The Dawn of DU Munitions
DU Use and Exposures in Operation Desert Storm
To Test or Not To Test
Forethought and Data
U.S. Apologizes for DU Use to Japan?
In Their Own Words
Los Alamos Memorandum (not electronicly available)
DU Environmental Transport Diagram (not electronicly available)
Where to Go for Help
Contact Information for Selected Reports on DU
This report may be copied and freely distributed as long as proper credit is given to Dan Fahey and Swords to Plowshares, and no alterations are made to the text without the prior written consent of Swords to Plowshares.
For more information about this report, contact Swords to Plowshares at (415) 247-8777.
This report was completed with assistance and support from Swords to Plowshares, Paul Cox, Elinor Roberts, Chris Kornkven, Michael Flores, Charles Sheehan-Miles, Elissa Gershon, Oz and Beth Grimes, the Depleted Uranium Citizens' Network of the Military Toxics Project, the Veterans Speakers Alliance, the National Gulf War Resource Center, Veterans for Peace, the Gulf War Research and Registry Project, Bill Motto VFW Post 5888 in Santa Cruz, CA, Citizen Soldier, the Freedom of Information Act, and last, but not least, Rosemary Fahey, my mom.
This report will examine the use and implications of weapons containing depleted uranium. Depleted uranium is a radioactive and chemically toxic nuclear waste product which is normally stored in a radioactive waste repository. Depleted uranium has also recently been developed for use in armor-piercing projectiles and tank armor because it is an extremely dense heavy metal which is provided for free to arms manufacturers. However, when depleted uranium rounds are shot on battlefields or testing ranges, the health and environmental consequences are both severe and enduring. Though the rapid proliferation of depleted uranium weapons since the Persian Gulf War could accelerate the spread of depleted uranium contamination on lands around the earth, the impacts of these weapons can be avoided if action is taken now.
Depleted uranium bullets and tank armor were used for the first time in warfare during Operation Desert Storm. American aircraft and American and British tanks fired hundreds of thousands of armor-piercing depleted uranium (DU) penetrators at Iraqi tanks and other armored vehicles. When a depleted uranium round impacts a target, up to 70% of the round burns up, causing radioactive and chemically toxic dust to be scattered in and around the target. (1) This dust can be transported by the wind or in water, and can enter the human body via inhalation, ingestion, or wound contamination. In addition, soldiers inside vehicles hit by DU rounds may be wounded by depleted uranium shrapnel. More than one thousand Iraqi tanks and other vehicles were destroyed and contaminated by DU rounds.
U.S. Army reports which have been released or leaked to the public reveal that military commanders were aware of the serious health and environmental consequences of using depleted uranium bullets before Operation Desert Storm. A July 1990 Army report clearly warns that large numbers of soldiers could be exposed to depleted uranium contamination on the battlefield. Army reports further note that the short and long-term health effects of inhaled or ingested depleted uranium particles include cancers, kidney problems, and birth defects.
While military commanders took numerous measures to protect U.S. troops from exposure to chemical and biological warfare agents, they withheld even basic warnings from U.S. and coalition soldiers about the use of depleted uranium munitions and ways to avoid exposure. Army officials have stated that they believe they can disregard all safety measures for DU during combat operations -- including issuing basic safety warnings and protective gear to front line troops -- because cancers and other DU-related health problems may not manifest until several years after a soldier's battlefield exposure.
Virtually no U.S. troops were aware of the use of depleted uranium rounds during Operation Desert Storm. Because military commanders withheld warnings about DU, tens of thousands of soldiers came in contact with vehicles which were contaminated with depleted uranium dust, or breathed smoke from fires involving depleted uranium rounds.
Civilian populations in Kuwait and Iraq are still being exposed to the more than 600,000 pounds of depleted uranium dust and fragments which remain on Gulf War battlefields. (2) A 1991 United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority report warned that the depleted uranium left on Gulf War battlefields could cause 500,000 deaths among exposed soldiers and civilians. (3)
As awareness of the use and dangers of depleted uranium weapons has increased, a growing number of veterans have requested, and been denied, testing and treatment for DU-related health problems. Unfortunately, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have expressed more interest in safeguarding the future use of DU weapons and avoiding the costs of health care and disability payments for exposed veterans than with accepting responsibility for the health and environmental impacts of DU weapons. (4)
The global threats to human health and the environment posed by the use of depleted uranium munitions are real and severe, but they can and should be avoided.
The United States and other arms-sales nations should stop the rapid proliferation of depleted uranium weapons which has taken place since the Persian Gulf War and take responsibility for the people and environments which have already been contaminated.
The Dawn of DU Munitions
Depleted uranium is the radioactive and chemically toxic byproduct of the uranium enrichment process. During uranium enrichment, a small amount of the highly radioactive U- 235 isotope is extracted from uranium ore for use in nuclear weapons and reactors. The 'depleted' uranium which remains is roughly sixty-percent as radioactive as naturally occurring uranium, and has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. (5) U.S. Army reports acknowledge that "DU is a low-level radioactive waste, and, therefore, must be disposed in a licensed repository." (6) In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy currently maintains a stockpile in excess of 1.1 billion pounds of depleted uranium waste material. (7)
In the early 1970's, the U.S. Army began researching the use of depleted uranium metal in kinetic energy penetrators and tank armor. Kinetic energy penetrators are dense metal darts which can pierce armor when fired at a high velocity. Through research, development, and testing, the Army found that depleted uranium penetrators were more effective than their best alternative, tungsten alloy penetrators, for breaching armored targets. (8) At the same time, the Army found that incorporating depleted uranium into tank armor made tanks less vulnerable to penetration from conventional rounds.
The Army and DU weapons manufacturers spent two decades testing the effectiveness of depleted uranium penetrators and armor, but they failed to "closely coordinate the planning and performance of experiments for DU health and environmental assessments." (9) Nevertheless, the dangers of depleted uranium weapons were noted in several reports completed before Operation Desert Storm. One report which contained stark warnings about the use of depleted uranium penetrators was completed by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in July 1990 for the U.S. Army.
The SAIC report, entitled Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environmental and Health Consequences , forewarned that the use of DU penetrators in combat would create large amounts of depleted uranium dust, and that depleted uranium poses its greatest danger to human health when this dust in ingested or inhaled. (10) When a DU round impacts a target, up to 70% of the penetrator rod will burn and oxidize into small particles. (11) The SAIC report prophetically warned that "aerosol DU exposures to soldiers on the battlefield could be significant with potential radiological and toxicological effects." (12) Depleted uranium can be internalized as a result of breathing smoke containing DU particles, hand-to-mouth transfer as a result of contact with contaminated vehicles, inhalation or ingestion of resuspended particles, ingestion of food or water contaminated by DU, contamination of wounds by DU dust, or from wounds caused by DU shrapnel.
