Depleted Uranium Education Project
A Project of the International Action Center
39 W. 14th St. #206, NY, NY 10011
Ph:(212) 633-6646, Fx: 633-2889
email: iacenter@iacenter.org
http://www.iacenter.org

Immediate Attention: June 24, 1997
Press Contacts: (212) 633-6646
Sara Flounders, Frank Alexander

Depleted Uranium Weapons Ignored in Gulf Report
Groups Demand Independent Investigation

The Depleted Uranium Education Project demands that a complete and
independent investigation into the toxicological and radiological effects of
the use of depleted uranium weapons during the Persian Gulf War begin
immediately. All documents concerning DU exposures must be released to the
public.

The recent General Accounting Office (GAO) report, to be released next week,
is critical of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Veterans' Illnesses and
the Pentagon for their investigation of GWS, yet there continues to be no
mention of the widespread use of highly toxic and radioactive depleted
uranium weapons and their health effects on Gulf veterans.

Prior GAO reports, clearly state the health risks resulting from of the use
of DU weapons. The GAO/NSIAD report, January 1993, entitled Operation Desert
Storm: Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal With Depleted Uranium
Contamination reveals,

* "DU oxide dust, which is formed as a result of the DU being subjected to
the intense heat that results from the round's penetration of the vehicle ...
poses both a radioactive and a toxicity risk. Personnel working on or inside
the contaminated vehicles can come into contact with the DU dust by either
inhaling it or ingesting it." (p. 17)
* "Inhaled insoluble oxides stay in the lungs longer and pose a potential
cancer risk due to radiation. Ingested DU dust can also pose both a
radioactive and a toxicity risk.."(p. 17-18)

More than 14,000 large caliber rounds (105mm and 120mm) and over 940,000
small caliber rounds (25mm and 30mm) were fired in Operation Desert
Storm/Desert Shield, scattering between 600,000 and 1,500,000 pounds of
depleted uranium waste throughout the Persian Gulf. The omission of the
consequences depleted uranium from the recent GAO report and Presidential
commission report is criminally negligent; it has compromised the health of
civilians and soldiers, resulted in further contamination of the environment
in the Persian Gulf and on US and overseas military bases, and will result in
increased exposures to depleted uranium in future military conflicts.

In just one example of DU contamination, a July 11, 1991 fire at the U.S.
Army Blackhorse Base in Doha, Kuwait destroyed more than 660 large-caliber DU
tank rounds, 9,720 small-caliber DU rounds, and four M1A1 tanks with DU
armor. Over 9,000 pounds of DU penetrators were lost in the fire exposing
thousands of vets to airborne uranium oxides. Despite the known health
problems of Vets, the U.S. Army's CHPPM report on exposures to Depleted
Uranium at Doha has not been released to the Presidential Advisory Committee
on Gulf War Illnesses and U.S. troops continue to be stationed at Doha.

An independent investigation of DU weapons exposures must begin immediately.
The DU Education Project has documented DU exposures in the book METAL OF
DISHONOR, available by calling 1-800-247-6553.


DU Education Project
39 W 14th St. #206, NY, NY 10011
(212) 633-6646, Fx: 633-2889

email: iacenter@iacenter.org

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