(en) End the Cover-up Investigate DU Weapons

International Action Center (iacenter@iacenter.org)
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 15:17:27 +0000

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

For Immediate Attention: Press Contacts:(212) 633-6646 March 28, 1997 Sara Flounders, Frank Alexander

End Gulf War Syndrome Cover-Up Investigate Depleted Uranium Weapons

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. Without an independent investigation, the effects of these weapons will never be known.

A March 25th article in the NYT entitled "Danger From Uranium Waste Grows As Government Considers Its Fate" investigates the storage of DU waste in Piketon, Ohio. According to the article, the cylinders which contain depleted uranium are filled with a poisonous radioactive uranium compound, the leftover of years of uranium processing for nuclear bombs, submarine propulsion reactors and civilian power plants. Every time one leaks, as several have, it releases puffs of toxic gas and uranium that can end up in the groundwater. In about two months the energy Department is supposed to issue a draft environmental-impact statement listing options for what to do with the material, including converting the compound into forms that are less toxic and less prone to spread.

This "poisonous radioactive uranium" compound has been recycled into the production of millions of rounds of large and small calibre weapons. Firing this waste on battefields and testing ranges throughout the world does not convert it into a compound which is less prone to spread.

These weapons were used for the first time in combat history during the Gulf War. Their widespread use has never before been monitored. More than 14,000 large calibre rounds(105mm and 120mm) and over 940,000 small calibre rounds (25mm and 30mm) were fired in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, scattering between 300 and 800 tons of depleted uranium waste throughout the Persian Gulf. According to Sara Flounders of the International Action Center, "More than 100,000 United States GIs have symptoms of what is being called, for lack of a better term, Gulf War Syndrome. Thousands of cases of bizarre and previously unknown diseases, high rates of birth defects and deformities, cancers and leukemias are being documented throughout the Persian Gulf region. The effect of these radiological weapons must be investigated."

The people suffering from the consequences of the use of these weapons must receive medical attention immediately. The Depleted Uranium Education Project calls on all individuals, organizations and members of the press to raise the level of awareness regarding the use of these weapons. The International Action Center has published a book entitled, METAL OF DISHONOR--How the Pentagon radiates soldiers and civilians with Depleted Uranium weapons as a contribution to the struggle to eliminate the scourge of DU weapons. It will be available from the International Action Center by mid-April and can be ordered from the above number.



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