When DU particles of respirable size are inhaled, roughly 25% of the particles become trapped in the lungs, where they can remain for years. (13) Approximately two-thirds of the DU which is inhaled but not trapped in the lungs is subsequently swallowed. (14) These and other ingested DU particles will migrate throughout the body in the blood stream and deposit for varying amounts of time in the bone marrow, liver, reproductive organs, and kidneys. The kidney is the organ most sensitive to depleted uranium toxicity. The SAIC report notes that "short term effects of high doses can result in death, while long term effects of low doses have been implicated in cancer." (15)
The SAIC report also warned that widespread knowledge of the health and environmental impacts of DU penetrators could lead to a call for a ban on their use:
Following combat, however, the condition of the battlefield, and the long-term health risks to natives and combat veterans may become issues in the acceptability of the continued use of DU kinetic energy penetrators for military applications. (16)
This report, completed a few weeks before Iraq invaded Kuwait, and a few months before Operation Desert Storm, expressed enough vision to anticipate the health and environmental problems that would result from combat use of DU rounds. Yet the Department of Defense took no steps to prevent or minimize the impacts of depleted uranium on "natives and combat veterans" prior to using DU rounds in Operation Desert Storm.
Several U.S. Army officials and DU weapons manufacturers who peer-reviewed the SAIC report tried to dismiss the SAIC's apprehensions about DU by asserting that the risks of combat are of greater concern than long-term DU-related health risks. In response to these critics, the SAIC stated, "We are simply highlighting the potential for levels of [DU] exposure to military personnel during combat that would be unacceptable during peacetime operations." (17)
Another report, completed by the U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory (BRL), also foreshadowed DU exposures in Operation Desert Storm. Col. Eric G. Daxon, an Army expert on depleted uranium, notes that the December 1989 BRL study found that "personnel in or near (less than approximately 50 meters) an armored vehicle at the time these vehicles were struck by depleted uranium munitions could receive significant internal DU exposures (i.e. those in excess of allowable standards)." (18) The BRL study determined that an average of 79% of the airborne DU particles measured downwind of an impacted vehicle are of respirable size (less than 10 microns in diameter), meaning that if inhaled they could become permanently trapped in the lungs. (19)
The BRL report noted that when a DU round impacts a target, the penetrator rod fragments and burns "due to the pyrophoric nature of uranium metal and the extreme flash temperatures generated on impact." (20) Tests conducted by the Ballistics Research Laboratory showed that although DU particles thrown into the air can travel downwind for miles, the largest amounts of DU dust created on impact come to rest inside a penetrated vehicle, with amounts of DU dust in excess of allowable standards for health safety also located on the outside surface and within ten meters of the target. (21) Test results also showed that soldiers who come in contact with contaminated vehicles could inhale resuspended DU dust, or ingest DU "via food intake, cigarette smoking, etc., prior to a person washing his hands and face." (22)
In an optimistic twist of logic, the BRL suggests that a soldier who has a single, briefcontact with one contaminated vehicle may not inhale or ingest a significant amount of DU dust. (23) However, BRL failed to envision a scenario such as Operation Desert Storm, in which hundreds of thousands of DU rounds are fired at thousands of targets, and thousands of soldiers each climb on or enter multiple vehicles without any knowledge of the presence of depleted uranium contamination and without any protective gear.
The SAIC, BRL and other reports completed for the U.S. Army prior to Operation Desert Storm clearly indicate that military officials were aware of the effectiveness of DU penetrators and tank armor. Yet at the same time, the Army's own reports demonstrate that military commanders were also aware of the potential for widespread exposure of U.S. troops to depleted uranium dust during and after combat operations, and of the likelihood that many soldiers could develop cancers, kidney problems, or have children born with birth defects as a result of their exposure. (24)
DU Use and Exposures in Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Storm provided the first opportunity for depleted uranium penetrators and armor to be tested in combat. American soldiers saw firsthand the effectiveness of the armor-piercing rounds fired by American tanks and aircraft against Iraqi armored targets, though most soldiers were unaware that these rounds were made of depleted uranium. Because military commanders failed to warn their soldiers about the use and dangers of depleted uranium penetrators, thousands of troops climbed on and entered contaminated vehicles or breathed smoke from fires involving DU rounds.
During Operation Desert Storm, American A-10 "Tank Killer" aircraft fired approximately 940,000 small-caliber DU rounds, while American M1 and M1A1 tanks fired approximately 4,000 large-caliber DU rounds in combat. (25) Each 30mm round fired by an A-10 contains a DU penetrator weighing about two-thirds of one pound; the 105mm rounds fired by the M1 and M60 tanks have a DU penetrator weighing 8.5 pounds; and the DU penetrator rod in each 120mm round fired by the M1A1's weighs 10.7 pounds. (26)
Depleted uranium penetrators proved to be highly effective in their first battlefield test. More than one thousand Iraqi tanks and other vehicles were penetrated and destroyed by DU rounds. (27) DU rounds fired by U.S. tanks pierced Iraqi tanks as far as two miles away. (28) DU rounds fired through sand berms were able to penetrate and destroy Iraqi tanks. (29) Several friendly fire incidents involving M1A1 tanks proved that DU rounds can also pierce depleted uranium armor. But due, in part, to the fact that the Iraqis did not have depleted uranium penetrators in their arsenal, not one U.S. tank was destroyed by Iraqi tank fire. (30)
The July 1990 SAIC report predicted that "under combat conditions, the MEI's [most exposed individuals] are probably the ground troops that re-enter a battlefield following the exchange of armor-piercing munitions, either on foot or on motorized transports." (31) If soldiers are expected to encounter land mines or chemical warfare agents on a battlefield, it is likely that they would be informed about the presence of these dangers and ways to avoid exposure. However, the "MEI's" who were sent into the battlefields of Kuwait and Iraq were never warned about the use of DU munitions, the presence of depleted uranium contamination, or ways to avoid exposure to DU.
Because military commanders failed to inform their troops about depleted uranium, thousands of servicemen and women climbed on and/or entered DU-impacted vehicles without any knowledge of the presence of depleted uranium contamination and without any protective gear. Soldiers climbed on and entered vehicles to look for hiding Iraqi soldiers, to remove usable equipment, to pose for a picture, or just to examine Iraqi weapons systems. Two independent surveys of more than 10,000 Gulf War veterans indicate that approximately three-quarters of veterans entered destroyed Iraqi vehicles, many of which were contaminated with DU dust. (32) Some troops also report breathing smoke from burning vehicles which had been impacted by DU rounds. In addition, an unknown number of medical personnel who treated wounded coalition and Iraqi soldiers may have been exposed to DU dust on clothing and in wounds.
It was not until March 7, 1991, over a week after the cease fire officially ending Desert Storm, that the U.S. Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command issued a message to units in the gulf warning that "any system struck by a DU penetrator can be assumed to be contaminated with DU." (33) The same message also warned that "personnel should avoid entering contaminated systems," and that "personnel exposed to DU contamination should wash exposed areas and discard clothing." Though this warning should have been issued months before Desert Storm began, and should have been widely circulated through the chain of command, government reports and interviews with numerous Gulf War veterans indicate that even after the message was sent, U.S. troops were never informed about the use of DU penetrators or the presence of depleted uranium contamination on the battlefield.
During the investigation which resulted in the January 1993 General Accounting Office (GAO) report on depleted uranium, investigators interviewed veterans from the 24th Infantry Division-Mechanized and the 144th Army National Guard Service and Supply Company. Soldiers from both of these units had been involved in the recovery and maintenance of damaged and destroyed U.S. combat vehicles, including twenty-nine tanks and personnel carriers contaminated with depleted uranium as a result of friendly fire incidents and onboard fires.
