back to radiation | rat haus | Index | Search | tree

The Health Costs of Nuclear Technology:
Radiotoxic and Chemotoxic Properties of Depleted Uranium (DU)

A collection of documents on the health effects of Depleted Uranium as well as links to other sources. Permission by the Laka Foundation and Vladimir S. Zajic to mirror their works is gratefully acknowledged and appreciated. (Please send us your recommendations for other words to include here.)

  • Depleted Uranium: Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets - A death sentence here and abroad, by Leuren Moret,, 18 Aug 2004
    [S]ince 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation. . . . Just 467 U.S. personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served now have medical problems.

  • Resolution to Ban the Use of Radioactive Weapons in Warfare,
    by Richard Palmer, June 2003, updated April 2004
    A Resolution Condemning the Production, Sale, and Use of Nuclear and Depleted Uranium Weapons to be presented to the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ in June 2004.

  • Silent Genocide, by Robert Koehler, 25 Mar 2004
    We're waging war-plus in Afghanistan and Iraq -- in effect, nuclear war, with our widespread use of depleted-uranium-tipped shells and missiles. This is no secret. DU, with its extraordinary penetrating power and explode-on-impact capability, helps assure our military dominance everywhere we go. . . . Before the damage we inflict grows greater, before history's judgment gets worse, before we contaminate the whole world -- even before we vote in the next election -- we must stop what we're doing. We must stop now.
    Traprock Peace Center Media Advisory, 22 March 2004
    The World Depleted Uranium/Uranium Weapons Conference, held in Hamburg, Oct 16-19 2003, is now available for audio download and replay/airplay at The Traprock Peace Center website. . . . The evidence coming from the scientists, health professionals and legal experts at this Conference is clear: "DU is causing significant health effects worldwide, and it is illegal under existing international law and convention," concluded conference planner Marion KYpker, co-coordinator of the German anti-weapons group Gewaltfreie Aktion Atomwaffen Abschaffen (GAAA). "Now it's up to the activist community to force rogue governments like the US and Britain to observe international law the same way they preach it to other nations."

  • Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Dr. Doug Rokke
    hold press conference about Depleted Uranium
    , 15 March 2004
    Congressman Kucinich held a press conference March 15, 2004 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to detail little-known information about the nuclear content and life-threatening effects of U.S. munitions that are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan and which have been used in other military conflicts beginning with the 1991 Gulf War. Dennis was joined by Dr. Doug Rokke, PhD, retired Army combat officer, and one of the world's leading experts on the use of munitions containing radioactive depleted uranium.

  • Dennis Kucinich on Depleted Uranium,
    A position paper by Representative Kucinich advocating the banning of Depleted Uranium.

  • International Criminal Tribunal For Afghanistan at Tokyo,
    Final Written Opinion of Judge Niloufer Bhagwat, 10 March 2004
    The Prosecution has presented a formidable Indictment against the Defendant, George Walker Bush, President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of US military forces for serious crimes: waging a war of aggression on Afghanistan, war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Afghan people, against prisoners of war and the use of radioactive depleted uranium weapons of mass destruction, against the people of Afghanistan, with serious fall out effects on the military personnel of the United States, UK and other forces deployed, and on countries in and around the region.
    Supporting documents:
  • Depleted Uranium Shells Decried
    Citizens find Bush guilty of Afghan war crimes
    by Nao Shimoyachi, The Japan Times, 14 March 2004

