particularly if acting through a genotoxic mechanism, would not be expected
to produce overt cancer after such a short interval.
c) Chris Busby stated that all theories regarding cancer accept that it is a
multistage process and that up to five mutations are required to start the
cancer growth. Some people already have some of these mutations. Hence
there is a sub-group of people who are in a position where exposure to a
mutagen might trigger cancer more rapidly. He believed, therefore, that an
immediate rise in incidence was to be expected. He suggested that this theory
was supported by two pieces of evidence – an increase in cancer in Wales
after Chernobyl, and an increase in cancer mortality in nuclear workers over
the first 12 months after starting radiation work.
d) The Chairman stated that the last observation was likely to reflect a healthy
worker effect. A worker would be unlikely to start a new job as a radiation
worker when suffering from the late stages of cancer. Therefore, in
comparison with the general population, mortality from cancer among
radiation workers would be unusually low over the first few months after
appointment. Over time, however, this differential would be expected to
e) Chris Busby asked where the latest MOD mortality figures for Gulf War
veterans could be found. Brigid Rodgers stated that these could be found in
Hansard. The Secretary undertook to circulate the latest figures.
Action 7.9. Secretary to circulate mortality figures.
Statement of Requirement for Main Contract
a) The Secretary had circulated a draft version of this paper some ago. No
comments had been received. The following relevant topics were discussed:
Number of Samples
b) The SOR in its current version stated that an initial contract would be placed
for the testing of 500 samples. As up to three contracts were likely to be
placed, this meant that the initial contracts would cover the testing of up to
1500 samples. It was stressed that this was just an initial estimate to give a
basis for contractors to price their bids. The contracts would be extended as
required to allow for further testing- all Gulf and Balkan veterans who wish to
have a test will be able to have one.
c) Jim Glennon expressed concern that the MOD might try to influence the
findings of the testing programme by encouraging a large number of veterans
with no exposure to DU to be tested, thereby diluting the proportion that
tested positive. The Chairman pointed out that this was a voluntary testing
programme, not a research study, and that any gulf or Balkan veteran would
be eligible for a test. The Chairman also noted that in research studies,
information would be collected about participants' potential sources of
exposure to DU. This would be taken into account in interpreting the
distribution of exposures.
Security of samples
d) David Lewis again stressed the importance of sample security.
Size of samples
e) The Chairman stated that, initially, 24-hour samples would be obtained as