supporting your position,
whether it is germane to the issue or not.

As for the birth defect issue; your fixation with everything bad being
the fault of the American military blinds you to any other
possibilities.  I can think of probably a half dozen off hand, but I
won't bother you with them, as you are blind to them.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Ben Fore
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 4:27 PM
To: radsafelist
Subject: Fwd: [ 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 unrestricted
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
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

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

> 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

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

> 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
You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood
the RadSafe rules. These can be found at:

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings
visit: http://radlab.nl/radsafe/

More information about the RadSafe mailing list