The GAO report, aptly-named Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal With Depleted Uranium Contamination , revealed that approximately twenty-seven soldiers from the 144th had worked on and in contaminated vehicles for at least three weeks (veterans say it was six weeks) "without prior knowledge of the existence of DU contamination or radiation hazards and without any protective gear." (34) In fact, at least one soldier from the 144th reported that he was unaware he had worked on DU-contaminated vehicles until GAO investigators requested to interview him in June 1992. (35) The fact that even the soldiers tasked with the recovery and maintenance of contaminated U.S. vehicles were not informed about the presence and dangers of depleted uranium contamination is indicative of the extent to which information about depleted uranium weapons was withheld from virtually all U.S. troops.
When GAO investigators inquired about the widespread lack of awareness among U.S. troops with respect to the use and dangers of depleted uranium munitions, Army officials stated that "DU protective methods can be ignored during combat and other life-threatening situations because DU-related health risks are greatly outweighed by the risks of combat." (36) Unfortunately, the "DU protective methods" that were ignored by military commanders included dissemination of basic warnings about the use and dangers of depleted uranium weapons, instruction on methods of avoiding exposure, and provision of protective gear to troops who would likely be exposed. (37) Though the immediate risks of combat are great, the cancers, kidney problems, birth defects and other health consequences of depleted uranium exposure are severe enough to warrant adherence to DU protective methods.
A few months after most Desert Storm veterans had returned home, U.S. troops were again exposed to depleted uranium as a result of a monstrous fire in the ammunition storage area and motor pool of the U.S. Army base at Doha, Kuwait. During six hours of severe explosions and eighteen additional hours of residual fires, a large amount of ammunition and equipment was destroyed, including 660 large-caliber DU tank rounds, 9,720 small-caliber DU rounds, and four M1A1 tanks with DU armor. (38) In severe fire conditions, such as the Doha fire, depleted uranium rounds will burn and completely oxidize into powder. (39) Therefore, of the 9,006 pounds of DU penetrators lost in the fire, several thousand pounds of depleted uranium were potentially oxidized, scattered around the compound during the hours of violent explosions, and carried to the southeast by a steady 8 knot wind. (40)
While the fire was raging, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team en route to Doha explicitly warned commanders about the dangers posed by the thousands of pounds of burning depleted uranium and urged them to have their soldiers stay out of the downwind area and don protective masks. (41) U.S. Central Command logs confirm this warning to commanders, but the commanders never warned their soldiers about the presence or dangers of depleted uranium. In fact, soldiers involved in cleanup operations several days after the fire wore no respirators or protective clothing while using shovels and brooms to clean the contaminated compound. (42) The Army does not know, or will not admit, what dangers are posed by residual DU contamination to U.S. soldiers who deploy to Doha today. (43)
Though the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses' (PAC) Final Report downplayed the connection between numerous toxic exposures -- including exposures to depleted uranium -- and Gulf War veterans' current health problems, they did note that:
U.S. service personnel also could have been exposed to DU if they inhaled DU dust particles during incidental contact with vehicles destroyed by DU munitions, or if they lived or worked in areas contaminated with DU dust from accidental munitions fires. Thus, unnecessary exposure of many individuals could have occurred. (44)
The PAC further noted that "since uranium is a potential carcinogen, it is possible that exposure to DU during the Gulf War could lead to a slight increase in the risk for lung cancer after decades following the end of the war." (45) Whether the increase in lung cancers will be slight or significant is uncertain because the DoD and VA refuse to adequately assess the extent to which soldiers were exposed to the 600,000 pounds of depleted uranium contamination on Gulf War battlefields.
To Test or Not To Test
Army reports written before Operation Desert Storm warned of the potential for widespread exposures to depleted uranium when DU rounds were used in combat. They also predicted that exposed soldiers and civilians would suffer from cancers, kidney problems and other health effects as a result of exposure to DU on the battlefield. Though soldiers should have been tested for depleted uranium exposure as soon as they came off the battlefield, the length of time which has passed since the Gulf War combined with the body's natural excretion of some of the internalized DU now make testing of Gulf War veterans for depleted uranium extremely difficult. In the absence of effective testing methods for DU, the presumption of exposure to depleted uranium should be extended to all Gulf War veterans along with medical care and compensation for lung cancers, kidney problems, birth defects, and other DU-related health effects.
The utility of testing for internalized DU is noted in the U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute's (AEPI) 1995 report on depleted uranium: "measuring the quantity of DU a soldier internalized, as soon as practical after initial exposure, would improve the Army's ability to subsequently determine the significance of the exposure." (46) The AEPI report also states that "the radiation dose to critical body organs depends upon the amount of time that DU resides in the organs. When this value is known or estimated, cancer and hereditary risk estimates can be determined." (47)
Occupational workers who work with depleted uranium, such as workers who make DU penetrators, are provided with annual refresher training about DU and are routinely monitored for DU exposure by means of "film badges, ring badges, annual medical examinations, [and] urinalysis." (48) Urinalysis is the primary method of monitoring occupational workers for DU exposure because it can provide accurate assessments of internalized DU for several weeks after a person is exposed. Additionally, some occupational workers are provided with more accurate whole-body count tests for depleted uranium several times a year. (50)
Even though the importance of testing individuals exposed to DU is acknowledged by the Army and the domestic uranium industry, the Army Surgeon General has declared that "medical follow-up is not warranted for soldiers who experience incidental exposure [to DU] from dust or smoke." (51) The Army Surgeon General's assertion notably flies in the face of pre-war reports which describe exposure to DU from dust and smoke as posing a grave danger to soldiers on the battlefield. Perhaps based on the Army Surgeon General's position, the VA and DoD have excluded DU testing from the registry exams provided to more than 90,000 sick Gulf War veterans.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of current and former service members who may be exposed to depleted uranium contamination receive none of the testing and monitoring recommended by the Army Environmental Policy Institute or provided to occupational workers. Prior to the Gulf War, no training was provided to U.S. soldiers about the use of depleted uranium munitions and ways to avoid exposure. Soldiers who subsequently had contact with contaminated vehicles on the battlefield were never provided with urinalysis tests to determine the level of their exposure. Even today, active duty soldiers are not routinely tested for depleted uranium exposure, and they receive little to no training about the use and dangers of depleted uranium munitions. (52)
Though thousands of veterans may have been exposed to depleted uranium on the battlefield, the VA is monitoring the health of only thirty-three veterans who were wounded in friendly fire incidents involving DU rounds. These thirty-three veterans -- twenty-two of whom still retain DU shrapnel -- have unwittingly become the subjects for the first human medical studies to thoroughly assess DU-related health risks. (54) In addition, these thirty-three veterans are being used to develop more sensitive testing methods for detecting internalized DU. Though the VA states that none of the thirty-three veterans has yet developed cancers or kidney problems, other veterans who have developed cancers and kidney problems, or have had children with birth defects since the war, have been denied testing and treatment for DU-related health problems.
