e) Post meeting note: Ray Bristow has volunteered to be a replacement for
Shaun Rusling as a veterans’ representative on the OB.
a) Ivor Connolly expressed concerns about the length of the projected timescales
for the pilot study and the establishment of a testing programme. However,
Gordon Paterson, Beverley Green, David Lewis, Brian Spratt and Malcolm
Hooper agreed that it was important to ensure that rigorous tests were carried
out and that reliable data were obtained. The timescales were already
optimistic and it would be difficult to shorten them.
b) It was agreed that, if insufficient expressions of interest in the pilot study
were registered by the due date of 10 December, additional bids would be
invited. GVIU were asked to notify the Board who had applied by 10
December. George Etherington emphasised that it was important to select a
sufficiently large number of laboratories to allow for some laboratories failing
to complete the performance tests satisfactorily.
Action 2.5 GVIU to notify members of expressions of interest
c) The protocol for the pilot study of analytical methods that had been drafted by
David Lewis was reviewed. Spiked samples would be provided to the
participating laboratories. There was a discussion about whether it was
necessary to have uniformity of containers for supplying the samples. It was
agreed that the laboratories concerned must find the containers provided
acceptable but that all containers should be the same. Samples for the pilot
study should be one litre and the amount of DU within the spiked samples
should straddle the likely range which might be excreted. This could be
determined from the literature and from reports from laboratories which had
already carried out tests for uranium in the urine of veterans. It was
confirmed again that veterans’ samples would not be used in the pilot study.
Chris Busby was keen to have aqueous samples tested also. After a brief
discussion it was agreed that, if urine tests proved unsatisfactory, results from
aqueous samples might help to explain the reason.
d) Regarding collection and delivery of samples, Ivor Connolly pointed out that
the Gulf War Veterans’ Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) had a
procedure for collection of samples which could be followed.
e) Malcolm Hooper and Chris Busby were concerned that the reference samples
should not come from an area, such as Harwell, where urine might already
have a high uranium content.
f) Three suppliers were identified in the paper who might be able to prepare the
spiked samples that were needed. The Chairman said it would be an
advantage if the organisation that prepared the samples could also analyse
statistically the data from the participating laboratories. Prof Nick Day would
need to comment and advise on the statistical methodology. There was
discussion on the respective merits of the three possible suppliers. It was
agreed that the relevant experts on the OB would prepare a Statement of
Requirement for the sample preparation and statistical analysis and contact
one of the suppliers. The other suppliers would only be contacted if the first
one was unable to comply.
Action 2.6 Peter van Calsteran to draw up a Statement of Requirement for
the sample preparation by 7 December
(7 Dec 01)