[ RadSafe ] Environmental and health consequences of depleted ... [Environ Int. 2004] - PubMed result

Roger Helbig rhelbig at sfo.com
Thu Feb 25 05:33:13 CST 2010

I just discovered this tonight.  It represents research that is not by IAEA
or UNEP and I would really like to obtain a copy of the completed article.
Does anyone on the list have access to one?  Thank you.

Roger Helbig

(the Henry Bem e-mail address no longer works - have contacted the
University in Lodz to see if they have his current e-mail)


Environmental and health consequences of depleted uranium use in the 1991
Gulf War.
Bem H, Bou-Rabee F.

Institute of Applied Radiation, Technical University of Lodz, ul. Zwirki 36,
90-924, Lodz, Poland. henrybem at ck-sg.p.lodz.pl

Depleted uranium (DU) is a by-product of the 235U radionuclide enrichment
processes for nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. DU in the metallic form
has high density and hardness as well as pyrophoric properties, which makes
it superior to the classical tungsten armour-piercing munitions. Military
use of DU has been recently a subject of considerable concern, not only to
radioecologists but also public opinion in terms of possible health hazards
arising from its radioactivity and chemical toxicity. In this review, the
results of uranium content measurements in different environmental samples
performed by authors in Kuwait after Gulf War are presented with discussion
concerning possible environmental and health effects for the local
population. It was found that uranium concentration in the surface soil
samples ranged from 0.3 to 2.5 microg g(-1) with an average value of 1.1
microg g(-1), much lower than world average value of 2.8 microg g(-1). The
solid fallout samples showed similar concentrations varied from 0.3 to 1.7
microg g(-1) (average 1.47 microg g(-1)). Only the average concentration of
U in solid particulate matter in surface air equal to 0.24 ng g(-1) was
higher than the usually observed values of approximately 0.1 ng g(-1) but it
was caused by the high dust concentration in the air in that region.
Calculated on the basis of these measurements, the exposure to uranium for
the Kuwait and southern Iraq population does not differ from the world
average estimation. Therefore, the widely spread information in newspapers
and Internet (see for example: [CADU NEWS, 2003.
http://www.cadu.org.uk/news/index.htm (3-13)]) concerning dramatic health
deterioration for Iraqi citizens should not be linked directly with their
exposure to DU after the Gulf War.

PMID: 14664872 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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