The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137528   Message #3166625
Posted By: Jim Carroll
07-Jun-11 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: BS: obit: Osama Bin Laden ???
Subject: RE: BS: obit: Osama Bin Laden ???
Perhaps you'd like to add this to your reading list.
Jim Carroll

"A BBC investigation can reveal that the US and UK military have continued to use depleted uranium weapons despite warnings from scientists that it poses a potential long-term cancer risk to civilians.
A former senior scientist with the United Nations has told the BBC that studies showing that it was carcinogenic were suppressed from a seminal World Health Organisation report.
The US has refused to fund major research and has been criticised for failing to cooperate with UN attempts to conduct a post conflict assessment in Iraq.
Angus Stickler reports:
When depleted uranium bullets are fired, the rounds can rip through the tank armour.
And once inside — on contact with air they combust exploding into a 10,000 degrees centigrade ball of fire.
Both the US and UK used depleted uranium in Iraq.
The US fired 320 tons in Gulf War I — and possibly as much as 2,000 tonnes in Gulf War II.
But its use is highly controversial — blamed as one of the possible causes of cancer and birth defects.
It's this that prompted the Untied Nations' World Health Organisation to conduct a major assessment of the post conflict hazards.   The findings were published in 2001.
Dr Mike Repacholi retired as the Coordinator of the W.H.O. Radiation and Environmental Health Unit in June of this year.   He oversaw the project.
He says, "Depleted uranium is basically safe — you can touch depleted uranium for hours and not cause and radiation damage you can ingest it and it's excreted through the body — 99 per cent of it goes within about a day — you would have to ingest a huge amount of depleted uranium dust to cause any adverse health effect."
The W.H.O. assessment warns that children should be restricted from going into post conflict areas.   The monograph — as it is called — is now used by some as the definitive document on the potential health hazards of depleted uranium.   But now this BBC investigation has been told — its findings may skewed.
Dr Keith Baverstock — now retired — was a senior radiation advisor with 12 years experience at the W.H.O — part of Dr Repacholi's editorial team at the time.   He came across research indicating that depleted uranium is a potentially dangerous carcinogen:
"When you breathe in the dust the deeper it goes into the lung the more difficult it is to clear.   The particles that dissolve pose a risk — part radioactive — and part from the chemical toxicity in the lung — and then later as that material diffuses into the rest of the body, and into the blood stream a potential risk at sites like the bone marrow for leukaemia, the lymphatic system and the kidney" according to Dr Baverstock.
Health warnings suppressed
This is called genotoxicicty says Dr Baverstock, it could take decades before evidence of cancer starts to emerge.
As part of the W.H.O. team he submitted these findings — based on peer reviewed research conducted by the United States Department of Defense — for inclusion into the monograph.
It received short shrift.   Dr Repacholi says this was with good reason.
It was the committee's general conclusion that this data did not substantiate that there was a health effect at this stage.   Was the science that was in that report — which was research that came effectively from the US Department of Defense — was it wrong?
DR REPACHOLI:    We want a comprehensive report — we want to include everything that we can — but we don't want fairytale stuff — it wasn't collaborated by other reports — that was felt to the level that science would say this was established.
ANGUS STICKLER:    My understanding is that at the time that there were eight published peer reviewed research studies — attesting to the genotoxic nature of uranium — all of which could have been included in the monograph?
REPACHOLI:    Yep — these — er — papers were speculative at the time and W.H.O. will only publish data that they know is established.
STICKLER:    Shouldn't the World Health Organisation err on the side of caution?
REPACHOLI:    W.H.O is a conservative organisation there's no doubt — it's not a leader in this sort of thing — it's not out there saying wow we should be concerned about this, this and this — it's not there to do that.
Dr Baverstock disagrees.   He says the W.H.O stance that this is inconclusive science is not safe science.   He attempted to take the issue further.
DR BAVERSTOCK:    When it wasn't included in the monograph — I with two other colleagues prepared a paper for the open literature and the W.H.O did not permit me to submit that paper for publication.
ANGUS STICKLER:    Why not — what reasons were you given?
BAVERSTOCK:    Well ha — I still have not had a reason as to why that paper was not allowed to be published.
STICKLER:    Could it be the case that the science you're talking about is unsafe — in that you're — as a scientist — a bit miffed that they didn't include what you wanted them to include?
BAVERSTOCK:    No I'm not miffed about it at all — we use this kind of laboratory testing in many systems to screen chemicals and to know whether things are going to be dangerous or not.
STICKLER:    Why do you think your study was — as you say — suppressed?
BAVERSTOCK:    It is naive to think that in institutions like the United Nations one is free from political influences — the member states have their own agendas.
STICKLER:    What you seem to be saying there is that the W.H.O. was pressurised by the likes of the United States to come to the right conclusion?
BAVERSTOCK:    I think that could be the case — yes.
It's ironic that the major player that Dr Baverstock believes was behind the decision block publication of his study — was the nation state that conducted the research he was citing: The United States' Department of Defence Armed Forces Radiobiological Research Institute: a credible State laboratory.   A point I put to Dr Repacholi.
DR REPACHOLI:    The problem that W.H.O had and it went right up to the Director General's office that it was finally disapproved at that level was that on the basis of the evidence that we have — we can't conclude that it is harmful — and to have a paper from another W.H.O staff member that says we absolutely think it's harmful — makes W.H.O look a bit odd.
STICKLER:    With the greatest respect — that's going to have very little truck with someone who may get seriously ill because of depleted uranium the fact that the W.H.O. may look a bit odd?"