Exposure To Depleted Uranium From Military Action May Pose Health Threats
DU is the material remaining after removal or depletion of the U-238 isotope of uranium. With a density about twice that of lead, DU is ideal for use in military armor and munitions, John Pierce Wise, Sr., and colleagues point out in the new study. DU dust produced in combat creates potentially frequent and widespread exposure for soldiers and non-combatants, who may inhale DU dust particles, the researchers note.
However, there have been few studies on the health effects of lung exposure to DU, they add. In the new study, researchers tested the effects of DU on cultures of human lung cells. "This is the first article on the cytotoxicity and clastogenicity [chromosome damaging potential] of particulate and soluble DU in human bronchial cells," the study states. "These data suggest that exposure to particulate DU may pose a significant genotoxic risk and could possibly result in lung cancer."
Article: "Particulate Depleted Uranium is Cytotoxic and Clastogenic to Human Lung Cells"
John Pierce Wise, Sr., Ph.D.
University of Southern Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
American Chemical Society News Service
The American Chemical Society - the world's largest scientific society - is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society
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