(en) Vets Demand: Investigate DU Weapons

International Action Center (International.Action.Center@flatiron.org)
Fri, 2 May 1997 12:21:03 -0500


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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

NEWS ADVISORY: Press Contacts: Frank Alexander (202) 544-9355 Deirdre Sinnott (212) 633-6646 For May 6, 1997

VETERANS DEMAND INQUIRY INTO GULF WAR SYNDROME AND WIDESPREAD USE OF RADIOACTIVE WEAPONS

NEWS CONFERENCE: TUESDAY, MAY 6TH 1:30PM NATIONAL PRESS CLUB - MURROW ROOM, WASHINGTON, DC

Gulf War veterans, scientists, and doctors will join former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott to demand an independent inquiry into the health and environmental consequences of highly toxic and radioactive depleted uranium weapons on soldiers and civilians.

Veterans will charge that the government has been criminally negligent in not informing soldiers of the known dangers of depleted uranium weapons. The Department of Defense and the CIA have repeatedly suppressed crucial government documents about U.S. troop exposures to toxic materials during the 1991 Gulf conflict. Materials from several government documents, which confirm that the military is well aware of the dangers of radioactive weapons, will be distributed.

Doctors and scientists will explain how tens of thousands of GIs were in areas where they could have inhaled or ingested particles of toxic and radioactive uranium oxide from burnt DU rounds.

Veterans will discuss their own health crises and the extremely high rates of previously unknown diseases, birth defects and deformities, cancers and leukemias among veterans and peoples throughout the Persian Gulf region: Carol Picou, Sergeant First Class, Army 41st Combat Support Hospital; and Mark Panzera, 144th New Jersey National Guard Service and Supply Company.

Sara Flounders, Coordinator of the Depleted Uranium Education Project, "Given the long history of DoD cover- ups and false assurances, from the atomic vets to the Vietnam Vets exposed to Agent Orange, to the multiple toxic exposures in the Gulf, an independent investigation is required."

Depleted Uranium weapons were used for the first time during the Gulf War. 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 300 and 800 tons of depleted uranium waste throughout the Persian Gulf.

Interviews with Gulf Veterans and the other press conference participants can be arranged by calling the above numbers. The DU Education Project has published a new book entitled, METAL OF DISHONOR- How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers and Civilians with DU Weapons, which is being released this week. The book is available at the above address or call 1-800-247-6553. -30-

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