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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 12:18 PM
Original message
Chris Busby PhD explains why uranium is bad for you (extremely genotoxic)
Run time: 09:24
Posted on YouTube: December 02, 2009
By YouTube Member: siggurdsson
Views on YouTube: 369
Posted on DU: December 11, 2010
By DU Member: JohnyCanuck
Views on DU: 636
Part 2 of this video is at:

Chris Busby was born in 1945 in Devon and educated in Kenya, Hampshire and Kent. He obtained a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry from the University of London and a PhD in Chemical Physics . He worked in research for the Wellcome Foundation for seven years applying spectroscopic and analytical methods to chemical pharmacology and molecular drug interactions and also researched Raman spectro-electrochemistry at the University of Kent.

Since 1987 he has developed his interests in the health effects of ionizing radiation and developed the 'Second Event Theory' which distinguishes between hazards from external and internal irradiation. He is the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, based in Brussels and also national speaker on Science and Technology for the Green Party. A member of the International Society for Environment Epidemiology, he is also a member of the recently formed UK government committee on the health effects of internal emitters, CERRIE. Recently, he was invited to Iraq and Kosovo to investigate the health effects of Depleted Uranium and has given presentations on the issue to the Royal Society and to the European Parliament.

In 1994 he helped to found the Low Level Radiation Campaign and is its scientific consultant. He is a director of the independent environmental consultancy, Green Audit, ( ) which was recently funded by the Irish State to research the effects of Sellafield on coastal populations. His book 'Wings of Death: Nuclear Pollution and Human Health' (Aberystwyth: Green Audit) was published in 1995 and is still in print. Much of the work he has done, including that on DU is to be found on the website: . Email :

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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. How the Secondary Photoelectron Effect makes depleted uranium genotoxic
Edited on Sun Dec-12-10 05:40 AM by JohnyCanuck
The Secondary Photoelectron effect

Releases of Uranium giving rise to its incorporation in body tissue appear to be genotoxic despite Uranium's low radioactivity. For example, a wide-ranging review of the teratogenicity of parental prenatal exposure to DU aerosols has concluded that "the evidence, albeit imperfect, indicates a high probability of substantial risk". (1) This represents an extreme anomaly between actual risks and those expected on the basis of ICRP recommendations. It appears improbable that the reported effects depend on the intrinsic radioactivity of Uranium. The hazard is more likely to be mediated by a mechanism known as the Secondary Photoelectron effect (SPE) in combination with the affinity between atomic Uranium and the DNA molecule. Particulates are also likely agents of harm, with implications for the deployment of weapons containing Uranium. In principle, the Secondary Photoelectron effect may provide a mechanism to explain the observed toxicity of heavy metals.

Quantifying the discrepancy between ICRP and a new model that takes account of the Secondary Photoelectron effect

The absorption of gamma rays by any element is proportional to at least the fourth power of the element's atomic number Z. ICRP, in considering gamma ray absorption, models the human body as water, H2O. It has been proposed (2) that the baseline of absorption in uncontaminated tissue should be established using Oxygen - the most massive of the atoms in the water molecules in the ICRP phantom. The atomic number of Oxygen is 8. 84 = 4096. The atomic number of Uranium is 92. 924 = 71639296. 71639296/4096 = 17490. This is the enhanced ability of an atom of Uranium to absorb incident gamma or X-rays, relative to an atom of oxygen. Energy absorbed in this way is re-emitted in the form of photoelectrons indistinguishable from beta radiation, potentially causing tissue damage.


The quantity of DNA in a cell is about 7 picograms. The cell has a mass of 270 picograms, assuming an 8 micron diameter cell. So the DNA represents roughly 1/40th by mass on the basis of these BEIRV figures. (5) It is thus shown that at quite modest levels of Uranium in tissue, it is the Uranium that is the predominant absorbing material for natural background gamma radiation, and that the absorbed energy is converted into photoelectrons which attack the DNA - the principal target for radiation effects - both directly and indirectly though ionization of water. This argument is simple and immediate. The base line is that Uranium health effects are not mainly due to its intrinsic radioactivity, but to its high atomic number. Counter-intuitively, it is low energy incident radiation and the smallest particles that represent the greatest divergence from expectations based on LNT. (6) The photoelectron idea was presented by Busby at the CERRIE international workshop at St Catherine's College in 2003. (7) The UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management commissioned work on the relevance of SPE on public exposure to Uranium. (8) , (9) and the argument outlined above was formally presented to the MoD Depleted Uranium Oversight Board in 2004. (10) Papers have been published. (11) , (12) , (13). (click on the link at the top of the list "Secondary Photoelectron effect)
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. Kicking for members of the military and veterans
who find reassurance in the soothing pablum of their military superiors and the spokespeople for the military industrial complex that uranium weapons are not hazardous to their health or the the health of civilians populations in areas where these weapons are used.

