Bism Allah Alrahman Alrahem
Violation of the Geneva convention and the human rights regulation breached on a large scale by America and the West many times since the beginning of the World War 1 and 2. However the worst of these violations was during the American wars in Iraq from 1991 until 2011 including the barbaric sanction in between.
One of the most dangerous uses of weapons of mass destruction after the use of nuclear weapons in Japan is the use of the Depleted Uranium (DU) by America in Iraq. This resulted in serious and huge increase in the cancer rates especially in the South of Iraq where the DU was used since 1991. Leukaemia, thyroid cancer, skin cancers, soft tissue cancers, congenital anomalies, and other cancers increased above dangerous levels in Basra and other southern cities of Iraq. It affects children more than adults and resulted in emergence of new and serous versions of cancers never known before in the region such as different kinds of Kaposi’s sarcoma which is a skin cancer.
DU is a radioactive material which stays in the environment hundreds of millions of years and may enter into the chain of the living been such as the plants, the animals and remained as a radioactive dust. When exceeding the normal limit in the body (90 microgram) it cause disastrous outcomes on the affected population. The DU contains 60% radioactivity of that of the Natural Uranium (NU). Both consist of 3 active radioactive isotopes but in different concentrations. However both are behaving, chemically, physically and toxicologically the same.
DU has been used recently in the 1991 and 2003 USA wars against Iraq as well as in the Balkan region. Its main use is due to its penetrating effects on armoured vehicles and tanks. DU is bursting after shooting into flame and at least 70% of it forms particles less than 5 microns in diameter which make it easily inhaled to the lungs, rains, penetrate the soil, and consequently contaminate the water resources and the agricultural and animal products. Man may be affected by the DU by radiations, inhalation, swallowing, wound contamination and ingesting water or food. In the body, DU is toxic to the kidneys, testes, ovaries, placenta, embryo, blood cells, the nervous system including the brain, the thyroid gland and the other body systems. In Iraq all the cancers of these systems were dramatically increased after the American wars on Iraq since 1991. According to the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency), one need to have only (3 microgram per gram of kidney) to have its dangerous effects.
Children are more affected from the side effects of the DU. There were marked increase in the childhood cancers and congenital anomalies in the South of Iraq. The American and the West use of the DU on Iraq in the 1991 war, resulted in hundreds of tons of inhaled particles and more than that penetrated the soil and contaminated the water and the other things. So many cancers up surged in Iraq which behaved quite divergently from the classical cancers as well as the congenital malformations which were stranger than before. Some of these cancers increased more than ten times. It is the alpha rays in the DU which penetrate and hit the DNA molecules. This will result in passing of the disastrous effects to many generations to come.
There are lack of information from the media and the international health authorities about the DU and its disastrous effects in Iraq. Everyone including the WHO, the International Health Authorities, the Media, the Human rights groups and every one should make substantial efforts to bring this issue to an existence not only to condemn the use of DU in Iraq but to prevent its use any future wars. On the other hand America and the West who used this weapon of mass destruction should bear the responsibilities to help Iraq to clear its soil and abandoned contaminated tanks from the effect of the DU. The danger of using the DU may affect any other population in any future war and could be on a larger scale. More researches need to be done to uncover the disastrous effects of these killing rays! Those who wage wars using nuclear weapons have to be brought to justice as criminal of wars and genocide. They will definitely face severe punishment on the Day of Judgment without any doubts. Between them and that Day is the number of years the live only! They may see it long but it is so close like tomorrow morning, is so near!