November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most popular grassroots peace sites in the US, and its content remains as an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.
Given the controversial nature of this topic, the author, Tedd Weyman
requested review by Chris Busby, Ph.D., who was present during the DUOB
session described below. Dr. Busby's comments follow this analysis, with a note in the body of the analysis..
Unusually high levels of non-depleted and depleted uranium in Op TELIC British troops
ignored by MoD and the British press
Uranium Medical Research Center
[The following is commentary on discussion in the minutes of the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (DUOB) in the UK. DUOB was created as an independent panel of experts to oversee the process for letting the contract for urine testing to assess past exposure to DU. The DUOB consists of technical experts in the fields of epidemiology, toxicology, screening, mass spectrometry etc along with veterans' representatives. There are also a number of Observers to the board from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Health, Health and Safety Executive and solicitors representing the veterans.]
"Mr. [ Ivor ] Connolly requested an update on the biological monitoring of Op TELIC personnel. Mr. [ Ron ] Brown said that approximately 70 individuals had been tested to date. Of these, 62 showed a urine uranium level that was considered average for the southern UK (less than 30 ng/l); none had an exceptional isotope ratio indicative of DU. A small number of personnel based in Germany were found to have a natural isotope ratio, but a total uranium concentration in their urine of several hundred nanograms per liter. The only people in who DU has so far been detected were those with 'level I" exposure, which has sustained shrapnel injuries with DU munitions." Page 12 and 13, DUOB Minutes, September 30, 2003
Mr. Brown's September briefing to the DUOB is misleading and hints at two types of uranium contamination problem in British troops.
1. 30 ng/l of uranium is 3 to 5 times higher than most British civilians living in normal environments that are not contaminated. It is not correct to say that 30 ng/l is normal. Finding 30ng/l of uranium in the urine of troops from Op TELIC warrants a further investigation into the isotopic signature of the uranium being excreted by these soldiers.
2. The statement that "none had an exceptional isotope ratio indicative of DU" is completely misleading. The DU signature is clear and easy to determine. To say that the DU signature was not exceptional indicates that DU was found in the urines at small quantities. If there is some question of lab results, than the MoD should use the NERC, Geological Survey lab in Nottingham to test the veterans - where the equipment and methodology are proven to be reliable.
[Comment by Chris Busby, Ph.D., DUOB member, who was at the meeting in question: "Was the presence of DU reported" - here by implication?]
"We Don’t know because he [Ron Brown] wouldn’t tell us when we asked. So DU may be there in small quantities or even in moderate quantities but we don’t know. What is interesting is that enriched U is there in the latest GU1 vets which makes the analysis of DU hard to do." - Chris Busby (see more comments below)
3. The finding of "several hundred nanograms of uranium" in Op TELIC troops is very significant. The report is consistent with UMRC’s Afghanistan findings of very highly elevated uranium with the isotopic signature of Non-depleted Uranium in the urine of Afghan civilians, watercourses surrounding bombsights and inside bomb craters made by US weapons.
The UK Ministry of Defence’s Depleted Uranium pilot for Operation Iraqi Freedom has made two important findings:
1. DU appears to have been found to be excreted in the urine of some British OIF troops even if the uranium isotopic signatures were not "exceptional"; and,
2. Very highly elevated uranium levels (hundreds of nanograms, representing at least 10 to 20 times or more above normal levels) were found to be excreted in UK troops stationed in Germany. The British 1st Armored Division (which includes the Desert Rats) who lead the attack on As Zubair, Shaat al Arabi, Um Qasr, Abu Khasib and Basra, are permanently stationed in Germany.
Denying DU isotopic analysis to those with 30 ng/l of urine uranium excretions is clinically misleading and not accurate. Many veterans will have been exposed without having high levels of total uranium. If they have DU in their urine, they are contaminated by definition, as there is no way to get DU in their bodies except by battlefield exposure. UMRC has taken water, soil and urine specimens from civilian and battlefields in Basra and found human and environmental contamination there. The UMRC field team members are contaminated after only two weeks in Iraq. It stands to reason that the UK DU pilot study of troops stationed in Germany may well represent contamination by uranium weapons during service in Iraq. This possibility should be evaluated by using credible laboratory and independent scientists. UK troops should not be denied uranium isotopic analysis simply because someone says they did not have a "level I" exposure.
Additional Comments by Chris Busby, Ph.D. (see also note above)
"You may be interested in the initial results of the pilot measurements on
the GW1 veterans. There were 78 data points (about 35 individuals)
measuremenst being made separately by two labs. The mean total uranium was
about 3ng/l with SD of about 2ng. Therefore anything above 7ng is
significant at the p<0.05 level and certainly 30ng/l is highly
significant )p<0.0000) So yes, thats OK.
I have asked Ron Brown [Radiation Protection Advisor to MOD and fellow
DUOB member] twice now for the anonymised data points in the TELIC
study but he has refused. There is no good reason for such a refusal to a
member of the DUOB unless there is a sub set of soldiers buried in the
results with high uranium (i.e a split distribution) and so analysis would
show that this was so."
Chris Busby, Ph.D.
Member of the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board
Dr. Busby's website is found at http://www.greenaudit.org/
July 15, 2004 - page created by Charlie Jenks; updated July 20, 2004