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Cancer- The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq- Common Dreams

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PuraVidaDreamin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:59 PM
Original message
Cancer- The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq- Common Dreams
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/06

Forget about oil, occupation, terrorism or even Al Qaeda. The real hazard for Iraqis these days is cancer. Cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, especially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.

Here are a few examples. In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of new- born infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.

The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009 according to Al Jazeera English.

In Basra there were 1885 diagnosed cases of cancer in 2005. According to Dr. Jawad al Ali, director of the Oncology Center, the number increased to 2,302 in 2006 and 3,071 in 2007. Dr. Ali told Al Jazeera English that about 1,250-1,500 patients visit the Oncology Center every month now.
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sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Depleted uranium, used in shielding and piercing armaments.
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Alias Dictus Tyrant Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Not depleted uranium, industrial chemical contamination
The problem with Iraq is pervasive chemical contamination of the kind we banned in the western world half a century ago. When you bomb places where these kinds of chemicals are stored, they get into the water supply. Consequently, the ground water is full of strongly mutagenic organics. Uranium does not even rate as a health threat by comparison.

We dump more *non-depleted* (read: more dangerous) uranium into the environment in the United States near population centers every year than was used in the Iraq war -- none of these side effects materialize. Depleted uranium has pretty low toxicity and very poor environmental transport as such things go (it mostly stays where it lands). As a heavy metal goes, it is not much of a threat compared to numerous other metals common in our environment. People that live near radionuclide concentrate dumps have only modest increases in cancer rates (1-2%), and almost all of that is attributable to thorium and similar. Any health effects from variations in background uranium levels are below the noise floor.

I would be looking at nasty synthetic industrial organics, which really are extremely hazardous as environmental toxins. Depleted uranium as a significant health threat is largely junk science. It has been studied in the US population, which lives with far more environmental uranium, many times and it is largely harmless. I'd worry about many other metals first, and large range of industrial organics before many of the metals.
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PuraVidaDreamin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. I don't buy that
We've exploded probably 100,000 tons of bombs all over that country-
from different heights- and that was a lot of radioactive dust that did
blow in the wind. And we had no right to do it.
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Alias Dictus Tyrant Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. It doesn't matter if you buy it
Sorry, but your understanding is factually incorrect on multiple accounts.

First, depleted uranium is not radioactive in any meaningful sense -- it has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Many common materials in your house are more radioactive. Enriched uranium would be a different story (and far too valuable to be used in weapons).

Second, depleted uranium is NOT used in bombs. It is used in kinetic penetrators and armor, and in case you hadn't noticed there have not been massed armor battles in Iraq lately. The total amount of uranium penetrators expended is going to be quite small.

Third, even if we accept what you say at face value, these supposed ill health effects are not occurring in US populations living in proximity to uranium concentrates that are far worse than the depleted uranium in Iraq. Are Iraqis magically more susceptible to supposed uranium toxicity than Americans?

Fourth, uranium simply is not that toxic as a practical matter and certainly not significantly mutagenic -- you'll need to look at organic chemistry for that. Plenty of other common metals, even many industrial alloys, are a bigger hazard to your health. Look up the OSHA guidelines for radionuclide exposure related to commercial welding, for example. You might be surprised.


Let's leave the junk science to the creationists.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. depleted uranium infants
That was my search term in google image.

Major graphic warning.

http://images.google.com/images?q=depleted%20uranium%20...

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invictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Include the troops in that
Depleted uranium isn't stopped by the US Army uniform.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. this is true
however US troops get to leave at some point, for Iraqis Depleted Uranium is forever.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. yeah but we won oil conracts for our buddies! and we didnt go to jail!
thanks! Bush and Cheney and the MIC.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. And we and our buddies are rich Rich RICH because of it. And Money is All That Matters.
Pay no attention to the dead in our eyes.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. I have this silly dream
that Americans and the World will start caring about the people we are still killing in other nations as much as the people who need help in Haiti.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. amen to that.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. k/r
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. Has anyone studied the Iraqi refugees in the US to see if they have these problems here?
We have the largest population of Iraq War refugees in San Diego; I am wondering if anybody's studying the women giving birth to see if their children here are healthy.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Birth defects began appearing among the offspring of U.S. troops
YEARS AGO.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
13. Depleted uranium.
The Agent Orange of the the 21st century.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
14. And Bush and Cheney walk free
I'd love to jump off this fugging planet.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Don't forget Obama is continuing the wars-they are ALL guilty. nt
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Obama did not drop depleted uranium on Iraqis
Sorry that is Bushco's crime.
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Alias Dictus Tyrant Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Obama is not using depleted uranium
Depleted uranium is only used in a small number of anti-armor weapons. Since they are not going up against strong armor, it would be pointless to load it since other ordnance would be more effective.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Yeah, so Obama's "war" is really "peace", ain't that so?
:eyes:

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