The VA has recently offered urinalysis testing to a few persistent veterans despite the fact that the VA knows urinalysis tests will not provide accurate assessments of the presence or levels of internalized DU this long after a veteran's exposure in the Gulf War. Though inhaled depleted uranium dust can become trapped in the lungs for years, a large portion of the ingested depleted uranium particles are excreted from the body in urine or feces within a few weeks after exposure. (53) Dr. Melissa McDiarmid, Medical Director of the VA's Depleted Uranium Program, states that urinalysis testing is currently the only "practical" way to test for DU until more accurate testing methods and machinery are developed as a result of studies of the veterans who retain DU shrapnel. (56) But in the absence of more effective testing methods, the VA's current use of urinalysis tests to screen veterans for DU exposure will most likely provide the veteran and his/her physician with an inaccurate assessment of the presence and dangers of internalized depleted uranium.
The Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses' Final Report stated that due to the amount of time that has elapsed since most veterans were exposed to DU in the Gulf War, "it would be difficult to detect DU even with more sophisticated equipment performing specialized tests such as lung counts." (57) The SAIC report noted that "workers who have previously been exposed to uranium may be at greater risk in the event of subsequent kidney disease than unexposed workers, since it has been observed that a loss of up to 75% of kidney function can be clinically undetected." (58) And as too many veterans have already found out, "attending physicians would not likely suspect, or report, uranium involvement" in kidney problems. (59)
Given the difficulty of obtaining accurate test results for internalized DU this long after the Gulf War, the VA should stop using unreliable urinalysis screening tests, assume that all Gulf War veterans were exposed to depleted uranium contamination, and presumptively treat and compensate veterans suffering from kidney problems, lung cancers, and other health problems likely to result from DU exposure.
"Forethought and Data"
Unfortunately for veterans, VA and DoD policies on depleted uranium appear to be more heavily influenced by budget concerns and a desire to keep using DU weapons than by common sense and justice. Both the VA and DoD have openly expressed a desire to avoid the costs of DU-related health problems, and the success of their efforts can be measured in the lives of veterans who are unable to get health care and disability compensation for cancers, kidney problems, children born with birth defects, and other DU-related health effects. (60) In the future, the impacts of DU munitions could become more widespread because ongoing DoD efforts to ensure the continued use of depleted uranium weapons have prevented an objective review of the health and environmental consequences of depleted uranium munitions from taking place.
As previously noted, it may no longer be possible to obtain accurate test results of internalized depleted uranium in exposed Gulf War veterans. Nevertheless, the VA's response to a 1996 Veterans of Foreign Wars resolution calling for whole-body count testing for Gulf War veterans offers a telling insight into ulterior motives: "VA does not support whole-body counting as a screening test for depleted uranium exposure because of the cost and extreme difficulty involved in obtaining such tests." (61) One doctor has noted that the cost of a whole-body count test for one veteran is approximately $500. (62) In addition, the "extreme difficulty involved in obtaining such tests" is due to the fact that the VA has only one whole-body count testing facility, located in the Boston, MA VA Medical Center.
The 1995 U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute report on depleted uranium indicates that financial interests are also influencing military policies on depleted uranium. The introduction of the report does not mince words about the Army's true intentions:
When DU is indicted as a causative agent for Desert Storm illness, the Army must have sufficient data to separate fiction from reality. Without forethought and data, the financial implications of long-term disability payments and health-care costs would be excessive. (63)
This statement was included in the introduction of the AEPI report, which was leaked to the public in January, 1996 by the Depleted Uranium Citizens' Network of the Military Toxics Project. (64)
The Department of Defense is also using its "forethought and data" to justify the continued use of DU penetrators. Even before the combat of Desert Storm was over, policy makers were already plotting to ensure the future use of DU penetrators. A March 1, 1991 Los Alamos National Laboratory memorandum, reprinted on page 24 of this report, noted that DU penetrators were very effective against Iraqi armored targets. (65) However, the author of the memo, one Lt. Col. Ziehmn, suggested that concern about the environmental effects of DU could make DU rounds "politically unacceptable," and result in a ban on DU penetrators. Therefore, he recommended that the future use of DU penetrators be assured through "Service/DoD proponency," and that after action reports of Operation Desert Storm be written to legitimize the future use of DU rounds.
The "proponency" policy suggested by the Los Alamos memo has become evident since the Gulf War. The Army Environmental Policy Institute's 1995 report on depleted uranium mentions several shortcomings in Army doctrine about DU, but was evidently written to legitimize the continued use of DU penetrators. Despite the fact that Army commanders failed to warn their troops about the use and dangers of DU munitions, the AEPI nonetheless praised the Army's behavior: "After an exhaustive review of the use of weapon systems containing DU, AEPI concluded that the Army has done an excellent job attending to the environmental and health impacts of these systems." (66) This statement casts serious doubt upon the ability of the Army, and the Department of Defense, to objectively evaluate and address the health and environmental consequences of depleted uranium munitions.
In 1996, Dr. Stephen Joseph, then Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, downplayed the risks and highlighted the effectiveness of DU weapons in response to a congressional inquiry:
The Department of Defense fully recognizes the problems associated with DU in combat. However, the use of this material in shielding designs for combat vehicles substantially increases personnel survivability on the battlefield. In addition, the significant increase in the range of DU munitions provides the kind of tactical advantage that is important in reducing the casualty rate for our forces. Please be assured that the Department of Defense is fully committed to taking all prudent actions to ensure the safety of our personnel. (67)
Given the extent of the Pentagon's coverup of chemical exposures in the Gulf War, and Dr. Joseph's personal involvement in that coverup, it is unlikely that veterans, active duty soldiers, Congress or the public will accept Pentagon assurances that "all prudent actions" are being taken to address the impacts of DU weapons.
The "proponency" policy suggested in the Los Alamos memo also may have influenced the August 1996 testimony provided by two "experts" from Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses. Both scientists downplayed the dangers of internalized depleted uranium and minimized the role of internalized DU as a cause of the birth defects in children of Gulf War veterans. (68)
In word and deed, the Department of Defense has consistently shown that it is more interested in avoiding the "excessive" costs of health care and disability payments for Gulf War veterans and continuing to use depleted uranium penetrators than with honestly and thoroughly addressing the dangers of these weapons. The Department of Defense, working in conjunction with federally-funded scientists and the Department of Veterans Affairs, has shrewdly used its "forethought and data" to downplay the dangers of depleted uranium, dodge discussion of widespread exposures to depleted uranium dust on vehicles and in smoke, and deny medical testing and care for the thousands of veterans exposed to depleted uranium on Gulf War battlefields.
U.S. Apologizes for DU Use . . . to Japan?
Just as the Department of Defense refuses to take responsibility for exposing its own soldiers to depleted uranium, it also denies any liability for the cleanup of the more than 600,000 pounds of depleted uranium contamination which remains in Kuwait and Iraq. If the failure to clean up depleted uranium contamination from the Gulf War sets a precedent, depleted uranium contamination may be left on future battlefields around the world, where it will continue to poison generation after generation of soldiers and civilians.
