April 20, 2010

Stop military use of Depleted Uraniam (DU)

The United Nations has declared DU an illegal weapon. The European Union has passed a resolution calling for a moratorium and global ban on the production and use of depleted uranium munitions. Information and research is being suppressed and discredited by our government and military much as the toxic defoliant Agent Orange was during and after the Vietnam War. Similar to Agent Orange – now irrefutably recognized to have caused rampant death, disease, and environmental damage among U.S. troops and Southeast Asian lands and peoples – depleted uranium munitions as used in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans presents a national and world public health threat we must confront.

Depleted uranium is a chemically toxic radioactive heavy metal 1.7 times the density of lead. It is the uranium waste remaining after the process of enriching uranium to be used in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. Thousands of tons of the waste are recycled to weapons manufacturers by the government for use in M-16 shells, tank shells and other munitions and to manufacturers of military tanks and vehicles as up-armored shields. As effective as DU is as a penetrating explosive weapon and shielding device, its effects are much more far-reaching as long-term poisonous residuals in human bodies, soil, and air. When a depleted uranium round hits a hard target, as much as 70 percent of the projectile can burn on impact, creating a firestorm of depleted uranium oxides. The toxic residue of this firestorm is an extremely fine insoluble uranium dust. The dust can spread by the wind, be inhaled and absorbed into the human body and absorbed by plants and animals, becoming part of the food chain. The breathable uranium oxides are passed through to offspring, and may result in birth defects. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years DU and its effects last virtually forever.

-Thanks to Veterans For Peace

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