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News Depleted Uranium Ammunition

  1. Jul 7, 2011 #1
    In war, the advantages of Depleted Uranium munitions help the United States stomp other countries into the ground.

    The United States and its NATO allies maintain that Depleted Uranium dust (a by-product) doesn't cause cancer and birth defects, however, 136 countries are citing other research saying that it does.

    Which side do you think is right?


    Here is the wikipedia entry:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium
     
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  3. Jul 7, 2011 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Can YOU cite research that shows it causes cancer and birth defects? Governments know as much about biological effects of radiation as your average high school graduate so that's not really an argument.
     
  4. Jul 7, 2011 #3
    Before I answer I want to state that your argument goes both ways. USA government and NATO (I would argue that both NATO, EU, UN, etc. are governmental) "...know as much about biological effects of radiation as your average high school graduate...".

    I quote from Wikipedia, the exact link I provided in my first post.
    You want me to quote the research? Click on the numbers on Wikipedia and you will be redirected to the References section at the bottom.
     
  5. Jul 7, 2011 #4

    Evo

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    Yes, you must link to the research and to the exact part that supports you, you can't tell people "here is a list, go spend a few weeks looking for something that might back me up."
     
  6. Jul 7, 2011 #5
    Alright. Here goes.

    http://www.dmzhawaii.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/health-overview-04.pdf

    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 7:297–317 , 2004
    Copyright© Taylor & Francis Inc.
    ISSN: 1093–7404 print / 1521–6950 online
    DOI: 10.1080/10937400490452714
    297
    DEPLETED AND NATURAL URANIUM: CHEMISTRY AND TOXICOLOGICAL EFFECTS

    Page 308
    For this report I will redirect you to the compilation table at Wikipedia for which this report is quoted http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Chemical_toxicity .
    That is, among other things, for the cancer part.
    About birth defects.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242351/?tool=pmcentrez

    Environ Health. 2005; 4: 17.
    Published online 2005 August 26. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-4-17
    Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective
    Here are more reports on: "...Epidemiological studies and toxicological tests on laboratory animals point to it as being immunotoxic,[80] teratogenic,[81][82] neurotoxic,[83] with carcinogenic and leukemogenic potential.[84]..."

    ------

    Wan B, Fleming J, Schultz T, Sayler G (2006). "In vitro immune toxicity of depleted uranium: effects on murine macrophages, CD4+ T cells, and gene expression profiles". Environ Health Perspect 114 (1): 85–91. PMC 1332661. PMID 16393663.
    Arfsten D. P., Still K. R., Ritchie G. D. (2001). "A review of the effects of uranium and depleted uranium exposure on reproduction and fetal development". Toxicol Ind Health 17 (5–10): 180–91. doi:10.1191/0748233701th111oa. PMID 12539863.
    Domingo J. L. (2001). "Reproductive and developmental toxicity of natural and depleted uranium: a review". Reprod Toxicol 15 (6): 603–9. doi:10.1016/S0890-6238(01)00181-2. PMID 11738513.
    Briner W., Murray J. (2005). "Effects of short-term and long-term depleted uranium exposure on open-field behavior and brain lipid oxidation in rats". Neurotoxicolgy and Teratology 27 (1): 135–44. doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2004.09.001. PMID 15681127.
    A.C.Miller, D.Beltran, R. Rivas, M. Stewart, R.J. Merlot and P.B. Lison (June 2005).
    Radiation- and Depleted Uranium-Induced Carcinogenesis Studies: Characterization of the Carcinogenic Process and Development of Medical Countermeasures. CD 05-2. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. NATO RTG-099 2005.

    ------
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17508699

    That is some of the research. It would have been easier to just click the link and then click the numbers, like I intended you would. There are doers and there are talkers, I guess I have to be the former one for people's inability to be the latter. Perhaps next time I should order the documents as a gift for anyone who asks and send it to their home address.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2011 #6
    Yes, of course, pardon me. It would take a week to click the link and then look up the passage I quoted. It's amazing how slow they made the internet, I doubt we will ever get to see instant redirection with fractions of seconds in loading times. Hand me some more straw man arguments please.
     
  8. Jul 7, 2011 #7
    What countries have been stomped into the ground because of depleted uranium - please support?
     
  9. Jul 7, 2011 #8

    Pengwuino

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    You do realize that's not how actual research gets done on a topic right? You're basically doing the equivalent of a 10 year old telling his friend the moon is made of cheese because your dad told you 3 years ago.

