U.S. Urged To Reveal Locations Of Depleted Uranium In Iraq

November 19, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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November 18, 2010

Despite the reports on the soaring cancer in Iraq and ever rising concern it might have been caused by the contamination with depleted uranium (DU), the United States refuse to reveal the locations the DU containing weapons were used. During the two conflicts in 1991 and 2003 in Iraq, the US has used at least 400 tonnes of the DU, the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) stated.

“Contaminated sites are quite difficult to identify in the field. Thus, it is important that location information is released so that civilians living nearby can be warned, soil water and air can be monitored and where necessary, sites can be decontaminated.” the ICBUW Coordinator Doug Weir told Allvoices.

Last month, the US, along with France, Israel and the United Kingdom, were the only four states in the UN First Committee who opposed a resolution calling on users of DU weapons to release quantitative and geographical data to the governments of affected states. However, the UK has already released the information on where it had used the DU in invasion on Iraq in 2003. Why is Washington so reluctant doing the same?

“We think it is very unlikely that the US didn’t keep records so the other explanation may be that they could find themselves liable for compensation or clean-up costs if they revealed where the weapons were used: it infers responsibility. The experience from the Balkans suggests that clean-up costs would be considerable.”

In Serbia, the data from one of the most contaminated area during the NATO bombing in 1999 implies the DU is related with the increase of cancer rates and newborn with deformities. In case of Iraq, there are still no relevant statistics that would imply health hazards of the DU contamination.

“In large part it is because of a lack of transparency from the US – it’s impossible to make links between exposure and health problems unless you know where the weapons have been used.” Weir told Allvoices.






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