Storm Fallout: Radioactive Dust from Coalition Shells Inhaled by Iraqi Children

By Arbuthnot, Felicity | New Internationalist, June 1993 | Go to article overview

Storm Fallout: Radioactive Dust from Coalition Shells Inhaled by Iraqi Children


Arbuthnot, Felicity, New Internationalist


IN a shocking new development it now emerges that the Coalition forces used uranium - tipped ammunition in Iraq during the Gulf War. Shells and bullets made in this way to improve performance produce carcinogenic dust on impact. Iraqi children have inhaled the dust -- and are beginning to die from cancer as a result.

Mr Andy Munn, of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, confirms that when this kind of ammunition hits its target 'it throws up dust which is toxic and carcinogenic... clearers - up, civilians, children playing in or even looking into burned - out vehicles could be affected.' The uranium used was waste from the nuclear industry. There are thought to be some 40 tons of it in various parts of Iraq.

According to Dr Eric Hoskins of the International Harvard Study Team, childhood cancer and leukaemia rates are soaring. In Basra, he reports, children have been making 'glove puppets' out of used, cigarsized, uranium - tipped bullets.

US officials are quoted as saying that the weaponry is only 'very, very mildly' radioactive. But when a director of the renowned Albert Schweitzer Institute returned from Iraq with one of the bullets -- intended for analysis -- in his pocket he was arrested at Berlin Airport and the bullet was placed in a lead - lined case. …

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