angst AND science

Posted by bobbapink on Jan 01, 2002 at 11:37 (

Re: Dangers exist... (DA Morgan)

It is highly unlikely that exposure to DU ammunition would cause leukemia. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated in its Toxicological Profile for Uranium, "[n]o human cancer of any type has ever been seen as a result of exposure to natural or depleted uranium." A 1999 RAND study concluded, "there are no peer-reviewed published reports of detectable increases of cancer or other negative health effects from radiation exposure to inhaled or ingested natural uranium at levels far exceeding those likely in the Gulf." Exposures in the Balkans should be no more than those in the Gulf.

Excess leukemia incidence among those exposed to radiation (atomic bomb survivors) has been recognized only with doses in the range of 1 Sievert (100 rem) or more to the bone marrow. In the body, uranium concentrates on the bone surface rather than in bone marrow. Under these conditions irradiation of bone marrow by uraniumís alpha particles would be almost impossible. The scenarios for the highest potential exposure to DU in the Gulf War (friendly fire incidents, Level I) had estimated doses in the range of 0.05 Sv (5 rem). Incidental or casual exposures (Levels II and III) are estimated to be orders of magnitude less. To the extent that NATO forces in the Balkans had any exposure to DU, it is difficult to imagine exposure greater than Level II exposure scenarios.


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