  • PDF: Undiagnosed Illnesses and Radioactive Warfare by Asaf Durakovi, Croatian Medical Journal, October 2003, Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 520-532
    Mirrored from; see Oct 2003 contents page
    The internal contamination with depleted uranium (DU) isotopes was detected in British, Canadian, and United States Gulf War veterans as late as nine years after inhalational exposure to radioactive dust in the Persian Gulf War I. DU isotopes were also identified in a Canadian veteran's autopsy samples of lung, liver, kidney, and bone. In soil samples from Kosovo, hundreds of particles, mostly less than 5µ in size, were found in milligram quantities. Gulf War I in 1991 resulted in 350 metric tons of DU deposited in the environment and 3-6 million grams of DU aerosol released into the atmosphere. Its legacy, Gulf War disease, is a complex, progressive, incapacitating multiorgan system disorder. The symptoms include incapacitating fatigue, musculoskeletel and joint pains, headaches, neuropsychiatric disorders, affect changes, confusion, visual problems, changes of gait, loss of memory, lymphadenopathies, respiratory impairment, impotence, and urinary tract morphological and functional alterations. Current understanding of its etiology seems far from being adequate. After the Afghanistan Operation Anaconda (2002), our team studied the population of Jalalabad, Spin Gar, Tora Bora, and Kabul areas, and identified civilians with the symptoms similar to those of Gulf War syndrome. Twenty-four-hour urine samples from 8 symptomatic subjects were collected by the following criteria: 1) the onset of symptoms relative to the bombing raids; 2) physical presence in the area of the bombing; and 3) clinical manifestations. Control subjects were selected among the sympotom-free residents in non-targeted areas. All samples were analyzed for the concentration and ratio of four uranium isotopes, 234U, 235U, 236U and 238U, by using a multicollector, inductively coupled plasma ionization mass spectrometry. The first results from the Jalalabad province revealed urinary excretion of total uranium in all subjects significantly exeeding the values in the nonexposed population. The analysis of the isotopic ratios identified non-depleted uranium. Studies of specimens collected in 2002 revealed uranium concentrations up to 200 times higher in the districts of Tora Bora, Yaka Toot, Lal Mal, Makam Khan Farm, Arda Farm, Bibi Mahro, Poli Cherki, and the Kabul airport than in the control population. Uranium levels in the soil samples from the bombsites show values two to three times higher than worldwide concentration levels of 2 to 3 mg/kg and significantly higher concentrations in water than the World Health Organization maximum permissible levels.This growing body of evidence undoubtedly puts the problem of prevention and solution of the DU contamination high on the priority list.

  • PDF: Uranium Weapons Cover-ups - a Crime against Humankind
    by Piotr Bein and Karen Parker
    Paper prepared in January 2003, for a monograph Politics and Environmental Policy in the 21st Century, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. (Mirrored from its source at:

    Key words: radiological weapons, humanitarian law, crimes against humanity, information warfare
              Munitions that contain low-grade uranium 235 -- insufficient to trigger nuclear explosion -- are chemical-radiological weapons. They contain other toxic-radioactive elements and have indiscriminate effects. They are illegal by virtue of international conventions, laws and customs of war. When used in populated areas or in the presence of numerous troops (enemy or friendly), they become weapons of delayed but mass destruction (WMD). Fatal consequences of depleted uranium (DU) armour-piercing ammunition emerged in veterans and civilians after wars in the Persian Gulf and the Balkans. While the victims remain neglected, hundreds of tons of uranium from weapons developed in recent years against hard and buried targets have polluted Afghanistan. Up-coming war scenarios involve larger chemical-radiological contamination potential.
              The military, governments, and nuclear and weapon industries fail to or inadequately disclose the effects of uranium weapons, and manipulate inquiries of international health organizations. The media act as a propaganda outlet for these groups. The purpose of Information Operations behind the propaganda is to influence perceptions and actions of foreign and domestic public, governments, and intelligence. A spiraling group self-deception perpetuates the propaganda for fear of liability and criminal responsibility. Covering up information on war crimes and crimes against humanity, and military and foreign policy based on such information, are crimes themselves.
              Independent researchers urge priority actions to reverse the cycle of deception and human suffering ecause of deception on uranium weapons: (i) weapon inspections to determine which ones contain uranium, (ii) target inspection to identify those hit and contaminated by uranium weapons, (iii) health monitoring and support for target communities in uranium-contaminated areas, and (v) fundamental review of all research that was so far restricted to DU instead of uranium weaponry in general.
              The weapons clearly violate humanitarian law, even in the absence of a specific treaty barring their use. The violations related to the use of the weapons are sufficiently grave to be classified war crimes or crimes against humanity, which would impose legal liability and criminal sanctions on the users as well as fair compensation and other remedies for the victims of these weapons. A treaty banning uranium weaponry is not necessary, but preparations for one could be exploited to duck responsibility. Even beginning the process to draft a treaty could be used by the US to argue that any ban on uranium weaponry in light of existing customary law is null and void. The US uses public pressure for an anti-DU treaty to bolster its position and to argue against the existing ban. Unsuspecting activists play into the US position and seriously undermine all anti-uranium initiatives.