Depleted uranium is extremely difficult to clean up after it has been shot on a battlefield or testing range, and oxidized and dispersed by the wind or in water. Depleted uranium penetrator fragments left on the ground will corrode and oxidize, further spreading contaminated particles into soil and groundwater. Cleanup of depleted uranium is often additionally complicated by the presence of unexploded ordnance.
Prior to the Gulf War, the SAIC report noted that "assuming U.S. regulatory standards and health physics practices are followed, it is likely some form of remedial action will be required in a DU post-combat environment." (69) Yet after Operation Desert Storm, when hundreds of thousands of pounds of depleted uranium was scattered over a large area, the Army Environmental Policy Institute reassured military officials that "no international law, treaty, regulation, or custom requires the United States to remediate Persian Gulf War battlefields." (70)
The exorbitant cost of cleanup combined with the official acknowledgment of the dangers of DU which would necessarily accompany any cleanup operations make it unlikely that the Department of Defense will voluntarily remediate depleted uranium contamination on Gulf War battlefields. The cost of cleaning up the estimated 152,000 pounds of depleted uranium on 500 acres of the recently-closed Jefferson Proving Ground in Indiana has been placed at $4 to $5 billion. (71) The cost of cleaning up the more than 600,000 pounds of depleted uranium spread over hundreds of square miles in Kuwait and Iraq could therefore easily run into the tens of billions of dollars.
Of note, the 1991 United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority report warning of "500,000 potential deaths" among soldiers and civilians exposed to DU was based on a preliminary estimate that only 80,000 pounds of depleted uranium contamination was left on Gulf War battlefields. Already the British prediction is becoming reality, as indicated by reports from the battlefield areas of southern Iraq that large numbers of children are now suffering from leukemia and cancers attributable to exposure to depleted uranium. (72)
In a telling about-face, however, the Department of Defense recently apologized to Japan for shooting 1,520 small-caliber DU rounds in 1995 and 1996 on an uninhabited island near Okinawa. (73) U.S. military officials stated that approximately 64 pounds of depleted uranium were recovered from the Japanese island, out of the 494 pounds of depleted uranium penetrators that were shot. (74) Military officials tried to reassure the Japanese that the rounds are only as radioactive as "old color TV sets." But because spent DU penetrators (DU metal without shielding) have a radioactivity of 200mrem/hour, they deliver a radiation dose equivalent to nearly 30 chest x-rays in one hour. (75)
Given the Japanese people's firsthand experience with the effects of radiation and their displeasure with the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, it is not altogether surprising that the Pentagon would express remorse about firing 500 pounds of depleted uranium in Japan. But in a more predictable manner, they have expressed no interest in taking responsibility for the 600,000 pounds of depleted uranium in Kuwait and Iraq, or apologizing to and treating exposed Gulf War veterans and the people of Kuwait and Iraq who continue to live amidst DU contamination.
U.S. forces have also fired DU rounds in Bosnia, Panama, Saudi Arabia, and possibly other countries as part of training or combat missions. (76) The demonstrated effectiveness of depleted uranium penetrators in the Persian Gulf War has resulted in the expanded use of DU munitions in the U.S. arsenal. DU penetrators are now used by virtually every U.S. combat system which could face armored targets, including the A-10 "Tank Killer" aircraft, the AV-8B Harrier aircraft, the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks, and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
Predictably, the U.S. is no longer the only country with DU munitions. Depleted uranium weapons have already been acquired or are being developed by the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan, Thailand, Taiwan, and other countries which the Pentagon will not disclose for so-called "national security" reasons. (77)
The rapid proliferation of depleted uranium weapons is steadily diminishing any battlefield advantage they currently provide to U.S. forces. The AEPI ominously noted that "since DU weapons are openly available on the world arms market, DU weapons will be used in future conflicts . . . The number of DU patients on future battlefields probably will be significantly higher because other countries will use systems containing DU." (78) As more countries develop and acquire depleted uranium munitions, and the U.S. military expands its use of DU penetrators, U.S. soldiers will increasingly be the victims of a weapon created and proliferated by their own government.
The U.S. Department of Energy does not know how or where to safely dispose of the hundreds of millions of pounds of nuclear waste which has accumulated in the last fifty years. Given the serious threats to human health and the environment posed by radioactive and chemically toxic waste, it is unlikely that many people would consciously support shaping large quantities of the waste into bullets, or shooting those bullets in conflicts around the world. Yet that is exactly the disposal method that the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and DU weapons manufacturers have quietly implemented during the last twenty-five years.
The best defense the Pentagon can offer for such an ill-conceived plan is that these weapons currently provide U.S. forces with a battlefield advantage over many of the world's armies. Yet the rapid proliferation of DU weapons -- prompted in large part by the Department of Defense and the U.S. defense industry -- ensures that any advantage will be short-lived. Unfortunately for soldiers and civilians of all nations, the health and environmental consequences could last forever.
Just as land mines have had a devastating impact on people around the world, depleted uranium contamination left on battlefields will kill friend and foe indiscriminantly long after the end of a conflict or war. Veterans and civilians who have already been exposed should now be presumptively treated and compensated for lung cancer, kidney problems, birth defects, and other DU-related health problems. In order to prevent the future impacts of depleted uranium contamination, the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of depleted uranium munitions must be banned by an international agreement. In addition, the U.S. military and defense contractors must clean up contaminated battlefields, testing ranges, and manufacturing sites.
It is easy to foresee the tremendous human and environmental devastation which will accompany the use of depleted uranium weapons in the conflicts of the next century and beyond. With this scenario in mind, let us act to prevent it from becoming reality.
In Their Own Words
Staff Sergeant Chris Kornkven
(U.S. Army Reserve, 304th Combat Support Company)
"I climbed on a lot of burned out Iraqi vehicles in Iraq and Kuwait. We received no warnings about the use of DU or ways to minimize our exposure. I had never even heard of depleted uranium until a year after the war ended. It wasn't until 1993 that I became aware of the widespread use of DU rounds during the war.
"I am one of the few vets who has been tested by the VA for DU. They were extremely reluctant to test me - they told me I hadn't been exposed. After I was given a urinalysis test in August 1995, I was told that I had higher levels of internalized DU than some of the vets who retain DU shrapnel. Though I have requested a whole-body count test, the VA has refused to provide this test for me.
"The government's silence on the DU issue is deafening."
Sergeant Michael Flores
(U.S. Army, G Troop, 2nd Squad, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)
"When the fire started in the motor pool at Doha, we ran as fast as we could to get away from the explosions. It wasn't until 1996 that I heard about depleted uranium and found out that several hundred depleted uranium tank rounds burned up in the fire. We only knew of the tank rounds as "AP" - armor piercing.
"A few days after the fire, my troop was sent in to clean up the compound. We used our hands, brooms, and shovels to clean-up shrapnel, casings, and other debris. At no time were we warned about depleted uranium contamination or told to take protective measures. We had placed our water jug on some drums that contained fragments of depleted uranium penetrators. The tops were off some of the drums and I could see that some of the rods were partially melted or burned. We didn't know there was any danger until some officers showed up at the end of the day and told us to move the water jug and leave the area. Then they placed radioactive contamination stickers on all the drums.
