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Depeted Uranium Bill Introduced Into Congress

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  • Christine Glaser
    Depeted Uranium Bill Introduced Into Congress http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/News/22news04.htm http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/18/1434246 See
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Depeted Uranium Bill Introduced Into Congress


      See Congressman Jim McDermott's Press Release:

      WASHINGTON, D.C. � Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), a medical doctor, on
      May 17 introduced legislation with 21 original co-sponsors in the House of
      Representatives that calls for medical and scientific studies on the health
      and environmental impacts from the U.S. Military�s use of depleted uranium
      (DU) munitions in combat zones, including Iraq. The McDermott bill also
      calls for cleanup and mitigation of sites in the U.S. contaminated by DU.

      �The need is urgent and imperative for full, fair and impartial studies,�
      McDermott said. �We may be endangering the health and lives of U.S. soldiers
      and Iraqi civilians. All we�ve gotten so far from the Pentagon are
      assurances. We need facts backed by science. We don�t have that today.�

      Because of its density, the military uses DU as a protective shield around
      tanks, and in munitions like armor piercing bullets and tank shells. DU
      tends to spontaneously ignite upon impact, disintegrating into a micro-fine
      residue that hangs suspended in the air where it can be inhaled and falls to
      the ground to leach into the soil.

      DU is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process; it is chemically
      toxic. and DU has low-level radioactivity. About 300 metric tons of DU
      munitions were fired during the first Gulf War, and about half that amount
      has been used to date in the Iraq War.

      �I�ve been concerned about DU since veterans of the first Gulf War began to
      experience unexplained illnesses, commonly called �Gulf War Syndrome� that
      remain mysterious,� McDermott said.

      McDermott added that there are reports from Iraqi doctors and others today
      of seemingly unexplained serious illnesses including higher rates of cancer
      and leukemia, and even birth defects.
      �We pretended there was no problem with Agent Orange after Vietnam and later
      the Pentagon recanted, after untold suffering by veterans. I want to know
      scientifically if DU poses serious dangers to our soldiers and Iraqi

      The Depleted Uranium Munitions Study Act of 2005 has 21 original
      co-sponsors, all Democrats, including: Reps. Charles Rangel, Pete Stark,
      Sherrod Brown, Peter DeFazio, Maurice Hinchey, Raul Grijalva, Jan
      Schakowsky, Robert Wexler, Sam Farr, Tammy Baldwin, Robert Andrews, Bob
      Filner, Jay Inslee, Jose Serrano, Lynn Woolsey, Earl Blumenauer, Bart
      Stupak, Mike Honda, Tom Udall, Barney Frank and Ed Markey.

      Copyright �2004 The Lone Star Iconoclast

      * * *

      "If Depleted Uranium is Safe, Let Them Prove It"

      Congressman Jim McDermott's introductory statement in the
      House of Representatives - May 17, 2005


      Madam Speaker, today on behalf of 21 original Democratic co-sponsors, I am
      introducing the Depleted Uranium Munitions Study. The stakes could not be
      higher for U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and there is not a moment to
      lose, and I hope the Republican leadership will put it on the Suspension

      DU, as it is called, is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process. It is
      toxic and has low-level radioactivity, and it is widely used by the United
      States military in Iraq.

      There are countless stories of mysterious illnesses, higher rates of serious
      illnesses and even birth defects. We do not know what role, if any, DU plays
      in the medical tragedies in Iraq, but we must find out.

      The Pentagon says there is no evidence that DU is harmful; yet the Pentagon
      also says soldiers should wear protective gear, including special clothing
      and a respirator, using DU. An Iraqi child has no protective gear. The Iraqi
      people have no respirators. If DU is so safe, why do American soldiers need
      to wear protective clothing in the first place?

      We do not know if DU is safe or harmful; yet we have used 150 tons in the
      war so far.

      Let the Pentagon prove that it is safe.

      * * * * * * * * * *

      Timothy Baer
      Organizer, Bloomington Peace Action Coalition
      (812) 988-1917
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