    You're not going to really convince anyone here by saying "look, wikipedia told me and I have this one paragraph out of 400 page report and a conclusion that says more study is needed". You clearly have no expertise in the field and are just doing a 5 minute google search to find things that sound like they agree with you.
     
  10. Jul 7, 2011 #9

    Evo

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    You were asked to link to the specific information that backs you up. I don't see it. Please provide it now.
     
  11. Jul 7, 2011 #10

    russ_watters

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    I'm not seeing that in the wiki article. Could you reference it directly please (the 136 countries thing).

    Also, could you state your opinion of the relevance of that fact, if true: If true that DU causes cancer and birth defects, so what? You didn't say what you think the implications of that are or should be, so right now I just see your OP as being pointless. I suppose perhaps you think it should be banned, but I'd be curious to hear your argument for why just being hazardous would imply it should be banned. There are an enormous number of hazardous materials used not only by militarys, but by civilians in their every-day lives. Being hazardous is not typically enough of a reason on its own to call for banning something.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  12. Jul 8, 2011 #11

    BobG

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    I think the word uranium increases the reaction people have about the risk.

    Depleted uranium isn't a radiation risk, but it is a toxic metal. It carries similar risks as being exposed to abestos or mercury - in other words, the risk of this affecting a person's health depends on how much material the person is exposed to.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs257/en/

    The controversy deals with how much exposure will be increased by using a toxic metal on the battlefield. For the persons exposed to the highest levels of depleted uranium, dying of cancer will be the least of their worries since they've just been struck by an explosive shell. But there is an increased concentration around the immediate blast site that lasts for quite a while. Not a big enough area, nor a large enough total quantity, for one shell to turn a battlefield into an environmental disaster - and probably not a large enough quantity even if numerous shells are exchanged on the battlefield. But, it's a conceivable risk if you keep having battles on the same site. In other words, the military battles are creating pollution.

    In the grand scheme of things, I think there's a lot of other more significant ill effects of war than depleted uranium. And, when it comes to environmental threats, focusing on a factory that puts out an offending chemical for decades is probably a bigger priority than military forces polluting an area for a few years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  13. Jul 8, 2011 #12
    As Bob said, the studies you cite rever to toxicological affects of internal exposure to EU. There is no research evidence that the substance - which is significantly less radioactive than natural uranium, with which we all come in background contact - is a radiation hazarard.

    As to the toxicological effects, the probability of ingesting or otherwise becoming poisoned by significant quantities of DU in battlefield conditions are remote. Specifically, a long-run study by the DOD of soldiers surviving friendly fire incidents involving DU ammunition during the Gulf War (some of whom had fragments of it lodged inside of them) showed no measurable toxicological effects.
     
  14. Jul 8, 2011 #13

    mheslep

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    Yes, from the metals toxicological perspective I see no indication that DU is much worse than any other heavy metal that might be used in alternative munitions.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2011 #14
    the bone health of these guys in another 18 years may not look so good.

     
  16. Jul 9, 2011 #15

    mheslep

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    What in the abstract leads you to say that? Also, the abstract refers to U 'fragments'. I'm not clear exactly what that means, but it seems clear that is not the same as dust distributed in the atmosphere.
     
  17. Jul 9, 2011 #16
    The danger of mining uranium (one of the citations) is one thing; natural uranium ore is un-depleted. Meaning is actually has radioactive isotopes in it.

    The whole point of using depleted uranium is that it's all 235 and not radioactive.

    Heavy metal fragments are bad sure; would you prefer lead?
     
  18. Jul 9, 2011 #17

    mheslep

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    All 238.

    Yes, that is the question that DU critics need to answer before continuing the thread.
     
  19. Jul 9, 2011 #18
    Quoting from Wikipedia: "Also, the low concentration of uranium-235 that remains in depleted uranium emits only a small amount of low-energy gamma radiation."
     
  20. Jul 9, 2011 #19

    mheslep

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    Doesn't work that way here. I'm saying that that we have no evidence presented in thread that U toxicity is worse than any other heavy metal toxicity. Burden of proof is on those that claim it is.
     
  21. Jul 9, 2011 #20

    mheslep

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    The extent to which 235 remains is the extent to which it is *not* depleted U.
     
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