"I have not been tested for DU. One of my sons was born with a limb reduction defect and I would like to know if my exposure to DU caused it."
Specialist Mark Panzera
(144th Army National Guard Service and Supply Company)
"We were located at Shep's Junkyard in King Khalid Military City (KKMC) in Saudi Arabia. A week or so after the ground war ended, trucks started arriving carrying damaged and destroyed vehicles. Our unit had to off-load them, download any ammunition in the vehicles, and store the vehicles. In order to do our job, we had to climb on and enter every vehicle that came into the yard.
I had never heard of depleted uranium and did not know that depleted uranium rounds had been used in the war. About forty five days after the first vehicles arrived, two men wearing white suits, gloves, boots, and respirators showed up. They had Geiger counters and they started going to each vehicle and checking it for radiation. There were about two hundred vehicles in the yard at that point. They found that twenty nine vehicles were radioactive, and spray painted "Hot" and other radiation markings on them. They told us to stay away from those vehicles and not let anyone take pictures of them. Our unit was later provided with radiation devices but they didn't work.
About a year after I returned from the Gulf, I started having problems with my lower back. Eventually, a doctor figured out that I was having kidney problems. In 1993 and 1994 I had four surgeries on my kidneys. One doctor told me that she was going to cut out some of the diseased kidney, but she never did. Lately my condition has been getting worse and I have missed work or have to leave early because of the pain.
Last week (March 17, 1997) the VA again denied my claim for kidney problems, an enlarged prostate, bronchitis, blood disorder and fatigue. The doctor who has been treating me, Dr. Durakovic, has been fired by the VA. He recommended DU testing for me and others in my unit that the VA wouldn't provide us. He's an expert in nuclear medicine, and now I won't have anyone helping me.
The government is treating this issue just like Agent Orange. They just don't care about how they are treating all the vets."
Staff Sergeant David A. Powell
(144th Army National Guard Service and Supply Co.)
"About a year after we got back from Saudi Arabia, several officers came to our National Guard unit on a drill weekend. They told us that we had been exposed to depleted uranium, and one of the officers talked to us about radiation.
They opened a jar of peanut butter and pulled out a spoonful. They held a Geiger counter up to the spoonful of peanut butter and it started clicking. Then they held up a plate of china and held the Geiger counter up to it and that started clicking too. They told us that you get a little radiation from everything, and that we had nothing to worry about. They told us that in the Gulf we got about the same amount of radiation as a peanut butter sandwich. Back then we believed that the government wouldn't do anything to us.
The chain of command should take responsibility for their soldiers."
Staff Sergeant Kenny Rogers
(California Army National Guard, 210th MP Battalion)
"I was medivaced from Saudi Arabia with severe kidney problems and I have struggled to obtain medical care from the VA ever since. My condition has worsened since Desert Storm, and has frequently prevented me from holding down a job. I don't know what I was exposed to that has caused my kidney problems, but I have never been tested for DU exposure."
(U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Division)
"We climbed on lots of burned-out Iraqi vehicles and breathed smoke from burning vehicles as we moved up through the battlefield. I started having kidney problems as soon as I got back from Desert Storm, and they have gotten worse since then.
"I first heard of DU in the summer of 1996. I asked the nephrologist to test me for DU, but he told me that they couldn't test me. The nephrologist has told me that within 8 to 10 years, I will be on a dialysis machine or need a kidney transplant if my situation doesn't improve. Since we got back from Desert Storm, the Marine Corps has never given us any training about DU. Now it's too late for training - I want them to test me for DU."
[ Sergeant X is still on active duty and requested anonymity due to his pending discharge proceedings. The Marine Corps is trying to give him a regular honorable discharge rather than the medical discharge his condition merits. ]
Sergeant Duane Mowrer
(U.S. Army Reserve, 651st Combat Support Detachment)
"During the ground war, a nearby truck blew up. Smoke and fallout from the explosion drifted over us. Shortly after the explosion, we were told that the truck contained armor piercing rounds for tanks. I now know that those were DU rounds. We also climbed on dozens of burned out Iraqi vehicles, and a couple of U.S. vehicles hit in friendly fire incidents.
"I had heard rumors about the use of radioactive rounds during the war, but I wasn't fully aware of the hazards of DU until after the war. Though I am getting treatment from the VA, I have not been tested for DU."
First Lieutenant Debbie Judd, RN
(US Air Force, 23rd Aero Staging Facility)
"Even though we were told to expect thousands of casualties, we were never given precautionary warnings about DU or even told that DU weapons were being used in the theater. I never even heard of DU weapons until 1993."
(former National Security Advisor under President Bush), January 1996
"Depleted uranium is more of a problem than we thought when it was developed. But it was developed according to standards and was thought through very carefully.
"It turned out, perhaps, to be wrong." (79)
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), July 1990
"Our conclusions regarding the health and environmental acceptability of DU penetrators assume both controlled use and the presence of excellent health physics management practices. Combat conditions will lead to the uncontrolled release of DU. Individuals consulted have generally responded to this issue by saying it is irrelevant, or insignificant compared to the other risks of combat. However, environmental issues will arise if DU is used in combat." (80)
"This report (Volume 2) summarizes data . . . in a way that allows a contrasting of the differences in health risk between depleted uranium (DU) and tungsten (W) as kinetic energy penetrators . . . While much more is known about the health effects of uranium than of tungsten alloys, the comparable information on chemical toxicity indicates that insoluble DU is approximately 25 times more toxic than insoluble tungsten and soluble DU is 20 times more toxic than soluble tungsten when exposure is at the limits allowed by the regulations . . . Radiation effects are unique to DU. Therefore, this represents a risk which does not apply to tungsten." (81)
U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute (AEPI), June 1995
"The potential for health effects from exposure to DU is real; however it must be viewed in perspective. It is unlikely that any of the DU exposure scenarios described in this report will significantly affect the health of most personnel. In several areas, neither the scientific community nor the Army have adequate medical or exposure information to defend this assertion." (82)
(1786 - 1866, leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish peoples, Washington State)
"This we know: The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.
All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste." (83)
1. Provide Health Care for Veterans and Others Exposed to Depleted Uranium. Until independent research indicates otherwise, VA should presume exposure to DU for all Persian Gulf War veterans, and automatically extend health care and disability compensation benefits to veterans who develop DU-related health problems including, but not limited to, lung cancer and kidney problems, and to veterans who have children born with birth defects. In addition, Congress should appropriate funding for an independent epidemiological study of current and former U.S. servicemen and women, workers in the domestic uranium industry, civilians who live near DU manufacturing sites or testing ranges, and veterans and civilians from Kuwait and Iraq to determine the extent of internalized depleted uranium, and the extent and nature of current and future health problems related to depleted uranium exposure.
2. Test Veterans For DU. If and when accurate testing methods and machinery are developed, such testing should be offered to all Persian Gulf War veterans. Active duty, reserve, and National Guard servicemen and women should be tested for depleted uranium as part of all discharge physicals, and immediately upon departure from an area where munitions containing depleted uranium have been used. Those servicemen and women who regularly work with DU munitions should receive urinalysis and whole-body count tests on a regular basis, just as their civilian counterparts do. VA should cease giving urinalysis tests for DU to Gulf War veterans.
