What is Depleted Uranium?
Depleted uranium is a radioactive waste that is produced in the extraction process of uranium. The Pentagon has confirmed that the U.S. military has been using it to coat tanks and missiles to harden them. It is very dense and can pierce through armor making it very effective as a weapon. On impact, it ignites and vaporizes, spreading fine dust particles that can travel as far as 26 miles. This dust is radioactive and toxic to those who inhale or ingest it. It will travel even further with wind, rain, and in water.
When is Depleted Uranium Used?
Depleted uranium coated missiles and tanks are used by the U.S. in Iraq continuously; more than 800 tons of depleted uranium have been scattered over ground and water in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. It was used in the 78 days of NATO bombing in Kosovo. Missile shells made of depleted uranium have been dropped in test bombings on Vieques for years; in some places the toxins run 15 feet into the earth, making decontamination extremely difficult. Missiles tested in Vieques are manufactured for sale to other nations to use on their enemies, like to Israel for use on Palestine.
What does Depleted Uranium do?
Medical reports document unusually high rates of leukemia, lymphoma, bone cancer and birth deformities (such as shortened or webbed arms and legs, missing mouths or brains, and abnormalities in organs) in Iraq. Vieques has a 27% higher rate of cancer and a 70% higher infant mortality rate than the rest of Puerto Rico. Depleted uranium has been found in the tissue and bone of U.S. soldiers who have already died of Gulf Syndrome.
What Should We Do?
Demand an inquiry into depleted uranium. Demand an environmental assessment and clean-up of the areas affected by depleted uranium. Start making the connections between wars perpetrated by the U.S./NATO and nuclear war. Worry that these are nuclear wars and nobody seems to know it yet. Worry that massive amounts of depleted uranium in the air and water will affect you. Take a stand against war. Against the use of nuclear weapons. Against all future wars.
SAY NO TO WAR!
Support House of Representatives Bill HR 3155, introduced into the 107th congress by Cynthia McKinney (Dem. GA) and backed by representatives Acevedo-Vila (Dem. PR), Baldwin (Dem. WI), McDermott (Dem. WA), Kucinich (Dem. OH) and Lee (Dem. CA), to suspend the use, sale, development, production, testing and export of depleted uranium munitions pending the outcome of certain studies of the health effects of such munitions, and for other purposes.
Call, write or email your representatives in Congress (http://congress.org) and ask them to support this bill and ask them to send you written confirmation that they are supporting this bill or if not, ask them to explain their position.
To read the complete bill go to: http://thomas.loc.gov (put in, HR 3155)