Saturday, March 13, 2010

Depleted Uranium

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During the first year of the US and British invasion of Iraq, both countries had repeatedly used bombs containing depleted uranium. According to Iraqi military experts, the US and Britain bombed the country with nearly 2,000 tons of depleted uranium bombs during the early years of the Iraq war.

Atomic radiation has increased the number of babies born with defects in the southern provinces of Iraq. Iraqi doctors say they have been struggling to cope with the rise in the number of cancer cases —especially in cities subjected to heavy U-S and British bombardment.

The high rate of birth defects and cancer cases will move in the coming years to the central and northern provinces of Iraq since the radiation may penetrate the soil and water by air.

Meantime, Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on 27.December.2008,have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.

The report comes after Israeli tanks and troops swept across the border into Gaza, opening a ground operation after eight days of intensive attacks by Israeli air and naval forces on the impoverished region.

Israel has been accused in the past of making use of uranium-depleted artillery and tank shells during the Second Lebanon War. PLO and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat accused Israel of doing the same following Israel's operations in Gaza in the course of the intifada.

Depleted uranium is enriched uranium waste and because of its density is used as radiation protection for medical and industrial equipment. The military uses it for shells and other munitions, increasing their penetration against armored targets.

Contact with uranium-depleted munitions or close proximity could expose people to radiation and contamination. The chemical and radiological risks of exposure to depleted uranium are similar to those of natural uranium and exposing people to uranium is hazardous.

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