3. Train Troops About DU Use. The Department of Defense should immediately provide training about depleted uranium weapons to all active duty, reserve, and National Guard servicemen and women. Training about DU should be incorporated into basic training and boot camp regimens'. Annual refresher training about DU should be provided to all servicemen and women.
4. Follow DU Safety Procedures. During combat operations, the Department of Defense should adhere to depleted uranium safety measures, including, but not limited to: providing training to troops about the use and dangers of DU; issuing protective clothing to all troops likely to encounter depleted uranium on the battlefield; and issuing radiation monitoring devices to all crewmen in tanks and other vehicles with DU armor.
5. Clean Up DU Contamination. Research and develop safe and effective clean up methods for contaminated sites. Immediately begin cleaning up depleted uranium contamination on Gulf War battlefields, Japanese testing ranges, testing ranges and manufacturing sites in the U.S., Bosnia battlefields, and anywhere else depleted uranium weapons have been shot, exploded, burned, manufactured, tested, or stored.
6. Oversee DoD and VA Research. Establish a peer review committee of leading radiation health experts from the civilian sector to oversee Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs studies about the health and environmental effects of depleted uranium.
7. Re-classify DU Rounds. Depleted uranium munitions should be reclassified from "conventional" munitions to both "radioactive" and "hazardous" munitions.
8. Ban Depleted Uranium Weapons. In an expression of true leadership, the United States of America should lead an effort to obtain an international ban on the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of depleted uranium munitions.
Where to Go for Help
For more information about depleted uranium weapons and efforts to help Gulf War veterans and civilians impacted by DU, contact:
Depleted Uranium Citizens' Network
Military Toxics Project
471 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Lewiston, ME 04240
For information about VA policies on depleted uranium exposures, contact:
Depleted Uranium Program (11DUP)
10 N. Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
To express your opinions about depleted uranium, contact your local representative, President Clinton, or one of the following:
Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs
412 Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510
House Committee on Veterans Affairs
335 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
For more information about Gulf War veterans' illnesses, contact:
The National Gulf War Resource Center
P.O. Box 10402
Kansas City, MO 64171
Swords to Plowshares
995 Market St., 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Contact Information for Selected Reports on
(* Denotes Report Obtained Through Freedom of Information Act Request)
U.S. Army Armament Research
Development and Engineering Center
Kimberly Pelka, FOIA Officer
Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000
1. * Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study (Abridged), Danesi et. al., July 24, 1990
1a. * Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environmental and Health Considerations, Science Applications International Corporation, July 1990 (Appendix D of Danesi report)
U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
430 Tenth St., NW, Suite S-206
Atlanta, GA 30318-5768
1. Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium Use in the U.S. Army: Technical Report, June 1995
2. An Assessment of External Interest in Depleted Uranium Use by the U.S. Military, September 1994, AEPI-PPR-1494
U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command
Lin Addis, Freedom of Information Office
Warren, MI 48397-5000
1. * Radiological Contamination From Impacted Abrams Heavy Armor, Ballistic Research Laboratory, Fliszar et. al., December 1989, BRL-TR-3068
U.S. General Accounting Office
P.O. Box 6015
Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015
1. Operation Desert Storm: Army Not Adequately Prepared To Deal With Depleted Uranium Contamination, January 1993, GAO/NSIAD-93-90
2. Operation Desert Storm: Questions Remain on Possible Exposure to Reproductive Toxicants, August 1994, GAO/PEMD-94-30
3. Operation Desert Storm: Early Performance Assessment of Bradley and Abrams, January 1992, GAO/NSIAD-92-94
U.S. Army Safety Center
Judge Advocate Office
Fort Rucker, AL 36362-5363
1. * Army Accident Report, Case Number 910711001 (Concerning July 11, 1991 fire at Doha, Kuwait), September 20, 1991
U.S. Central Command
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, FL 33621-5101
1. * "11ACR Fire in Doha: Updates from CENTCOM Forward," July 12, 1991
1. U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute (AEPI), Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium Use in the U.S. Army: Technical Report, June 1995: 78.
2. Ibid.: 39 and A-10; also Lopez, D., Friendly Fire: The Link Between Depleted Uranium Munitions and Human Health Risks, March 1995: 3; and Lowenstein, P., "Industrial Uses of Depleted Uranium," photocopy in Bukowski, et. al., Uranium Battlefields Home and Abroad, March 1993: 136.
3.Cohen, Nick, The Independent (U.K.), "Radioactive waste left in Gulf by allies", November 10, 1991, photocopy in Bukowski, et. al., Uranium Battlefields Home and Abroad, March 1993:110.
4. January 13, 1997 correspondence from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown to Mr. Frederico Juarbe, Jr., Director, National Veterans Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, in response to VFW Resolution No. 628, Health Care for Persian Gulf War Veterans Exposed to Depleted Uranium Weapons, passed at the 97th National Convention of the VFW held August 17-23, 1996 in Louisville, KY; AEPI, op. cit.: 4; and Los Alamos National Laboratory memorandum, "THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DEPLETED URANIUM PENETRATORS," from Lt. Col. Ziehmn to Maj. Larson, Studies and Analysis Branch, March 1, 1991.
5. AEPI, op. cit.: 10, 24.
6. AEPI, op. cit.: 154.
7. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.: Daily Report for Executives, "Public Input Sought on Depleted Uranium / DOE to Assess Disposition of 505,000 Tons," February 7, 1996
8. Danesi, M.E., U.S. Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command (AMCCOM), Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July 24, 1990: II-2, II-6.
9. AEPI, op. cit.: 94.
10. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Kinetic Energy Penetrator Environmental and Health Considerations, included as Appendix D of AMCCOM's Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July 1990: Vol. 1, 2-5, 4-5, 4-9, 4-12; Vol. 2, 2-4.
11. AEPI, op. cit.: 78
12.SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 1, 4-5.
13. Ibid.: Appendix D, D-3; also testimony of Dr. George Voelz to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, August 6, 1996, Denver, CO: p. 221, l. 12-14.
14.SAIC, op. cit.: Appendix D, D-3.
15.Ibid.: Vol. 1, 4-12. Emphasis does not appear in original
16.SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 3-4.
17. Ibid.: Vol. 1, 4-5.
18. Letter from Col. Eric Daxon, Radiation Protection Staff Officer, U.S. Army Medical Command, to Dan Fahey, July 19, 1996.
19.From Impacted Abrams Heavy Armor, Fliszar et. al., Technical Report BRL-TR-3068, December 1989: 30, 57. Also SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 3-1; Appendix D, D-3
20. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 2-4.
21. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 2-4.
22. Ibid.: 30, 33, 39. See also AEPI, op. cit.: 101.
23. Ibid.: 30
24. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 1, 4-12.; and AEPI, op. cit.: 108
25. AEPI, op. cit.: A-10; and Lopez, D., op. cit.: 3
26. AEPI, op. cit.: 39; and Lowenstein, P., "Industrial Uses of Depleted Uranium," photocopy in Bukowski, et. al., op. cit.: 136.
