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 Environment ENS --
Environment News Service

AmeriScan: December 22, 2000

NO LINK BETWEEN DEPLETED URANIUM, GULF WAR SYNDROME

WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2000 (ENS) - The Defense Department has issued an updated report that concludes that any link between the U.S. military's use of depleted uranium and undiagnosed illnesses experienced by some veterans of the Gulf war is "unlikely." The conclusion of the Defense Department report is supported by a recent National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (http://www.iom.edu/) review of scientific literature related to depleted uranium. The first battlefield use of depleted uranium in tank armor and armor piercing ammunition took place during the Gulf War.

The first interim report about depleted uranium was published in August 1998. This updated report reviews research conducted by both governmental and non-governmental agencies. It also includes the latest data available from a study the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is conducting on service members who had the greatest exposure to depleted uranium during the Gulf War. Since 1993, the VA has monitored 33 veterans who were injured in incidents involving depleted uranium. About half of this group still have depleted uranium metal fragments in their bodies. This update also refines previous Gulf War exposure assessments. The full text of the updated report may be viewed on the Web at http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/news/na_du_ii_19dec00.htm.

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