  • Low Intensity Nuclear War, by Michel Chossudovsky, 1/15/01
    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) convey the illusion (contrary to scientific evidence) that the health risks of depleted uranium can easily be dealt with by cordoning off and "cleaning up" the "affected areas" targeted by the US Air Force's A-10 "anti-tank killers." What they fail to mention is that the radioactive dust has already spread beyond the 72 "identified target sites" in Kosovo. Most of the villages and cities including Pristina, Prizren and Pec lie within less than 20 km. of these sites, confirming that the whole province is contaminated, putting not only "peacekeepers" but the entire civilian population at risk.

  • Depleted Uranium: Uses and Hazards,
    by Doug Rokke, Ph.D., 2001
    (This paper is an updated version of the paper presented in the British House of Commons; London, England; on December 16, 1999.)

    The emerging adverse health effects and deaths in NATO-KFOR and residents of the Balkans is an issue of great concern. Depleted uranium (uranium 238) has been implicated. Today, 10 years after warriors were exposed during combat in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait; civilians have been exposed in Vieques, Puerto Rico, Iraq, Okinawa, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Pudacah, Kentucky, and other sites; we are seeing adverse health effects amongst this entire group. We also need to consider that the releases of numerous other hazardous materials occurred during the Gulf War and recent bombing in the Balkans which are probably contributing to the health effects that are being observed. Consequently, a thorough investigation and more important complete medical care which has been denied for so many years must be provided with immediate environmental remediation of all uranium 238 (DU) completed. . . . United States and NATO officials continue to state specifically that there are no known adverse health effects in those of us in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Depleted Uranium Medical project. That is a lie as proven by our own medical records based on diagnosis of medical problems completed by our personal primarycare physicians.

  • Dr. Doug Rokke Address on Depleted Uranium, 11/10/00
    Since 1991 numerous Department of Defense reports have stated that medical and tactical commanders were unaware of the probable NBC-E exposures and never told about the medical and environmental consequences of these exposures. That is a lie! They were told! They were warned! Immediate and long-term medical care was recommended. The threats, health and environmental consequences, and medical care recommendations were provided in written messages and during courses such as the 3rd U.S. Army Medical Command & ARCENT Medical Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties, the NBC-E defense refresher course, the Combat lifesaver course, and the Decontamination procedures course which we taught to over 1200 military personnel in the theater between December 1990 and February 1991. I gave the classified threat briefing, specifically identifying the anticipated NBC-E exposures, taught the NBC-E defense refresher course, the combat lifesaver course, and decontamination procedures course. Thus I can confirm that commanders knew what to expect and how to be prepared! . . .
              I am painting a picture that shows we knew about the threats, warned commanders about the threats, recommended medical care that was and is still ignored, and that our leadership has abandoned the troops for political purposes. Yet it gets worse. While preparing to conduct our command level briefings and courses two senior Army medical officers came from Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland to make sure we limited our information to commanders and medical personnel. In other words, do not tell them -- they will not know -- and we will not be responsible. . . .
              This is all about liability! Therefore the truth must be suppressed! If what happened is acknowledged, then specific individuals within our government and other governments will be required to accept responsibility for the consequences of deliberate actions. The health and environmental problems are not limited to Iraq or surrounding areas. Similar adverse health and environmental effects have been identified within and around U.S. military installations or Department of Energy facilities in Alabama, Washington, California, Alaska, Tennessee, Korea, Panama, Germany, Philippines, Maryland, Nevada, Florida, and especially surrounding the U.S. Navy range on the Vieques, Puerto Rico.

