This might seem like a “No Duh!” moment, but the Associated Press is reporting on a study showing that depleted uranium is toxic:
Uranium’s heavy-metal properties can make people sick, independently of the element’s radiation and radon gas, according to a research project led by a Northern Arizona University biochemist.
“People assume that if the uranium is not radioactive, it’s harmless. We’re finding that’s not the case,” said NAU biochemist Diane Stearns.
Heavy metals are metallic elements with high atomic weights, such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead. If they get into the bloodstream, they can bind with DNA particles to interrupt cellular communication and cause diseases.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission treat depleted, or “non-radioactive,” uranium as a hazardous material, but the Department of Defense continues to use it for anti-tank weapons, tank armor and ammunition rounds.
The department also has declined to clean it up from military sites.
Amazingly this is the first study of its type. If an enterprising lawyer gets hold of this, how far do you think he or she will get with a class-action suit against the government on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of American military men and women on permanent disability since the beginning of the first Gulf War?
Did you know that roughly 60% of the soldiers who fought in Desert Storm for Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf are on disability? The percentage of permanently disabled American war veterans for the previous century was about 5%. What changed after Vietnam?
Primarily, two things: Experimental vaccines and depleted uranium munitions. I can’t speak to the vaccines, but did you catch that part about how DU “can bind with DNA particles”? I’m no molecular biologist — but my wife is. Trust me, that is a very bad thing.
No wonder the DOD doesn’t want to clean up weapons testing sites! God help us, what kind of legacy are we creating? For all intents and purposes, we’ve already nuked Iraq — and Afghanistan, and Kosovo, and Bosnia…