Depleted Uranium: Horror from America

Britain and America not only used DU in this year's Iraq war, they dramatically increased its use-from a minimum of 320 tons in the previous war to at minimum of 1500 tons in this one. And this time the use of DU wasn't limited to anti-tank weapons-as it had largely been in the previous Gulf war-but was extended to the guided missiles, large bunker busters and big 2000-pound bombs used in Iraq's cities. This means that Iraq's cities have been blanketed in lethal particles-any one of which can cause cancer or deform a child. In addition, the use of DU in huge bombs which throw the deadly particles higher and wider in huge plumes of smoke means that billions of deadly particles have been carried high into the air-again and again and again as the bombs rained down-ready to be swept worldwide by the winds.

The Royal Society has suggested the solution is massive decontamination in Iraq. That could only scratch the surface. For decontamination is hugely expensive and, though it may reduce the risks in some of the worst areas, it cannot fully remove them. For DU is too widespread on land and water. How do you clean up every nook and cranny of a city the size of Baghdad? How can they decontaminate a whole country in which microscopic particles, which cannot be detected with a normal geiger counter, are spread from border to border? And how can they clean up all the countries downwind of Iraq-and, indeed, the world?

So there are only two things we can do to mitigate this crime against humanity. The first is to provide the best possible medical care for the people of Iraq, for our returning troops and for those who served in the last Gulf war and, through that, minimize their suffering. The second is to relegate war, and the production and sale of weapons, to the scrap heap of history-along with slavery and genocide. Then, and only then, will this crime against humanity be expunged, and the tragic deaths from this war truly bring freedom to the people of Iraq, and of the world.

Remember, the Agent Orange fiasco in Vietnam showed that, to the brass and the military industrial complex, long term health consequences of poisonous substances used in combat are not a major concern, not when it comes to the MIC selling deadly substances for immense profits. Bottom line is you are Expendable.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-10 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Just another example of Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
For those who might be too young to know or remember, here's some background re. the Pentagon's use of the poisonous Agent Orange in Vietnam to contaminate the Vietnamese countryside.

Cycles of atrocities, Cycles of Shame & Regret, and Cycles of more atrocities

This recent article by Time Magazine on Agent Orange in Vietnam opened up a floodgate of emotions I had thought I had gotten over with a year ago, after my own personal first-hand experiences there. The article was fairly well-written, that is, considering the publication. Here are some excerpts:

This lonely section of the abandoned Danang air base was once crawling with U.S. airmen and machines. It was here where giant orange drums were stored and the herbicides they contained were mixed and loaded onto waiting planes. Whatever sloshed out soaked into the soil and eventually seeped into the water supply. Thirty years later, the rare visitor to the former U.S. air base is provided with rubber boots and protective clothing. Residue from Agent Orange, which was sprayed to deny enemy troops jungle cover, remains so toxic that this patch of land is considered one of the most contaminated pieces of real estate in the country. A recent study indicates that even three decades after the war ended, the cancer-causing dioxins are at levels 300 to 400 times higher than what is deemed to be safe.

After years of meetings, signings and photo ops, the U.S. held another ceremony in Vietnam on Dec. 16 to sign yet another memorandum of understanding as part of the continuing effort to manage Agent Oranges dark legacy. Yet there are grumblings that little if anything has been done to clean up the most contaminated sites. Since 2007, Congress has allocated a total of $6 million to help address Agent Orange issues in Vietnam. Not only does the amount not begin to scratch the surface of the problem or get rid of the tons of toxic soil around the nation, but there are questions about how the money is being spent.


And I want to add a few other comparison points:

We spend billions per week on undeclared wars to injure, kill, and destroy. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on fraudulent and wasteful defense contracts. We spend billions on drones and bombs which kill 687 civilians per 14 enemy targets, amounting to a ratio of nearly 50 civilians killed for each undeclared enemy killed

And when it comes to cleaning up this huge mess we left behind in Vietnam, when it comes to a certain degree of reparation expected from a superpower nation with even a minute amount of moral decency, when it comes towe go on denying responsibility, arguing irrational technicalities, and do nothing, absolute zilch. /
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-16-10 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The United States of War Criminals
By Mickey Z

December 16, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- -- More than half (53.3%) of US tax dollars go to a criminal enterprise known as the US Department of Defense (sic), a.k.a. the worst polluter on the planet. We hear about tax cuts this and budget that and all kinds of other bullshit from the US government and the corporations that own itbut the reality remains: Roughly one million tax dollars per minute are spent to fund the largest military machine (read: global terrorist operation) the world has ever known.

What do we get for all that money? To follow, is but one tiny example that mostly slipped through the cracks earlier this year.

On July 23, 2010, Tom Eley at Global Research wrote:

According to the authors of a new study, Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 20052009, the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.


Of crucial importance is this: A high proportion of the weaponry used by the US in the assault contained depleted uranium (DU).

And you and I paid for it all.

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