27. Dunnigan, J, and Bay, A., From Shield to Storm, William Morrow and Co., Inc. Publishers, 1992: 285-286.
28. Dunnigan, J, and Bay, A., From Shield to Storm, William Morrow and Co., Inc. Publishers, 1992: 285-286.
29. Ibid.: 294-295.
30. U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), OPERATION DESERT STORM: Early Performance Assessment of Bradley and Abrams, GAO/NSIAD-92-94, January 1992: 24.
31. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 3-4.
32.Judd, D., "Current Findings: A Health Survey of 10,051 Ill Gulf War Veterans," conducted by the Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm Association, Odessa, TX, and presented to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, November 7, 1995, San Francisco, CA; and survey conducted by the Gulf War Research and Registry Project, a project of Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Victims, Inc., Darien, CT, February 1997.
33. Headquarters, U.S. Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command, message 072130Z MAR 91 on "Depleted Uranium Contamination," photocopy in Bukowski, et. al., Uranium Battlefields Home and Abroad, March, 1993: 93.
34. U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), OPERATION DESERT STORM: Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal with Depleted Uranium Contamination, GAO/NSIAD-93-90, January, 1993: 17; see also In Their Own Words section of this report
35. Ibid.: 16.
36. Ibid.: 4.
37. See the In Their Own Words section of this report; also testimony of Dr. Stephen P. Shelton to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses, August 6, 1996, Denver, CO: p. 239, l. 13-18.
38. U.S. Army Safety Center, Army Accident Report 910711001, September 20, 1991, "Estimated Cost of Destroyed Ammunition," and "Estimated Cost of Destroyed Vehicles."
39. Mishima, J., Parkhurst, M.A., Scherpelz, R.I., and Hadlock, D.E., Potential Behavior of Depleted Uranium Penetrators Under Shipping and Bulk Storage Accident Conditions, Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs, PNL-5415, February, 1985: v. Also U.S. Army Laboratory Command, Radiological Contamination from Impacted Abrams Heavy Armor, op. cit.: 52-53.
40. AEPI, op. cit.: 39; and U.S. Army Safety Center, Army Accident Report 910711001, September 20, 1991, "Weather Summary, 11 July 1991."
41. U.S. Central Command log, "11ACR Fire in Doha: Updates from CENTCOM Forward," July 12, 1991: entry 10.
42. U.S. Army Communications - Electronics Command, letter from Safety Office Chief to Dan Fahey, September 9, 1996; also author's phone interview with Michael Flores.
43. Ibid.; and U.S. Army Communications - Electronics Command, letter from Safety Office Chief to Freedom of Information Act Officer, June 21, 1996: 2-3.
44. Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (PAC), Final Report, U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1996: 99. Emphasis does not appear in original.
45. Ibid.: 120.
46. AEPI, op. cit.: 119.
47. AEPI, op. cit.: 108. Emphasis does not appear in original.
48. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 1, 6-7.
49. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 1-9.
50. The In Vivo Counting Center, pamphlet, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., Erwin, Tennessee.
51. AEPI, op. cit.: 102.
52. Testimony of Dr. Stephen P. Shelton to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses, August 6, 1996, Denver, CO: p. 239, l. 13-18.
53. See Daxon, E., and Musk, J.H., Assessment of the Risks from Imbedded Depleted Uranium Fragments, U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), March 25, 1992.
54. Depleted Uranium Follow-up Program, Baltimore VA Medical Center, DEPLETED URANIUM: Information for Clinicians, December 1996: Fact Sheet #3.
55. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 1-9; also testimony of Dr. George Voelz to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, August 6, 1996, Denver, CO: p. 220, l. 9-22, and p. 221, l. 12-14.
56. Depleted Uranium Follow-up Program, op. cit.: 8; also Freedom of Information Act response from Dr. Melissa McDiarmid, Depleted Uranium Follow-Up Program, to Celia Winter, Department of Veterans Affairs, March 10, 1997: 2.
57.PAC Final Report, op. cit.: 99.
58. SAIC, op. cit.; Vol. 2, 1-10.
59. SAIC, op. cit.; Vol. 2, 1-10.
60. See In Their Own Words section of this report for a few examples.
61. January 13, 1997 correspondence from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown to Mr. Frederico Juarbe, Jr., Director, National Veterans Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, op. cit..
62. Testimony of Dr. David Hackman, Lawrence Liver more National Laboratory, to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, August 6, 1996, Denver, CO; transcript provided by PAC: p. 258, l. 6-19; p. 261, l. 13-16.
63. AEPI, op. cit.: 4. Emphasis does not appear in original.
64. See Radioactive Battlefields of the 1990's, Solnit, R., ed., Depleted Uranium Citizens' Network of the Military Toxics Project, January 16, 1996.
65. Los Alamos National Laboratory memorandum, "THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DEPLETED URANIUM PENETRATORS," from Lt. Col. Ziehmn to Maj. Larson, Studies and Analysis Branch, March 1, 1991.
66. AEPI, op. cit.: xxi.
67. Letter from Dr. Stephen Joseph, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, to Senator Diane Feinstein, June 5, 1996.
68. See testimony of Dr. David Hackman to PAC, op. cit.: especially p. 271, l. 3 through p. 272, l. 3; also testimony of Dr. George Voelz to PAC; also PAC Final Report, op. cit.: 99.
69. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 1, 4-6.
70. AEPI, op. cit.: 154.
71. AEPI, op. cit.: 47; SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 1, 9-1; and Testimony of Dr. Stephen Shelton, University of New Mexico, to Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, August 6, 1996, Denver, CO; transcript provided by PAC: p. 242, l. 9-15.
72. Casa, K., "Iraq Embargo Toll Now Surpasses War's Horrors," Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July/August 1995: 105.
73. Kageyama, Y., "Uranium bullets fired on Okinawa," San Francisco Examiner, February 11, 1997: A-15; "U.S. Marines fired radioactive bullets near Okinawa," Reuter News service, February 10, 1997; and National Public Radio news, February 10, 1997.
74. "U.S. Marines fired radioactive bullets near Okinawa," Reuter News service, February 10, 1997.
75. AEPI, op. cit.: 107; and "Radiation Safety Inservice, X-Ray Dept. Personnel (12/96)," information sheet provided by VAMC San Francisco, CA. One chest x-ray delivers 7mrem of radiation.
76. Mesler, B. "Pentagon Poison: The Great Radioactive Ammo Cover-Up," The Nation, May 26, 1997; Crary, D., "NATO warplanes blast Serb targets," Plattsburg (NY) Press-Republican, August 6, 1994; "US Marines fired radioactive bullets near Okinawa," Reuter News service, February 10, 1997; and AEPI,op.cit:79.
77. AEPI, op. cit.: A-11; and Mesler, B., "The Pentagon's Radioactive Bullet," The Nation, October 21, 1996: 12-13.
78. AEPI, op. cit.: 119-120.
79. "Riding the Storm," documentary on Persian Gulf War which aired on ITN TV, Ch. 4, in the United Kingdom on January 3, 1996.
80.SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 1, 4-5.
81. SAIC, op. cit.: Vol. 2, 1-1.
82. AEPI, op. cit.: 4.
83. Chief Seattle, "This Earth is Precious," produced by Van Brink and Associates, 1989.