Saturday, October 24, 2009

is depleted uranium dangerous?

looking for info on spent, weaponized DU.
James's answer about the amounts you would need to inhale/absorb are correct, but I would disagree with his "rare" statement. A lot of depleted Uranium is used by the military in armour piercing rounds as it is about 10 to 100 times denser than lead.Unfortunately its use is hazardous and exposes the operators and the target to highly absorbable vapourised and finely powdered depleted Uranium. This has been linked with Gulf war syndrome in our troops from both Gulf wars where a lot of armour piercing ammuntion was fired. The effects on the target are unknown, and we should be watching for signs of radiation sickness in the Iraqi population and rise in birth defects etc as this toxic material builds up in the population.
I think so. Uranium, though depleted, is still a radioactive element. Besides hazards to human beings, uranium lying out in the open is probably bad for the environment.
Uranium itself is not very dangerous unless it is ingested or directly handled. For depleted uranium, the risk is even lower. Potential adverse effects would happen with 10mg of ingestion, while irreversible effects would happen with 30mg of ingestion. This is a very large amount for such a rare compound.

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