Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sandia Completes Depleted Uranium Study; Serious Health Risks Not Found

Date:
July 24, 2005
Source:
Sandia National Laboratories
Summary:
Sandia National Laboratories has completed a two-year study of the potential health effects associated with accidental exposure to depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf War. The study concluded that the reports of serious health risks from DU exposure are not supported by veteran medical statistics.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Sandia National Laboratories has completed a two-year study of the potential health effects associated with accidental exposure to depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf War.

Related Articles


The study, "An Analysis of Uranium Dispersal and Health Effects Using a Gulf War Case Study," performed by Sandia scientist Al Marshall, employs analytical capabilities used by Sandia's National Security Studies Department and examines health risks associated with uranium handling.

U.S. and British forces used DU in armor-piercing penetrator bullets to disable enemy tanks during the Gulf and Balkan wars. DU is a byproduct of the process used to enrich uranium for use in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. During the enrichment process, the fraction of one type of uranium (uranium-235) is increased relative to the fraction found in natural uranium. As a consequence, the uranium left over after the enrichment process (mostly uranium-238) is depleted in uranium-235 and is called depleted uranium.

The high density, low cost, and other properties of DU make it an attractive choice as an anti-tank weapon. However, on impact, DU particulate is dispersed in the surrounding air both within and outside the targeted vehicle and suspended particulate may be inhaled or ingested. Concerns have been raised that exposure to uranium particulate could have serious health problems including leukemia, cancers, and neurocognitive effects, as well as birth defects in the progeny of exposed veterans and civilians.

Marshall's study concluded that the reports of serious health risks from DU exposure are not supported by veteran medical statistics nor supported by his analysis. Only a few U.S. veterans in vehicles accidentally struck by DU munitions are predicted to have inhaled sufficient quantities of DU particulate to incur any significant health risk. For these individuals, DU-related risks include the possibility of temporary kidney damage and about a 1 percent chance of fatal cancer.

Several earlier studies were carried out by the U.S. Department of Defense, by University Professors Fetter (University of Maryland) and von Hippel (Princeton), and by an Army sponsored team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The conclusions from the Sandia study are consistent with these earlier studies. The Sandia study, however, also includes an analysis of potential health effects of DU fragments embedded as shrapnel in the bodies of some U.S. veterans. The Sandia study also looked at civilian exposures in greater detail, examined the potential risk of DU-induced birth defects in the children of exposed individuals, and provided a more detailed analysis of the dispersion of DU following impact with a number of targeted vehicles.

###

For a full copy of the report, download the following pdf file from http://www.sandia.gov/news-center/news-releases/2005/def-nonprolif-sec/snl-dusand.pdf : "An Analysis of Uranium Dispersal and Health Effects Using a Gulf War Case Study"

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Sandia National Laboratories. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Sandia National Laboratories. "Sandia Completes Depleted Uranium Study; Serious Health Risks Not Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050724094117.htm>.
Sandia National Laboratories. (2005, July 24). Sandia Completes Depleted Uranium Study; Serious Health Risks Not Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050724094117.htm
Sandia National Laboratories. "Sandia Completes Depleted Uranium Study; Serious Health Risks Not Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050724094117.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins