Is it just a coincidence that an unusually large number of American troops and Iraqi civilians are suffering from what appears to be a cancer epidemic? Iraq’s environment minister and a growing number of victims, scientists and even politicians say the widespread use of depleted uranium in U.S. munitions is to blame.
Arizona Daily Star:
The prime suspect in all this, in the minds of many victims—and some scientists—is what’s known as depleted uranium—the radioactive chemical prized by the military for its ability to penetrate armored vehicles. When munitions explode, the substance hits the air as fine dust, easily inhaled.
Last month, the Iraqi environment minister blamed the tons of the chemical dropped during the war’s “shock and awe” campaign for a surge of cancer cases across the country.
However, the Pentagon and U.S. State Department strongly deny this, citing four studies, including one by the World Health Organization, that found levels in war zones not harmful to civilians or soldiers. A U.N. Environmental Program study concurs, but only if spent munitions are cleared away.