  • International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST) Statement, 9/00
    IDUST is a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) of international researchers, activists and scientists dedicated to stopping the use of Depleted Uranium U-238 (DU) in military weapons by the year 2010. . . .
              Our focus is to increase public awareness of both the problems associated with DU in weapons and the need to enforce existing international humanitarian and human rights law that prohibit the use of DU in military weapons. We have a plan to aid in the elimination of this highly toxic and radioactive material that is used in military weapons across the globe.

  • Depleted Uranium, A Post-War Disaster for Environment and Health,
    by the Laka Foundation, 5/99
              In the course of the preparations for the Hague Appeal for Peace '99 conference, Laka decided to make a brochure about the use of depleted uranium in conventional weaponry and its consequences. The idea was born because of the short time reserved during the session for the presentation of all details about depleted uranium (DU). Although the word "depleted uranium" may suggest no harmful impact from radiation, this brochure will clarify the real radiotoxic (and chemotoxic) properties of DU.
              Laka asked several "insiders" to take part in the completion of the brochure. Thanks to their efforts, we have been able to present well-documented articles for activists, scientists, scholars and students to share with them valuable information about the hazardous impact of DU contamination and its consequences on human health and the environment. Taking notice of the growing military use of DU, we must consider not only the increased threats of radioactive battlefields but also the whole dirty cycle in the uranium industry connected with the DU technology and its impact on health and the environment in the surroundings of test areas and in the uranium industry itself.

  • Review of Radioactivity, Military Use, and Health Effects of Depleted Uranium,
    by Vladimir S. Zajic, 7/99 (updated: February 2001)
              With the first use of the depleted uranium (DU) ammunition on the Gulf War battlefields in 1991, questions have been raised about the indiscriminate adverse health effects of these new weapons. Although depleted uranium is both radioactive and toxic, US Government sponsored research invariably comes to the conclusion that the adverse health effects are non-existent or negligible. The present review on the radioactivity, military use, and health effects of depleted uranium attempts to compare the depleted uranium contamination at the manufacturing facilities, ammunition proving grounds, and battlefields with the US regulatory standards.
              When the battlefield effects of DU weapons are carefully compared to the US regulatory limits on depleted uranium exposure and contamination, the claim that these new weapons are conventional can no longer be maintained. They fit the definition of a radiological and chemical weapon. A complete test ban of DU weapons in the United States, lifting economic sanctions, and cooperation on the battlefield cleanup, both in Iraq and Yugoslavia, are included in our recommendations.

  • An Unjust and Illegal War
    DU Weapons & Canada's Central Role in their Production
    Dr. Rosalie Bertell at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, 6 May 1999

  • Use of Depleted Uranium in Kosovo as Chemical and Radiological Warfare,
    Dr. Rosalie Bertell, March 1999

  • Our Disordered World: Reports From The Front
    Did The U.S. Use Chemical and Radiological Warfare in the Gulf War?
    Dr. Rosalie Bertell, May 1998

  • Gulf War Syndrome, Depleted Uranium and the Dangers of Low-Level Radiation,
    by Dr. Rosalie Bertell
              Desert Storm veterans along with the people of Iraq and Kuwait were victims of one of the latest military experiments on human beings. I believe that the ignorance was culpable and criminal.


Back to: Radiotoxic and Chemotoxic Properties of Depleted Uranium (DU)
On the Web:

back to radiation | rat haus | Index | Search | tree