Kosovo Troops Tested for Cancer from Uranium

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Cancer is a political problem more than it is a medical problem.

WASHINGTON - Thousands more people than anticipated face health and pollution threats from plutonium and other highly radioactive elements that fouled vast amounts of uranium recycled by the U.S. nuclear weapons program over the past 50 years. Recycled uranium was shipped worldwide from 1952 until 1999, when distribution was halted by revelations of its contamination. - USA TODAY 6/25/2001

Plutonium-239 has a half-life of about 24,000 years. It will be causing cancer in Kosovo and Iraq for a very long time. Do these wars really reduce the suffering of the people? Mothers in Iraq fear to see their new born child, because birth defects are so common. Exploded munitions scatter the radioactive particles everywhere. It gets into the water, food and even the air people breathe.

Of the 700,000 American troops in the first gulf war, 168,011 have been classified as "disabled veterans". This may be due to exposure to DU.

Cancer: it's the radiation.

 


Forwarded from PAIN-L --> http://pnews.org/
From: Sanjoy Mahajan <sanjoy@mrao.cam.ac.uk>

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4111249,00.html

Kosovo troops tested for cancer from uranium

Rory Carroll in Rome and Richard Norton-Taylor
Monday January 1, 2001
The Guardian (London)

Nato armies have started testing soldiers for cancer after a spate of deaths allegedly  linked to depleted uranium ammunition used by US pilots in Kosovo.

Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium are carrying out health checks on their soldiers who have served in Kosovo to test for traces of radiation as concerns grow in the  Netherlands  about a "Balkans syndrome".

Italy's military prosecutor, Antonio Intelisano, is examining five deaths that some scientists  link to the ammunition used during the 1999 bombing of Kosovo.

Britain is maintaining Nato's official line that no link exists. The Ministry of Defence says it will monitor investigations by Britain's Nato allies but has no plans to tests its soldiers.

In  Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said there had been no problems with leukaemia or other illnesses among US troops who had served in the Balkans.

But last week Belgium's defence minister, André Flahaut, called on his European Union counterparts to investigate.

Portugal will send military and scientific experts from the national atomic institute to test radiation levels in Kosovo in the wake of the death from leukaemia of Corporal Hugo Paulino.

Citing "herpes of the brain" as cause of death, the army refused to allow his family to commission a postmortem examination.

Relatives accused Nato of a  over-up over the 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium  ammunition used by US A10 ground attack aircraft to pierce Serbian  armour. The Pentagon at first refused to say whether uranium shells were used in Kosovo.

Peacekeepers who served in Bosnia were also feared to be at risk as 10,800 such shells were used by Nato in the 1994-95 civil war.

Italian authorities are reportedly investigating the cases of 15 soldiers diagnosed  with  cancer after returning from the former Yugoslavia.

A military report leaked to La Repubblica newspaper over Christmas admitted that  Italian soldiers were dying from leukaemia caused by depleted uranium.

The government resisted calls for Balkan tours of duty to be shortened but agreed to set  up a scientific committee. The French, Dutch and Spanish are planning to do likewise.

The Spanish defence ministry says it will examine all 32,000 soldiers who have served in the Balkan region since 1992. A spokesman said none of the tests on 5,000 soldiers screened in recent months had proved positive.

The ministry said all returning troops are routinely given physical examinations, but the  new testing is specifically directed at the question of uranium radiation.

The ministry medical chief, Colonel Luis Villalonga, said the tests were designed to calm soldiers' fears. "Spanish troops in Kosovo were deployed in zones where these arms were not used," he said.

Controversy over depleted uranium has raged since battlefields were contaminated  during the Gulf  war, reportedly causing cancer among Iraqi civilians and allied troops. Symptoms allegedly associated with "Gulf  war  syndrome" have been recorded  in  around 5,000 British personnel who served in that campaign.

Though the evidence is inconclusive, exposure to depleted uranium has allegedly been shown to damage the neurological and immune systems and the reproductive organs, and to cause problems that can lead to cancer.

The MoD said it was sticking to advice that depleted uranium's toxicity was dangerous only if ingested. It was safe to touch as its radiation level was no higher than a household smoke alarm.

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